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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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New archbishop installed in Seou

SEOUL (AsiaNews): Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung was installed as the new metropolitan archbishop of Seoul, South Korea, on the 62nd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, June 25.

He chose the date specifically, as in taking on the position of archbishop of the nation’s capital city, he also becomes the apostolic administrator of the diocese of Pyongyang, in North Korea.

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Getting ready for an upset in migration patterns

TAIPEI (UCAN): Asia should prepare for a dramatic change in international migration trends due to the worsening debt crisis in Europe, said the secretary general of the Geneva-based International Catholic Migration Commission, Johan Ketelers, at meeting on migration held in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on June 27.

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Chinese Buddhists won’t sit with Tibetan counterparts

SEOUL (AsiaNews): The Buddhist Jogye Order, one of the oldest and most respected in South Korea and in the world, attacked a Chinese delegation for walking out of the 26th conference organised by the Friendship of the Worldwide Buddhists held in Yeosu from June 11 to 16, because a Tibetan delegation was present.

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Lay off the bishop parliamentarian pleads

COLOMBO (UCAN): Over 5,000 people attended a public show of support for Bishop Rayappu Joseph from the northern Mannar diocese of Sri Lanka, as an opposition member of the parliament was putting pressure on the government to stop harassing the bishop, saying it has led to threats being made against him.

In a letter sent to Pope Benedict XVI on June 13, Jayalath Jayawardena said the bishop is coming under increasing attack by several government ministers and the media.

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Shrine now a national pilgrimage site

Nagasaki (UCAN): Nishizaka hill, Nagasaki, the site of the 1597 martyrdom of Paul Miki and companions, was declared a national pilgrimage site at a June 10 ceremony, two days after the 150th anniversary of their canonisation in 1862.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan decided at its plenary session last February to mark the anniversary by making the declaration.

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Sri Lankan member of parliament proposes barring religions from government

Colombo (UCANews): Opposition lawmaker, Wijedasa Rajapakse, proposed amending Sri Lanka’s constitution to create a clear separation between politics and religion in the country. 

The member of the President’s Counsel submitted a Private Member’s Bill to parliament on May 31 that, if passed, would prevent religious leaders of any faith profession from becoming a member of parliament or local government bodies.

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