Meet the priest who was kidnapped by the Taliban and lived to tell about it

He was kidnapped by the Taliban and lived to tell about it. His name is Alexis Prem Kumar. A Catholic priest from India, who was volunteering in a school in Afghanistan. One day his life turned upside down. FR. ALEXIS PREM KUMAR Kidnapping Victim “They put me in the backside of the car and they told me, not to look around and they asked me to lie down. Then, they told me if you look out, we will shoot you.” He was taken hostage by four gunmen. When he arrived … Continue reading

LIBYA Islamic State group kidnaps three Christian workers


The abduction occurred near Sirte, east of Tripoli. The victims come from Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana. In its statement to social media, the Islamic State group also posted the passport pictures of the three men. In the recent past, the Jihadi group beheaded some 20 Copts in Libya. Yesterday, four Italian workers were also abducted. Sirte (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Islamic State (IS) kidnapped three Christian men from Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana, this according to a statement the group posted on social media with their passport pictures. The three men were … Continue reading

IS launches media offensive to recruit Russian nationals


by Nina Achmatova With the creation of Furat Media, the once piecemeal output and propaganda in Russian have become unified. The goal is to recruit militants in the former Soviet sphere and impose ideological conformity outside the Arab world. Moscow (AsiaNews) – The Islamic State (IS) group has stepped up its Russian-language propaganda efforts, another sign that it is becoming more powerful in the post-Soviet countries, this according to The Guardian newspaper, which reprinted an article published by Radio Free Europe that analyses the latest development in the IS media … Continue reading

Iranians celebrate the end of sanctions in the streets


“It’s another revolution! Be happy!” a group of girls shouted. Like them, thousands of other Iranians took to the streets last night, singing and dancing. Such behaviour is officially banned in the Islamic republic but was tolerated. Still, many Iranians are aware of hard-liners’ strength. “”Will the revolutionary Guard support the deal?” wondered one Iranian. Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thousands of Iranians shouted “freedom” last night as they celebrated in Tehran and other Iranian cities the announcement of a deal in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear programme that would end 12 years … Continue reading

Baghdad, Christians kidnapped and killed. Chaldean Patriarchate asks for protection and security


In the last two weeks four community members were kidnapped in the capital; for two of them their kidnapping ended with the death, despite the payment of ransom. In a statement the Patriarchate denounces deteriorating security and appeals to the government for the protection of persons and their property. Baghdad (AsiaNews) – With “deep regret” the leaders of the Iraqi Chaldean Church denounce a worsening situation in terms of security in the country, in which “groups and individuals” target “innocent people” killing them or extorting money. Even the Christian community … Continue reading

ASIA/SYRIA – Archbishop Antiba confirms the kidnapping of Father Antoine Boutros and his collaborator


Khabab (Agenzia Fides) – “I can confirm that Father Antoine Boutros and his collaborator Said Al-Abdun, who have been missing since last Sunday, were actually stopped and seized by one of the several armed rebel groups that are in the area. Since their disappearance we have not received any news or demands from the kidnappers”. This is what Mgr. Nicolas Antiba, Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Bosra and Hauran confirms to Agenzia Fides with regards to the hypothesis of the kidnapping, which circulated since the first hours after the disappearance of father … Continue reading

Agreement on Iran’s nuclear deal will see inspections in exchange for an end to sanctions


UN inspectors will be allowed to question scientists and inspect military sites. “This deal is not built on trust – it is built on verification,” said Obama. For his Iranian counterpart, Rouhani, it is a “victory of diplomacy and mutual respect over outdated paradigm of exclusion and coercion. And this will be good beginning.” Vienna (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iran and the 5+1 Group (the five permanent members of the Security Council, United States US, Russia, China, Great Britain and France, plus Germany) have reached an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. At … Continue reading

PAKISTAN Lahore: a new future for the children of Shama and Shahzad, burnt alive


by Muslims by Shafique Khokhar The Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation took charge of the Catholic couple’s four children, and are providing them with an education. The eldest, Suleiman and Sonia, have past their year-end exam with flying colours. For Fr Mendes, the “Foundation is not just paying their fees, but is giving them the love they miss so badly.” Lahore (AsiaNews) – The four children of Shama and Shahzad Masih, a Catholic couple that was stoned to death and burnt by a group of Muslims in November 2014 after … Continue reading

Pakistan bans translation of Islam’s “sacred words” into English


“Forbidden” WORDS include Allah (God), Masjid (mosque), Sala’t (prayer) and Rasool (the Prophet). Christian activist slams policy for its “negative impact on Christians and religious minorities.” Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Pakistan has banned the translation of Islamic words and Arabic names into English. Local media report that on June 4 last, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved a document that prohibits the translation of words such as Allah (God), Masjid (mosque), Sala’t (prayer) and Rasool (the Prophet) . Many Muslim leaders have welcomed the move, but it has drawn criticism … Continue reading

Terrorist attack victim: “Being strong is your only option”

On October 17, 1991, the Spanish terrorist group ETA planted a bomb under the her mother’s car. The explosion mutilated a 12-year-old girl and took her mother’s arm and leg. More than two decades have passed since the tragedy, and now that girl is speaking about how she has moved forward in life. IRENE VILLA Bombing victim and paralympic athlete “I always say you do not know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. When you have no choice, you discover a stronger and more powerful … Continue reading