SAUDI ARABIA Riyadh: women to travel without guardian’s permission


New passport rules are under study. Currently, Saudi women come under the guardianship of male family members – fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, and, if they are divorced or orphaned, sons – who alone can grant permission not only to travel, but also leave home, work or go to school. Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Saudi Arabia is currently drafting new regulations that would see women travel without the permission of their guardians. Major General Sulaiman Al-Yahya, director general of the passport department in Riyadh, said the rules would be based on the … Continue reading

CHINA – VATICAN Bishop Martin Wu of Zhouzhi installed today, 10 years after his episcopal ordination


by Jian Mei After years of restrictions, msgr Wu is now free to work openly as the bishop of Zhouzhi. Bishop Dang Mingyan of Xi’an and Bishop John Baptist Yang Xiaoting of Yulin, originally from Zhouzhi, as well as about 70 priests attended and concelebrated. Beijing (AsiaNews) – Bishop Joseph Martin Wu Qinjing was installed to work openly as the bishop of Zhouzhi, Shaanxi Province, today, on July 10 at 9 am at the Cathedral of Immaculate Heart of Mary of Zhouzhi. Bishop Wu, appointed by the Holy Father, is … Continue reading

The Coptic Church of Saints Anthony and Paul distributes food to the poor Muslims for Ramadan


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – The Coptic Orthodox Church of Saints Anthony and Paul, in the Egyptian district of Nasser (the province of Beni Suef) oversees the weekly distribution of food parcels to hundreds of poor Muslim families during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month particularly characterized by the practice of fasting combined with prayer. This is what Coptic sources consulted by Agenzia Fides said. The food parcels offered by the Coptic parish are distributed in cooperation with the local mosque, and the synergy between imams, monks and priests and lay Christians … Continue reading

AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN – Appeal from Torit: the few NGOs that have remained in South Sudan must not leave over 4 million displaced alone


Juba (Agenzia Fides) – “It is necessary that the international community intervenes forcefully to stop the fratricidal war between the supporters of President Salava Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar”, says, in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides, Fr. Mark Opere Omol, spokesman for the diocese of Torit in South Sudan, in the grip since December 2013 of a catastrophic civil war. “The UN estimates that about 4 million and 600 thousand people are at risk of starvation. There is need for emergency aid to help the displaced people … Continue reading

More spoiled food: Nepal threatens sanctions on World Food Program


by Christopher Sharma 514 tons of rotten peas found in World Food Program warehouse. It is not the first scandal to hit the United Nations agency. A few weeks ago moldy rice was found. The government ordered an investigation to clarify. The WFP rejects the accusations: “These commodities had already been withdrawn from distribution.” Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – The government of Nepal is threatening strict sanctions on organizations that continue to distribute rotten food to the victims of the earthquake on 25 April. These would include the World Food Program (WFP), … Continue reading

Caritas Jerusalem Director: We are in a total and continuous situation of emergency

For nearly 50 years, Caritas Jerusalem has helped the Palestinian population in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. The group’s current leader said that the challenges today are as difficult as ever. FR. RAED ABUSAHILA General Director, Caritas Jerusalem “Actually, we are in a total and continuous situation of emergency. So the first need for us is peace and reconciliation. So our own appeal is that the international community should intervene and help both sides – Israel and Palestine – to resolve this conflict.” However, with a … Continue reading

‘Returning to Iraq During IS Occupation Was a Call From God’


Auxiliary Bishop Yaldo of Baghdad, Speaks on Challenges of Evangelizing Amid Persecution Grottammare, June 23, 2015 ( Luca Marcolivio | 2149 hits An extraordinary testimony of Christian faith in a time of persecution was given at the end of the meeting “Pellegrini nel Cyberspazio” (Pilgrims in Cyberspace) (Grottammare-Ascoli Piceno, June 18-20), by Bishop Basel Yaldo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Chaldean Patriarchate of Baghdad for the past five months. The Prelate asked the journalists in the hall “to make the whole world hear the voice of a suffering Church.” He then … Continue reading

AFRICA/EGYPT – The campaign to “clean up” the bookshops and libraries of mosques of extremist propaganda continues


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – Operations to collect all books and materials of extremist and fundamentalist propaganda, that had been widely disseminated especially during the government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, have been going on for a year in bookshops and libraries of mosques in all of Egypt. The news was reported, during a television program, by Sheikh Mohammed Abdel Razek, a senior official of the Ministry for Religious endowment (Waqf), confirming that the work ahead is still long, and that the operation of remediation is carried out in collaboration with … Continue reading

Pakistan: the “crime” of being women and non Muslim


by Kamran Chaudhry The Christian NGO Centre for legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) organized a meeting over violence against women. More than 900 cases of honor killings, 500 cases of abductions and more than 400 cases of gang rapes were reported in Punjab last year. Lahore (AsiaNews) – Being women is the “first crime” in our society while being a non Muslim women is a double crime, said Mehboob Khan legal aid advisor of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan HRCP. Centre for legal Aid Assistance and Settlement discussed concerns … Continue reading

INDONESIA Yogyakarta: Islamists expel thousands of Christians from a scout camp because it is Ramadan


by Mathias Hariyadi Organised by an Indonesian Protestant group for the period of 1-5 July, the gathering was shut down on its second day following a raid by Muslim fundamentalists. For a radical Muslim leader, Christians were not authorised to organise an event that violates the sacredness of the Islamic month of fasting and prayer. Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A group of Indonesian Islamic extremists attacked and disrupted a scout camp organised by a Protestant group in Yogyakarta, central Java. The gathering had brought together thousands of young people. According to … Continue reading