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Claim that proselytism charges in India fabricated

 MUMBAI (AsiaNews): “The number of Christians targeted by Hindu extremists is on the rise and the situation is alarming,” Sajan K George, the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, warned at the end of August.

This followed the arrest of four Uppinangady Pentecostal Christians in Puttur Taluk (Dakshina Kannada district), accused of trying to convert a Dalit colony in Nidle Boodujalu by force.

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Opposition to HIV status on health cards in Taiwan

TAIPEI (Agencies): A protest was launched on August 31 in Taipei, Taiwan, against a government proposal to include HIV/AIDS status on personal health insurance cards. The protesters argue that the added information does not ensure the safety of donated organs, as claimed by proponents of the idea.

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Challenge to confessional seal challenges basis of free society

HONG KONG (SE): One of the most sacred beliefs and practices, the absolute seal of the confessional, is at stake in the Republic of Ireland, which is a matter of concern for the whole of the free world.

The prime minister, Enda Kenny, has been widely reported as threatening legislation to make reporting of sexual abuse of minors a mandatory act, even if the information is gleaned under the seal of confession.

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Czech bishop celebrates 60th anniversary

 VATICAN CITY (Agencies): Pope Benedict XVI has given public recognition to 87-year-old Ján Cardinal Chryzostom Korec, who was ordained clandestinely as a bishop in 1951, when he was a newly-ordained 27-year-old priest in Communist-ruled Czechoslovakia.
The pope called him a hard-working, faithful and prudent pastor in a letter sent to the cardinal in Latin, which was later made public on the 60th anniversary of his episcopal ordination.
L’Osservatore Romano described the ordination as having been “carried out very hastily, in an apartment, with the fear that the pol

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Vatican responds to Irish government report on clerical sexual abuse

 VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican is forcefully denying it undermined the Irish bishops’ efforts to protect children from sexual abuse and characterises claims made by Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, that it tried to interfere in government investigations into Church handling of sex abuse cases as unfounded, in a 19-page communiqué, issued on September 3.
The communiqué recognises the seriousness of the government report on the diocese of Cloyne, released on July 13, a

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Vietnam amnesty for common criminals only

 VATICAN CITY (SE): Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop says that a decision by the government of Vietnam to release 10,000 prisoners on September 2, National Independence Day, will principally affect common criminals, not human rights advocates or those arrested for struggling for religious freedom.
The chairperson of the Justice and Peace Commission says, “The amnesty is a measure that is repeated every year and is often for prisoners held for crimes regarding security and not for people who are in prison for reasons of conscience.

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Church in Nepal fights anti-conversion law


KATHMANDU (AsiaNews): The Catholic Church has condemned a proposed new penal code being put forward by the government in Nepal that would prohibit religious conversions.
Father Shilas Bogati and Father Pius Perumana, both from Kathmandu, have published a public report highlighting what they call inconsistencies in sections 160.1 and 160.2.

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Chinese press compares euro debt crisis with Black Death

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The People’s Daily reported on August 22 that Europe’s deadly debt crisis will harm the economy in China.

 The top newspaper of the Communist Party is blaming western democracy for the crisis, while claiming that China’s own financial success is due to its political and economic model.

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Group of Australian Catholics appeals to pope for an ear

HONG KONG (SE): “The Church no longer adequately inspires many of our communities. It has alienated too many adults who were born of Catholic parents, attended Catholic schools and lived a sacramental life.

“It has become disconnected from and irrelevant to the lives of too many of our children,” a letter, signed by 3,337 people addressed to Pope Benedict XVI and the Australian Bishops’ Conference, reads.

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Around the Traps

 World Youth Day pumps €160 million into Spain

MADRID (CWNews.com): The head of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, Arturo Fernandez, estimates that an extra €160 million ($1.782 billion) was ploughed into the Spanish economy during the World Youth Day celebrations that ended on August 21.

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