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An opening given to the Rohingya

KUALA LUMPUR (AsiaNews): The Malaysian government has become one of the first to introduce a skills training programme for the Rohingya people who have fled persecution in the Union of Myanmar and failed to find a welcome in Bangladesh or Thailand.

The programme is aimed at turning out semi-skilled workers that can be absorbed into the country’s labour market. It will also normalise their status in the country in order to give them the protection of labour legislation.

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Challenge to be generous with wealth

February 8 is the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita. At her canonisation in 2000, Pope John Paul II said that in the life of the former slave, we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation, a life that inspires not passive acceptance, but firm resolve to work effectively to return those deprived of their rights to true freedom.

On 30 November 2007, Pope Benedict XVI wrote in In Hope We are Saved (Spe Salvi) a summary of her entire life as an outstanding example of Christian hope.








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It is Muslims that welcome refugees

It is truly an age of disbelief. Respect for the values of human life has plunged. The number of people of Christian faith, who declare belief in the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth that upholds the dignity and rights of the human person, stand with the poor and the excluded, share with the refugees and the homeless, is at an all-time low.








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Something does not love a wall in Calais

LONDON (SE): When on 26 June 1963 the then-president of the United States of America, John Kennedy, quoted Robert Frost as saying, “Something there is that does not love a wall,” while standing before the concrete divide of East and West Berlin, he touched a deep chord in people’s hearts.

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Refugees and the Olympic spirit

RIO DE JANEIRO (SE): “I extend my greetings and wish you success at the Olympic Games in Rio—that your courage and strength find expression through the Olympic Games and serve as a cry for peace and solidarity,” Pope Francis wrote in a letter addressed to each one of the 14 members of the first ever team to represent, not a country, but a people with no soil of their own on which to place their feet.

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Meal of Love a welcome for torture claimants

HONG KONG (UCAN): Every two months people from the parish of Ss. Peter and Paul at Yuen Long gather together with a group of torture claimants for a shared at the high school campus that adjoins the church compound.

Hosted by the parish and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, what has been dubbed the Meal of Love is intended to break down the barriers that exist between Hong Kong locals and those seeking refuge in the city, who mostly come from southeast Asia and Africa.

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Refugees are our neighbours

HONG KONG (SE): A campaign to support refugees and torture claimants in Hong Kong organised by the ad hoc committee of the Jubilee of Mercy and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is underway.

An information afternoon was held at the Diocese Centre on May 21 in which the president of the ad hoc committee of the Jubilee of Mercy, Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, stated that taking care of our neighbours is what Christians should do.

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Pope reflects on his own message

PORT MYTILENE (CWN): In a question-and-answer session with reporters who accompanied the pope on his April 16 visit to the Greek island of Lesvos, Pope Francis acknowledged that his apostolic exhortation, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia) has changed the Church’s approach to the reception of communion by Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

But he stressed that the question is by no means the most important issue covered in his letter to the world.

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Vatican-sponsored refugees arrive in Rome

ROME (Agencies): The 12 refugees who were at risk of deportation from the Greek island of Lesvos that returned to Italy with Pope Francis got straight down to work, beginning classes in Italian just a few days after their arrival.

The three Syrian families spent their first day with their host community, the lay peace group of Sant’Egidio. On the following evening, a celebratory dinner was held in the Trastevere neighbourhood for the six adults, four children and two adolescents.

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A Good Samaritan up to his neck in water

MELBOURNE  (Agencies): Simon Lewis, the 32-year-old captain of the St. Kilda Surf Lifesaving Club at a popular beach in inner Melbourne, Australia, returned home on January 25 after spending 10 days as a Good Samaritan up to his neck in water helping refugees in the treacherous crossing between Turkey and the Greek islands, a well-worn route for people fleeing Syria.

SBS reported that he was inspired after being confronted with images of children who had drowned trying to reach Europe.

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