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Forum is a recognition of emerging Asian laity

 

Bangkok (UCAN): The first Asia-wide meeting of the International Forum Catholic Action (IFAC), met for the first time in Bangkok, from March 22 to 25, to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

The forum brings together lay Catholic organisations involved in spreading the faith through engagement with society.

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Korean Navy defies governor and begins blasting in Jeju

HONG KONG (SE): Woo Keun-Min, the governor of Jeju province in South Korea, sent a formal notice to the chief of the navy on March 5, ordering it to suspend all blasting at the construction site of a major military base at Gureombi and Gangjeong in his province.

However, despite the order of the governing authority of the territory, the naval forces went ahead and, on March 7, began to blast the Gueombi Rock, the Hong Kong-based Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples told the Sunday Examiner.

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Japanese bishops call for an anti-nuclear Lent

TOKYO (SE): “Desire is not evil,” the Japanese bishops say in their Lenten Message for this year. “Without appetite, people cannot live a healthy life.”

However, the bishops also insist that appetite must be tempered, lest it lead to self harm or bring suffering and destruction to self or others.

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More Church land disputed in Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY (SE): Within days of the conclusion of what was described as a satisfactory Holy See-Vietnam government confab, which ended in Hanoi on February 27, AsiaNews reports that more land claimed by the Redemptorist congregation in Ho Chi Minh City has been confiscated by the government.

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Top Pakistan brass honours memory of Catholic minister

ISLAMABAD (SE): Two events in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad at the beginning of March may indicate that a new breeze is blowing through the corridors of parliament and the presidential palace in regards to the status of non-Muslims, and religious and ethnic minority groups in the volatile state.

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Clamp down on Church groups in Laos

VIENTIANE (Agencies): On February 22, officials in the village of Kengweng, southern Laos, confiscated a 37-year-old Church building, BosNewsLife reported the Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom as saying.

The director of the organisation, Sirikoon Prasertsee, said, “What is happening in Kengweng village is part of a wider effort to restrict religious freedom and a wider crackdown on Christians gathering for worship.”

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Chinese ritual for honouring the dead gets thumbs down in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (UCAN): The reintroduction of a rite approved 73 years ago honouring the dead was used at some Masses around Malaysia over the Lunar New Year, but generally got the thumbs down.

A table with an ancestral tablet was set up next to the altar. At the end of the Mass, the priest took three joss-sticks and raised them to his forehead with both hands, while prayers were said for departed relatives and friends.

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Priest complains he cannot go to jail

JEJU (UCAN): The District Court in Jeju, South Korea, found Father Bartholomew Mun Jung-hyun guilty on February 23 of obstructing police in the execution of their duties in a standoff near aimed at preventing the construction site of a military base on Jeju island.

Father Mun received an eight-month suspended sentence, but requested the court to allow him to do the time behind bars.

His sentence is suspended for two years.

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Counteracting the economic and political blues

SEOUL (SE): How to counteract the economic and political blues? 

Well, according to the results of a survey carried out by the Hankyoreh Social Policy Research Institute and the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs, released in the Republic of Korea in February this year, getting deeper into politics may provide the cure.

A report published in the Hankyoreh News on February 14 says that in the 20 to 40 age bracket, there is hope in the future.

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