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Indian police name bishop in murder case

KERELA (UCAN): Kottayam archdiocese announced on July 24 that it is to take legal action against India’s top law enforcement agency after it implicated a retired archbishop in the murder of a religious sister 20 years ago.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese said it would file a criminal case against the Central Bureau of Investigation and the media for defaming “our most respected leader and the religious.”

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Korean rights advocate says he was abused in China

SEOUL (UCAN): Kim Young-hwan, a campaigner for human rights in The Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea, said on July 25 that he was physically abused by state security agents during almost four months of detention in China.

Speaking publicly for the first time about his ordeal following his arrest on March 29 in northeastern China, Kim told a press conference in Seoul that his captors tried to force him to admit that he violated China state security laws.

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Catholic lay group invited to North Korea

ROME (UCAN): The Community of Sant’Egidio, a lay organisation devoted to promoting peace in the world, was invited to visit Pyongyang in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to deliver 25 tonnes of food aid.

Mauro Garofalo, who made the trip on behalf of the community between May 24 and 30 to oversee the distribution of the food, described it as rare for the reclusive government of North Korea to approach a Catholic group for assistance.

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Japanese police on notice to respect religious freedom

Osaka (UCAN): Japanese police came under fire for making an arrest on church grounds when, on May 27, Pentecost Sunday, they entered Kaizuka Catholic Church in Kawasaki City, Kanazawa Prefecture, without a warrant to investigate and arrest a man on immigration charges. The incident sparked protests both in Yokohama diocese and at the national level.

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Site of Kublai Khan’s capital makes UNESCO list

Bangkok (UCAN): The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) named Kublai Khan’s ancient capital, Xanadu (Shangdu), to the World Heritage List during its 36th World Heritage Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29.

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ASEAN’s vague approach to human rights puts more pressure on Church

HONG KONG (SE): While the drafting of a Human Rights Declaration by the nations of ASEAN is seen as an important initiative, the Church-affiliated Asian Centre for the Progress for Peoples says it hopes the declaration will not result in a lowering of the standards set by international human rights norms.

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Church in Mongolia celebrates its first 20 years

ULAANBAATAR (AsiaNews): “A small but lively community, thanking God for the great things he has done for her,” Bishop Wenceslao Padilla said in describing the Church in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, during the preparation for the celebration of the first 20 years of its life in the country.

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Chapel cruises to help needy children

TAIPEI (UCAN): Bishop Martin Su Yao-wen signed a memorandum of cooperation recently with a local ship-building company to produce a floating chapel in his diocese of Taichung, Taiwan.

Able to hold 48 people, the chapel will be designed to sail on Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan’s second-largest body of water. The diocese has tourists and pilgrims in its sights as possible clients.

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Arms trade robs the poor Asian bishops say

NEW DELHI (AsiaNews): “Arms trade is a major cause of human rights abuses,” said Archbishop Charles Bo, from Yangon in the Union of Myanmar.

In an appeal to the bishops of Asia, the president of the Office of Human Development of the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences is calling on world leaders to sign the Arms Trade Treaty.

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Hit men unleashed on church in Vietnam

HANOI (AsiaNews): A group of people in the Con Cuong district of Nghe An province in Vietnam were attacked by thugs believed to be hit men acting under instructions of the government Patriotic Front on July 1.

Local Church people say that this is the latest in a series of attacks targeting Church communities. AsiaNews reported that it was told the hit men were paid $US25 ($194) to beat up the people and the priest.

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