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Christian politician shot in Pakistan

LAHORE (SE): The violent death of Irshad Younas Chaudhry on April 27, a Christian politician and lifelong defender of the rights of people from minority groups in Pakistan, is being mourned by Church people across the country.

Reports indicate that Chaudhry was at home in Islamabad, when a stranger arrived, produced a gun and shot him in the chest.

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Decorated priest espouses same dream as founder of Pakistan

On March 16 this year, Columban missionary, Father Robert McCulloch, was awarded the highest honour that the Pakistani government can bestow on a foreign national at a ceremony in the parliament in Rawalpindi, the Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam Award, named in honour of the founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

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Building bridges to unite Christians and Muslims in Iraq

KIRKUK (AsiaNews): The Chaldean diocese of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, organised a reconciliation forum on April 25 on Building Bridges of Peace.

An initiative of Archbishop Louis Sako, the meeting brought together some 50 Christian and Muslim leaders, as well as politicians, including the provincial governor, members of councils, party chiefs and tribal sheiks; religious leaders from the Shia, Sunni and Christian communities; and representatives of the Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen and Assyrian-Chaldean communities.

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Celebrated Catholic at 60th birthday party for nunciature in Tokyo

TOKYO (AsiaNews): On the morning of April 20, the nuncio from the Holy See to Japan, Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, held a garden reception for members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from the world of culture at the nunciature in Tokyo to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between the Land of the Rising Sun and the Holy See.

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Religious women stunned at findings of Vatican investigation

 

VATICAN CITY (CNS): In announcing major reform of the association of religious women in the United States of America (US), the Vatican has been both encouraging, but critical not so much of what is being done, but what is not.

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True man of the people mourned in Pakistan

LAHORE (SE): The Church in Pakistan is mourning the death of one of his finest sons and a true man of the people, former air force pilot and human rights advocate, Cecil Chaudhry.

Chaudhry was a close friend and collaborator of the assassinated minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, as well as an advocate for and hands on proponent of education for children from poor families and those with special needs.

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Joint Easter staged for Christians and Hindus

BHUBANESHWAR (AsiaNews): In Orissa state in India, the scene of violent sectarian violence and  Christian persecution in recent years, more than 10,000 Christians and Hindus celebrated Easter together on April 8.

Significantly, one celebration was held on the grounds of the Vijaya Catholic School in Raikia, Kandhamal District, scene of violent anti-Christian scenes in 2008 by radicals in the name of Hinduism.

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Defusing bombs is a living with a high cost

 

HANOI (UCAN): Unexploded mines and bombs left over from wars in the 1960s and 1970s fought in the Thua Thien-Hue province of Vietnam are still claiming lives and causing injuries.

Yet, because they can be a source of income, some local people risk life and limb on a daily basis just to scrape a living.

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Vietnamese bishop takes complaint to the top

HOCHIMIN CITY (Agencies) : “Religious freedom is not a favour, but a fundamental right,” Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh said in a letter addressed to the president of Vietnam, Truong Tan Sang, on April 4, complaining that local authorities were blocking priests from celebrating Easter with ethnic minority people in his diocese of Kontum.

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Faith on the hillside in Vietnam

HO CHI MINH (AsiaNews): People from Hieu Đao parish in the Central Highlands of Vietnam have watched their community grow in vitality and numbers, despite not having a place to call home, as the government seized their church 30 years ago and never returned it.

“I hope that in this Easter season, the local government will return our church,” a parishioner said. “We need it for Mass and prayer.”

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