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Philippine government cannot define scope of missionary work

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippine government has “no right to define and delimit the scope of our missionary and apostolate works,” said Australian Sister Patricia Fox, from the Sister of Our Lady of Sion, whose missionary visa was revoked by the Philippine government last month (Sunday Examiner, May 6). 
 
The 71-year-old Sister Fox, who has lived and worked in the Philippines for 27 years as a missionary, hit back at allegations against her by the Bureau of Immigration in a 25-page affidavit.
 

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Charity run for those with disabilities shows Taiwan’s human touch

TAINAN (UCAN): The Diocese of Tainan, Taiwan, is breathing a sigh of relief now that interest in a charity run, which at first looked to be a flop out of the starting blocks, saw a sudden, upward spike that saw the number of sign-ups multiply 10-fold in just a few days.
 
The first Tobias Cup, organised by the Tobias Social Welfare Foundation, is scheduled to kick off on May 26 in Hutoupei, Xinhua town, in Tainan, with the goal of raising NT$20 million ($5.28 million).
 

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Pope hails historic meeting between Korean leader

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis hailed the agreement reached at the recent inter-Korean summit regarding denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and expressed the hope that that their courageous commitment may achieve “a path of sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons,” Vatican News reported 
 

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Report says Indian government ignoring religious violence

SRINAGAR (UCAN): The United States (US) Commission on International Religious Freedom has accused the Indian government of doing little to prevent violence against religious minorities and socially poor Dalit people.
 
The commission’s latest report, released on April 25, said the government of prime minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi, of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has not addressed the problem of sectarian violence despite government statistics showing that sectarian violence has increased sharply over the past two years.

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Concerns over greying Church and fewer baptisms in South Korea

SEOUL (UCAN): According to figures released on April 13 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, a total of 96,794 young Catholics were baptised—representing a drop of 12.9 per cent compared to 2016.
 
It is the slowest rate of growth in the last decade, leaving Church authorities concerned about a continued wind-down as parishioners, in line with Korean society as a whole, are greying at the temples.
 

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Priest returns to northern Vietnam as a bishop

HANOI (UCAN): Father Joseph Nguyen Duc Cuong is returning to Thanh Hóa province, the region of his birth, to become bishop of a diocese considered the cradle of Catholicism in northern Vietnam.
 
Father Nguyen was appointed by the Holy See on April 25, according to a statement from Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam. Every Church in the 86-year-old diocese rang their bells to welcome the nomination as soon as the Vatican made the announcement. 
 

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French missionaries to Vietnam recognised

HUE (UCAN): Church leaders in Vietnam paid tribute to the Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) for helping hundreds of local clergy over the past 25 years at a meeting at the Pastoral Centre in Hue from on April 18 to 19.
 

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Human rights report slams Bangladesh

DHAKA (UCAN): The information minister of Bangladesh, Hasanul Haq, has trashed the Bangladesh 2017 Human Rights Report from the State Department of the United States of America.
 
He called the report one-sided, unethical, baseless and fictitious, but Church officials say the report sheds lights on worsening violations.
 

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Social rights advocates jailed in Vietnam

HA TRINH (UCAN): Teresa Tran Thi Xuan, a 42-year-old social rights advocate, was sentenced to nine years in prison by The People’s Court in Ha Tinh Province on April 12 for “attempting to overthrow the people’s government,” according to the state-run Ha Tinh newspaper.
 
The newspaper reported on April 13 that Tran faces an additional five years under house arrest after finishing what observers called a very harsh sentence.
 

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Marawi Cathedral to be demolished

MANILA (UCAN): The 84-year-old St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi, Mindanao, will soon fall to the wrecking ball to pave the way for the rebuilding of the war-torn city.
 
Authorities said the cathedral and the bishop’s residence are no longer structurally sound because of bomb explosions, air strikes and exchanges of gunfire during the conflict.
 
Terrorist gunmen set the cathedral on fire on 23 May 2017 and took Father Teresito Suganob, the vicar general, along with several church workers and worshipers hostage.

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