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First Indian layperson beatified

TAMIL NADU (Agencies): Devasahayam Pillai became the first lay person from India to be made a blessed by the Church at a ceremony presided over by Anglo Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in Tamil Nadu, India, on December 2, CWNews.com reports.

Born in 1712, he was an official in the court of King Mathanada Varma and received baptism under the influence of a Dutch ship’s captain, Eustacheus Benedictus de Lenoy, who was a prisoner of the king.

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Bishop of Taipei on the Year of Faith

TAIPEI (AsiaNews): In calling the Year of Faith a special year for the Church all over the world, Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan, from Taipei in Taiwan, said that materialism and nihilism are two universal problems that he believes the faith has the ability to counteract.

He described the Church Taiwan as a small group of around 300,000 people plus around 100,000 Filipino migrant workers as being a significant presence, even though the total population is just under 23 million people.

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Indigenous bible helps restore cultural identity in Taiwan

TAIPEI (UCAN): The Tsou indigenous people of central Taiwan number only around 7,000, but a significant number of them are Catholic and this Christmas, they are looking forward to receiving a special gift from Father Anton Weber, who will present them with a copy of the New Testament in their own Tsou language.

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Acquittal of child on blasphemy charges good precedent

 

ISLAMABAD (AsiaNews): Paul Bhatti, the special adviser to the prime minister of Pakistan on national harmony, called the acquittal of Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Catholic girl reported to be suffering from a mental disability, on charges of blasphemy by the High Court in Islamabad, on November 20, a source of double satisfaction.

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Catechist centre opened in Mongolia

ULAANBAATAR (AsiaNews): Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, described the Year of Faith for his young Church as a key year for all of us. We must bring this challenge to all the parishes to revitalise our mission.”

The Filipino bishop added, “The Year of Faith is a challenge and an invitation to share the catechism. This is why now more than ever, Catholic educators are critical.”

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Holy See celebrates links with Taipei

 

TAIPEI (UCAN): Taiwan and the Holy See celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations on October 20 in a low-key ceremony held in Taipei, specifically designed not to antagonise the authorities in mainland China.

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Reality of post-war Sri Lanka

 

HONG KONG (SE): Despite the rhetoric coming out of the mouth of the Sri Lankan government in Colombo, priests and Church personnel report that somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people, who were picked up in 2009 and accused of having links with the banned Liberations Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), remain in detention.

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Bad year for religious freedom in Asia

 

ROME (UCAN): A new report released on October 17 in Rome by Aid to the Church in Need on the religious freedom of minority groups in Asia says that persecution of Christians has continued or worsened in many countries in Asia during the past 12 months.

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Indian prime minister insults the nation

 

HONG KONG (SE): “The mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good,” said the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, on October 10, in condemning a widespread protest movement running under the theme of India Against Corruption.

Singh’s outburst has prompted people to question exactly what good he expects corruption will do for the nation.

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Dreaming of a liturgy where people feel the living God in their midst

 

MIRI (SE): The Sixteenth Asia Liturgy Forum began in Miri, Sarawak, in East Malaysia, on October 16 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, as the purpose of the forum is to incorporate its spirit into the liturgies of the Asian Church.

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