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No support for families headed by women in Sri Lanka

 

TRINCOMALEE (AsiaNews): The Women’s Desk of the National Fisheries Solidarity Organisation in Sri Lanka has released a report on households headed by women.

Titled, Empower women-headed families, ensure right to life, the report says that in some eastern villages, there are families are without shelter.

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Mission from France to Japan and back

YOKOHAMA (UCAN): Bishop Yoshinao Otsuka paid a visit to the town of Digna in the French diocese of Saint-Claude during August last year to visit the grave a long-forgotten supporter of the Japanese Church, Father Leon Robin of Saint-Claude (1802 to 1882).

The connecting link between the current bishop of Kyoto and the long-departed parish priest is a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that St. Francis Xavier is said to have smuggled into Japan in 1549.

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More dispute over Christian use of Allah

KUALA LUMPUR (Agencies): The Christian Federation of Malaysia, an umbrella body representing 90 per cent of Christian Churches across the country, is insisting that Christians have a constitutional right to describe its god as Allah, as the word has been in Malay-language bibles for more than 400 years, despite a Selangor decree that threatens to limit the use of the word to Muslim groups only.

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Church leaders in Myanmar call for peace as fighting continues

Mandalay (Agencies): Artillery shelling and fighting continued between troops of the government of the Union of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Hka Ya, near La Ja Yang, Kachin State, despite a January 19 ceasefire order from the country’s president, Thein Sein. 

According to UCA News, the spokesperson for the KIA, La Nan, said, “The … announcement has yet to reach to the military troops. They are still attacking…”

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India’s caste system cast in stone

NEW DELHI (UCAN): A bill introduced into the parliament in India aimed at boosting the social status of dalits (formerly known as untouchables) and tribal people was blocked by the lower house of the parliament in New Delhi on December 20.

If passed into law, the Constitutional Amendment Bill would have introduced legislation giving the nation’s lowest castes a guaranteed quota in government job promotions.

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Delhi rape an attack on life itself

MUMBAI (AsiaNews): “It is not only a terrible act of violence, but an attack on life itself,” Pascoal Carvalho, a physician and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said of the gang rape in New Delhi, India, of a 23-year-old woman on December 16 last year.

On December 29, the victim was admitted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital, a specialised facility in Singapore, where doctors hoped to stabilise her condition and save her life. But the unnamed woman died on the same day.

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Is new Korean president out of step with the Church?

SEOUL (SE): Many hearts in the Catholic Church sank when the news broke on December 19 last year that Juliana Park Geun-hye had won the election to become the next president of the Republic of Korea, UCA News reported.

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Vietnam tightens screws on religious practice

HANOI (AsiaNews): Christians and Buddhists in Vietnam say they are concerned about the implications of a new decree issued by the government in Hanoi on January 1 this year circumscribing freedom of religious worship.

Known as Decree 92, it introduces new restrictions on freedom of worship in the country and seems to be following the Chinese model for future decision-making in matters of faith expression and practice.

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Vatican and Taiwan tie up education deal

VATICAN (Agencies): An exchange of notes between the Vatican and Taipei took place on December 17 with the secretary of state for the Vatican and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan tying up of an agreement between the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China on collaboration in the field of higher education and on the recognition of studies, qualifications, diplomas and degrees, the Vatican Information Service reported.

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Christmas celebrated in hope and fear

 

HONG KONG (SE): While Christians in Iraq faced the Christmas season of peace and joy in fear and trepidation, Catholics in Nepal reported that they were looking forward to their first Christmas in many years without threats of violence from Hindu fundamentalist groups.

Then, in normally peaceful Japan, people faced the festive season in a mood of crisis and worry, as Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, from Nagasaki, put it, “It is not a time to celebrate in a consumerist society.”

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