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Philippine government tries to deport sister again

MANILA (UCAN/VaticanNews): Philippine authorities have again ordered the immediate deportation of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox after she was declared an “undesirable alien” by the Bureau of Immigration in a 19-page resolution released on July 19, UCAN reported on July 20.
 
Bureau spokesperson, Dana Krizia Sandoval, said the board of commissioners decided that Sister Fox’s actions were “inimical to the interest of the state.”
 

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Around the Traps

Shroud of Turin expert criticises new study casting doubt on authenticity
 
VATICAN (CNS): Emanuela Marinelli, a leading expert on the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus, dismissed a new study claiming that blood patterns on the shroud are not consistent with those left by a crucified person. 
 

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Indian state called out for harassing Christians

Bhopal (UCAN): Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, called on the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to intervene and stop the harassment of Christians after the state of Jharkhand ordered a probe into the funding of more than 80 Christian organisations.
 

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Duterte failing the Filipino worker

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine trade union workers voiced their support for the Philippine Church’s declaration of July 17 to 19 as National Days of Fasting and Almsgiving in protest against a wave of killings and the president’s blasphemous attacks on God, as they began the People’s March for Justice, Democracy, Freedom and Just Peace, a weeklong march from the southern Tagalog region to the capital Manila.
 

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Legislating a new Philippine Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN): Mindanao is now on the “cusp of peace” Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato, said as the Philippine congressional body drafting legislation to create a new Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, approved a final version of the Bangsamoro Organic Law late on July 18.
 

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Myanmar farmland grabs condemned

MANDALY (UCAN): Myanmar must provide redress for illegally confiscating land and enact laws and regulations “to safeguard the rights of farmers” and other small landholders, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a July 17 report.
 
The report said that over the last 30 years the government as well as military officials have seized hundreds of thousands of acres from farmers while providing little or no compensation and that this has jeopardised their livelihoods and eroded their access to basic services.
 

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Syriac Catholic young people celebrate their faith

BEIRUT (CNS): Driven by zeal and strong ties to the roots of their faith, 450 young people from all over the world gathered in Lebanon for the first Syriac Youth International Convention, open to people between 18 and 35 years of age.
 

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Rescue shines harsh light on Italy’s migrant policy

ROME (CNS): Tweeting with hashtags that translate as “Closed ports” and “Open hearts,” Matteo Salvini, the interior minister of Italy, disputed claims that the Italian government was complicit in leaving a migrant to die in the Mediterranean Sea as she clung to a board from a destroyed fishing boat.
 
Salvini strongly supported Italy’s policy of having the Libyan coast guard patrol its own shores, pushing back refugee boats or taking the migrants and refugees back to camps in Libya.
 

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Buddhist group banned again in Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): On July 20, Myanmar’s Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee (Ma Ha Na), the government-appointed body that regulates Buddhist clergy, ordered the Buddha Dhamma Parahita Foundation, formerly known as Ma Ba Tha, to end its activities and remove its signboards within 45 days.

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Our commitment is stronger in critical times

I am writing this as a Christian missionary who came to the Philippines 49 years ago. It was a critical time then as it is now and we have many challenges to our commitment to serve humanity, preserve life, love and protect the stranger.