251 Economic development

06/11/2012 NIGERIA – ISLAM

Boko Haram wants to spark a war between Christians and Muslims, Jos bishop says


Lebanon remembers its “friend” John Paul II

by Youssef Hourany

11/08/2006 INDONESIA

Men who beheaded three Christian schoolgirls were preparing a hundred more decapitations in Sulawesi

by Benteng Reges

11/27/2012 SYRIA

Nuncio in Damascus: Do not forget the Syrians and pray for them

08/08/2006 INDIA

Need for more children and a better family life, says the Indian Church

06/20/2013 15:53


Card John Onayekam: Religion and terrorist violence in Nigeria

by card. John Onayekan

There is no “war of religion” in Nigeria but a series of terrorist attacks by locals and foreigners. Christians and Muslims alike criticise Boko Haram. The government’s ineptitude has accentuated the problem. The Archbishop of Abuja speaks on the matter at the Oasis Conference.

Milan (AsiaNews) – Card John Onayekam, archbishop of Abuja, speaks about the situation in Nigeria at the annual meeting of the Oasis Centre (for more click here and here). In his sweeping analysis, the cardinal indicates how Boko Haram, a terrorist organisation responsible for several massacres of Christians, represents a minority view that has foreign support but one that is criticised by local Muslims. In his address, the prelate outlined a path toward reconciliation in the country.

Let us begin with the general observation that there is violence in the Nigerian culture and I imagine like in every culture. Apart from the history of the inter-tribal wars in the past and of the colonial conquest of our land as well as the resistance to that conquest, our independent Nigeria has also seen the experience of the Nigerian Civil War in which there was a lot of violence and killing. Following this experience, the country has had to deal very much with criminals, armed robbers, militants and kidnappers, most of which are a carry-over from the situation of violence in the last decades. There is also the communal violence that has been in the country every now and then between different ethnic groups, between social groups, even between political groups. Our elections have often been marred by serious violence. In this context therefore, the religious dimension simply falls into a relatively “normal” pattern. People quarrel and fight over many things, including over their religion.

Terrorism is something new in our country. By terrorism, we mean violent actions that entail indiscriminate killing of innocent people, with no clear logical reasons. The terrorism that we see presently in Northern Nigeria, especially the Boko Haram in North East Nigeria, is therefore an anomaly in our nation. The members are mainly local elements. But they have definitely foreign links and backing. It is suggested that the leaders themselves have been part of terrorist cells and movements outside Nigeria, in the hot spots of world Islamic terrorism like Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and more recently, Mali. Sometimes the terrorists target specific people, for example, government institutions and sad to say, churches and Christians. Whether the attack against churches and Christians is specifically religious and if so for what purpose, it is still very difficult to understand. We note however that they sometimes speak of their desire to impose by force on the whole of Nigeria an Islamic state governed by a strict form of the Sharia. At other times, they have ordered all non-Muslims to vacate their section of the country, a futile call that fails to recognize the complexity of the Muslim-Christian presence on the Nigerian territory. In all this, the terrorism we are noticing has brought in a new level of virulence in the damage they cause to human lives and properties.

To talk of religious terrorism in Nigeria, we must say a little bit of religion in Nigeria. It is often said that Nigeria has three religions – African Traditional Religion, Islam and Christianity. But most Nigerians, we will say more than 90%, claim to be either Christians or Muslims. But at the same time, most of them retain their firm root in the African Traditional Religion. The distribution of the different faith is anything but even. Although the North is largely Muslim, the South East is largely Christian and the South West and Middle Belt are very mixed. That is about all one can say. To speak of a Muslim North and a Christian South is to say the least very inaccurate. The fact is that every part of Nigeria has some elements of both Islam and Christianity.

Generally, relationship between Nigerians of different faiths is cordial and good and still remains so despite the recent events. It is precisely on the basis of this good relationship that we are building our efforts to overcome our present challenges. The terrorist tensions that we are now experiencing are surely an anomaly that we believe will be overcome, sooner than later. Already, in recent weeks, there is much talk and debate about dialogue with those who are ready to lay down their arms, in view of the possibility of the offer of an amnesty, under conditions still to be determined. Of recent, the Federal Government has set up a committee made up mostly of devout Muslim to reach out to the militants with a view to working out any possible modalities for such an amnesty program. The committee is still to come out with any tangible result.

Religious Violence in Nigeria is very often with mixed motives. What appears as religious violence may actually be due to ethnic, political or socio-economic reasons. For example, where two neighbouring or even overlapping ethnic groups are fighting over scarce resources, if one is largely Christian and the other is largely Muslim, their struggles and their battles become battles between Christians and Muslims, even though religion may have little or no part to play in the origin and course of the conflict. In this regard, there are many cases now where communities of farmers who are generally Christians are having to engage groups of nomadic Muslim cattle herders. The age-old antagonism between farmers and pastors, the story of Cain and Abel, is continuing even today. Because one side is seen as Christian and the other group is perceived as Muslim, the conflict is seen as a religious war. Cases where we have violence for purely religious reasons are indeed very rare. What is important now is to make sure that religion, which is a very important aspect of the life of Nigerians, is deployed as effectively as possible for peace all across the board.

Now let us talk specifically about the terrorist group in the North East of Nigeria generally called “Boko Haram” and their impact on religion in Nigeria. On the surface, they are perceived as religious. Everybody calls them “Islamic Terrorists”, an appellation that many Nigerian Muslims resent, on the ground that their activities are against the tenets of Islam. The fact however is that they are clearly Muslims and call themselves so. Not only that: in their exploits and attacks especially against Christians, they always shout the Islamic slogan “Allah u Akbar”. Therefore, the Muslim community in Nigeria cannot deny them, as it has tried to do for long, even though it is encouraging to know that they do not represent the authentic face of Islam in our country. That is why we believe that religious leaders have a role to play in containing and eventually solving this problem. The recent call of the Sultan of Sokoto, the most visible leader of the Nigerian Islamic community, for an amnesty for the terrorists, and the support that his proposal is receiving from some of us Christian leaders, has generated a debate that I believe will be very fruitful. In this regard, I have already mentioned the step taken by government to set up a committee to study this issue and offer recommendations for useful action.

On the whole, it would seem that the action of the government lacks coherence. For a long time, government tended to underestimate the seriousness of the phenomenon and approached it in the spirit of maintaining law and order. First, the police, then the army were sent to deal with them. Despite vigorous efforts in this line, the terrorists seemed to be waxing stronger and growing in number by the day. It has been alleged that the crude methods used by the security agents have often alienated the communities among whom the terrorists live and operate thus making their task ever more problematic. How does a soldier deal “nicely” with armed militants without uniform, melting with the people in the villages and practically turning the innocent civilian populations into a human shield? This has opened our government to some harsh criticism from some human rights organizations.

This may be why the government decided to try the approach of dialogue and offer of amnesty to militants who are ready to lay down their arms and embrace reconciliation. There is a great problem of who is going to negotiate with whom? The olive branch of government has been rejected outright by someone who claims to be speaking on behalf of Boko Haram. It is hoped that at least some others will accept the offer of peace.

For a long time, the Nigerian political class tended to political capital from the tragedy of a bloody insecurity. Government accused the opposition of fomenting the rebellion. The opposition condemned the government as incompetent and unable to rule the nation. In the midst of the finger pointing, Nigerians continued to be killed, and economic and social life were grinding to a halt in the more affected areas. It seems however that of recent there are signs of political cooperation at the highest level. A clear demonstration of this is the way a state of emergency was declared in three states along the north east borders of Nigeria, which are most affected by the insurgency: Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. In all these states, the democratic structures have been left in place, which means that the state governments of Borno and Yobe, under an opposition political party, is cooperating with the Federal Government in addressing the common danger.

With the state of emergency, the government has launched a vigorous and robust military action, which is already succeeding in dislodging and scattering the militants from their camps and installations. Very little news is coming from the battlegrounds. The military action involves both Nigerian and non-Nigerian troops from our neighbouring countries. It is also rumoured that our country has accepted specialized assistance of expertise and equipment from far away nations like Britain, USA and Israel. We are waiting and hoping for the best.

As the military action is going on, we need to think of what comes next after this phase of military engagement. We are still waiting to see what plans we have for genuine reconciliation, rehabilitation and re-orientation of the many who have been convinced to turn against their nation. I believe this is where religious communities will have an important role to play. These few years of sectarian violence has done a lot of harm on our hard earned and fragile climate of good relations between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. Both communities will need to work hard to restore and promote mutual understanding and respect. This calls for hard work and patience especially on the part of the religious leaders in both camps.

Having said all the above, we must stress that the Boko Haram is a complex phenomenon. There are social, political and ethnic dimensions. All these factors must be addressed along with the religious dimension. Religion therefore becomes one among the many approaches to its solution. This religious approach should start with “the house of Islam”, doing all it can to put its own house in order. We Christians, on our part, need to have positive attitude to Islam in general, so that along with our brother Muslims, we can jointly face the challenge of Islamic Terrorism. It means seeking common grounds, stressing the things that bind us together, and emphasizing what we hold as shared religious values. Furthermore, we can jointly work to address the challenges that face us all, in terms of poverty, bad governance, sickness, etc. When we look at all these and we act together, we shall be able to build a community that can work and walk together as one body, one community, one nation, despite our different religions.

In all this, there is need for coordination of all our efforts. I believe this is where the responsibility of the government largely lies, a responsibility that, unfortunately, we have so far not been seeing much evidence of.

11/06/2012 NIGERIA – ISLAM

Vescovo di Jos: In Nigeria, Boko Haram vuole scatenare una guerra fra cristiani e musulmani

11/06/2012 NIGERIA

Nigeria, Boko Haram rivendica gli attentati contro due chiese: otto morti e oltre 50 feriti

03/01/2012 NIGERIA – ISLAM

Ultimatum di Boko Haram ai cristiani del Nord Nigeria: Sparite entro tre giorni

14/06/2013 INDONESIA

Java centrale: fatwa contro le scuole cattoliche, “proibite” ai musulmani

di Mathias Hariyadi

24/12/2009 INDONESIA

Indonesia, massima allerta per attacchi a chiese durante le funzioni del Natale

di Mathias Hariyadi

20/06/2013 13:32


Card. Onayekan: Religioni e violenza terrorista in Nigeria

di card. John Onayekan

In Nigeria non vi è una “guerra di religione”, ma una serie di attacchi terroristi con autori in parte locali e in parte stranieri. Boko Haram è criticato da cristiani e musulmani. Il problema è divenuto grave a causa dell’inettitudine del governo. L’intervento dell’arcivescovo di Abuja al Convegno di Oasis.

Milano (AsiaNews) – Fra le testimonianze ascoltate durante il convegno di Oasis (v. qui e qui), vi è quella sulla situazione della Nigeria, presentate dal card. John Onayekam, arcivescovo di Abuja. In questa analisi di ampio respiro, il porporato mostra come il fenomeno del Boko Haram, l’organizzazione terrorista autrice di diversi massacri di cristiani, sia costituita da una minoranza – criticata dall’islam locale – e con ramificazioni straniere. Il card. Onayekam traccia anche la pista per una riconciliazione del Paese.

Vorrei iniziare dicendo che la violenza appartiene alla cultura nigeriana, come del resto credo ad ogni cultura. Senza contare la storia delle antiche lotte tribali, della conquista coloniale e della relativa resistenza, la nostra Nigeria indipendente ha vissuto anche una dura guerra civile (detta “del Biafra”), nel corso della quale si sono verificate violenze e omicidi. In seguito, il Paese ha dovuto fronteggiare criminalità e sequestri, prodotto delle violenze degli ultimi decenni. C’è poi quella comune forma di violenza che ha sempre segnato il Paese: scontri etnici, sociali e politici. Le nostre elezioni sono state spesso macchiate da aspre violenze. In questo scenario, la componente religiosa rimane all’interno di uno schema più o meno “normale”. La gente lotta e si scontra su un gran numero di tematiche, ma la religione è solo una di queste.

Il terrorismo rappresenta un elemento di novità in Nigeria. Con il termine “terrorismo”, intendiamo tutte quelle azioni violente che portano all’uccisione indiscriminata di persone innocenti, senza alcuna logica apparente. Quella particolare forma che vediamo radicata nel nostro Paese, soprattutto Boko Haram nel nord-est, rappresenta una anomalia per la nostra nazione. I membri militanti sono locali. Ma essi hanno precisi legami e sostegno dall’estero. Si dice che i loro leader siano membri di cellule terroriste e movimenti fuori della Nigeria, nei punti caldi del terrorismo islamico come Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia e, di recente, anche il Mali. A volte i terroristi prendono di mira personalità specifiche, come uomini politici o, è triste da dire, cristiani e chiese. Ma è difficile da capire se gli attacchi ai cristiani e alle chiese abbiano un chiaro movente religioso e quale scopo. Notiamo che, di tanto in tanto, questi gruppi manifestano la loro volontà di istituire in Nigeria uno Stato islamico, governato da una severa forma di shari’a; in altri momenti, essi hanno ordinato a tutti i non musulmani di andarsene dalle regioni che essi occupano: un appello inutile, che non tiene conto della complessità della presenza islamo-cristiana sul territorio nigeriano. In tutto questo, il terrorismo ha introdotto un nuovo livello di virulenza nei danni che essi provocano alle vite umane e alle cose.

Per parlare di terrorismo religioso in Nigeria, occorre dire qualcosa sulle religioni in NIgeria. Spesso si dice che in Nigeria esistono tre religioni: quella tradizionale africana, quella musulmana e quella cristiana. Ma la maggior parte della popolazione, diciamo il 90%, si professa cristiana o musulmana. Allo stesso tempo, entrambi questi gruppi confessionali riconoscono le proprie radici nella religione tradizionale africana. La diffusione geografica delle due confessioni è piuttosto equilibrata. Sebbene il nord sia largamente musulmano e il sud-est a maggioranza cristiana, nella fascia centrale del Paese – nel Sudovest e nel centro – le due fedi sono mescolate. Parlare di nord musulmano e di un sud cristiano significa fornire un’analisi molto imprecisa. Di fatto in ogni parte della Nigeria vi sono elementi islamici e cristiani.

In generale, le relazioni tra nigeriani di gruppi confessionali differenti sono buone e cordiali, nonostante gli eventi più recenti. É proprio sulla base di questa buona relazione che tentiamo di costruire i nostri sforzi per superare le sfide presenti. Le derive terroristiche che stiamo sperimentando sono senz’altro un’anomalia che prima o poi verrà superata. Già alcune settimane fa si è registrato un dibattito con alcune frange estremiste disposte a deporre le armi in vista di una possibile amnistia a condizioni ancora da definire. Di recente, il governo federale ha dato vita a un comitato costituito in maggioranza da musulmani devoti, con il compito di incontrare i militanti e fare una proposta per giungere a un programma di amnistia. Questo comitato non è ancora riuscito a raggiungere un risultato tangibile.

La violenza religiosa in Nigeria ha molto spesso motivazioni diverse. Quello che a volte sembra odio religioso, potrebbe avere in realtà radici etniche, politiche e socio-economiche. Ad esempio, quando si registrano scontri per la scarsità di risorse tra due vicini o tra due gruppi etnici confinanti, se uno dei due è a maggioranza cristiana e l’altro è a maggioranza musulmana, lo si etichetta subito come scontro confessionale, anche se la religione c’entra poco. In questo senso si registrano molti episodi di agricoltori, generalmente cristiani, che si scontrano con gruppi di pastori di fede musulmana. L’antica disputa tra pastori e agricoltori, la storia di Caino e Abele, continua ancora oggi. E dato che un gruppo è cristiano e l’altro musulmano, il conflitto viene visto come un conflitto religioso. In realtà scontri di specifica matrice religiosa sono molto rari. L’importante, in questo momento, è piuttosto che la religione, aspetto fondamentale della vita di ogni nigeriano, si presenti come uno strumento di pace in grado di superare gli attriti.

Ora, parliamo più nel dettaglio del gruppo terroristico “Boko Haram”, insediatosi nel nord-est del Paese, e dell’impatto che questo ha avuto sulla religione in Nigeria. Nell’immediato, questi terroristi sono definiti fanatici religiosi. Tutti li chiamano ‘terroristi islamici’, un appellativo che molti musulmani nigeriani criticano. Dato che le loro azioni sono contro i precetti dell’islam. Il punto è che essi sono chiaramente musulmani, loro stessi si definiscono tali. Non solo questo: nelle loro gesta e attacchi contro i cristiani, essi gridano sempre lo slogan islamico “Allah u akbar”. Per questo, la comunità musulmana della Nigeria non può rinnegarli, come ha tentato di fare per anni, anche se è incoraggiante sapere che essi non rappresentano il volto autentico dell’islam nel nostro Paese.

Questo è il motivo per cui pensiamo che i leader religiosi giochino un ruolo determinante nel contenere e magari risolvere tale problema. Di recente, il sultano di Sokoto, il leader più influente della comunità musulmana nigeriana, ha lanciato un appello per un’amnistia da concedere ai terroristi. Il sostegno che la sua proposta sta raccogliendo tra alcuni leader della comunità cristiana, ha generato un dibattito che ritengo molto fruttuoso. Ho già citato la decisione del governo di istituire un comitato per studiare questo tema e offrire utili raccomandazioni per l’azione.

In generale, l’azione del governo pare mancare di coerenza. Per lungo tempo, il governo ha sottovalutato la serietà del fenomeno, affrontandolo solo con l’idea di voler far rispettare l’ordine e la legge. Per questo, si è usata prima la polizia, poi l’esercito.

Nonostante sforzi considerevoli, i terroristi sembrano diffondersi e crescere sempre di più. A quanto pare, i mezzi rozzi usati dalle forze di sicurezza hanno alienato le comunità in cui i terroristi vivono ed operano, rendendo più problematico il loro compito. Come può un soldato trattare “in maniera gentile” miliziani armati, senza vestire l’uniforme mescolandosi con la gente dei villaggi e in pratica trasformando la popolazione civile in uno scudo umano? Questo fattore ha scatenato le critiche di alcune organizzazioni per i diritti umani nei confronti del nostro governo.

Questo è forse il motivo che ha spinto il nostro governo a cercare di usare il dialogo e l’offerta di un’amnistia per chi è disposto a deporre le armi per la riconciliazione. C’è poi un grande problema: chi sta negoziando con chi? L’ulivo di pace del governo è stato rigettato da qualcuno che pretende di rappresentare Boko Haram. Si spera che qualcun altro possa accettare l’offerta di pace.

Per molto tempo, la classe politica nigeriana ha cercato di sfruttare questa tragedia di insicurezza e di sangue per accrescere consensi. Il governo ha accusato l’opposizione di fomentare la ribellione e l’opposizione ha bollato il governo come incompetente e incapace di guidare la nazione. Mentre gli uni e gli altri puntano il dito l’uno contro l’altro, i nigeriani hanno continuato ad essere uccisi e la situazione economica e sociale nelle regioni più colpite si è bloccata. Tuttavia, di recente pare vi siano segnali di cooperazione politica ai massimi livelli. Un chiaro segno di questa cooperazione è la dichiarazione dello stato di emergenza in tre Stati più colpiti dai ribelli, quelli lungo il confine nord-est della Nigeria: Borno, Yobe e Adamawa. In tutte queste aree, la struttura democratica è stata lasciata in opera: il che significa che i governi di Borno e Yobe – in mano all’opposizione – stanno collaborando con il governo centrale affrontando insieme il comune pericolo.

Insieme allo stato di emergenza, il governo ha lanciato una vigorosa e robusta iniziativa militare, che sta avendo un discreto successo, facendo uscire e disperdere i miliziani dai loro campi e installazioni. Le notizie dalle zone di battaglia restano però scarsissime. L’azione militare coinvolge sia truppe nigeriane che contingenti inviati dai Paesi limitrofi. Si dice che la Nigeria abbia ricevuto armi e addestramento strategico da nazioni lontane come Gran Bretagna, Stati Uniti e Israele. Aspettiamo e speriamo per il meglio.

Mentre l’azione militare prosegue, noi dobbiamo pensare a cosa verrà dopo. Siamo in attesa di vedere quali piani ci sono per una genuina riconciliazione, riabilitazione e ri-orientamento per i molti che sono stati convinti a mettersi contro la loro nazione. Io credo che questo sia il punto su cui le comunità religiose hanno un importante ruolo da giocare. Questi pochi anni di violenze settarie hanno danneggiato molto e reso fragili le buone relazioni tra cristiani e musulmani in Nigeria, conquistate con duro lavoro. Entrambe le comunità avranno bisogno di lavorare duramente per restaurare e promuovere di nuovo i valori del rispetto reciproco. Questo richiede un duro lavoro e molta pazienza specie da parte dei leader religiosi di entrambi i campi.

Avendo detto ciò, occorre considerare che Boko Haram è un fenomeno complesso. Ci sono aspetti sociali, politici ed etnici. Tutti questi fattori vanno affrontati in blocco, insieme all’aspetto religioso. In questo senso, la religione, è uno dei molti aspetti da considerare per giungere a una soluzione. Tale approccio religioso dovrebbe iniziare dalla ‘casa dell’islam’ e fare tutto il possibile per mettere ordine al suo interno. Da parte nostra, noi cristiani, dobbiamo avere un’attitudine più positiva verso l’islam in generale, per far fronte al terrorismo islamico insieme ai nostri fratelli musulmani. Ciò significa cercare fondamenti comuni, sottolineare le cose che ci uniscono, dare risalto a ciò che manteniamo come valori religiosi comuni. Inoltre, dovremmo lavorare insieme per affrontare le sfide che ci stanno davanti, in termini di povertà, malgoverno, malattie, ecc…

Se questo avviene, saremo capaci di costruire una comunità che può lavorare e camminare insieme come un unico corpo, una comunità, una nazione, nonostante le nostre differenze religiose.

In tutto ciò, è necessario un coordinamento di tutti i nostri sforzi. Penso che questo sia il punto su cui il governo deve giocare la sua responsabilità, una responsabilità che finora non è stata molto evidente.

06/20/2013 VATICAN

Pope: fighting hunger “through pursuit of dialogue and fraternity”, overcoming “myopic economic interests”

Greeting participants at FAO conference, Francis calls the fact that millions of people not having enough to eat while food production is sufficient “a scandal”. “Human person and human dignity are not simply catchwords, but pillars for creating shared rules and structures capable of passing beyond purely pragmatic or technical approaches in order to eliminate divisions and to bridge existing differences”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The fight against hunger “through research of dialogue and fraternity” in the face of the current economic crisis and its consequences – with the “scandal” of millions of people who have nothing to eat, while food production is sufficient – the answer lies focusing attention on the human person and his dignity “not simply as catchwords, but pillars for creating shared rules and structures capable…

06/20/2013 ISLAM – NIGERIA

Card John Onayekam: Religion and terrorist violence in Nigeria

by card. John Onayekan

There is no “war of religion” in Nigeria but a series of terrorist attacks by locals and foreigners. Christians and Muslims alike criticise Boko Haram. The government’s ineptitude has accentuated the problem. The Archbishop of Abuja speaks on the matter at the Oasis Conference. 06/20/2013 VATICAN

Pope calls for “an end to all suffering, to all violence, to all religious, cultural and social discrimination” in Syria and the Middle East

In his plea to the annual ROACO meeting, Francis: “Continue your intelligent and caring work in realizing well-considered and coordinated projects, giving appropriate priority to formation, especially of young people. But never forget that these projects must be a profession of the love of God that constitutes the Christian identity.”

06/20/2013 VATICAN

Pope: the Father is “Ours” and we cannot turn to Him if we are not at peace with others

During Mass this morning, Francis notes we do not pray to a “cosmic God” and prayer “is not a magical thing.” “We pray to the One who generated us, who gave us life. Not to someone: someone is too anonymous. To you. To me. We pray to the One who accompanies us on our journey: He knows all about our life. Everything: what is good and what is not so good. He knows everything about us. If we do not begin our prayer with this word, not with our lips, but with our heart, we cannot pray in a Christian way. ” 06/20/2013 SYRIA

Witnessing to the love of Christ in Syria, plagued by hatred and war

by Simone Cantarini

In a village north of Aleppo Fr. Hanna, a Franciscan, rings the bells every day to show the public that he is there for them. Nuns, priests and volunteers are now a point of reference and love for Christians and Muslims torn apart by a war imported from outside. Archbishop Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Damascus: “The real victory is not winning the war, but peace.”

06/20/2013 CHINA

China to impose death penalty on polluters

After 30 years of unbridled industrial development, China plans to punish polluters with the death penalty in the worst cases in which public health and nationality security are threatened. In 2011, carbon emissions killed almost 10,000 people. 06/20/2013 PAKISTAN

Christian minister in Islamabad: Economics and minority rights, here are my challenges

by Jibran Khan

From 8 June Kamran Michael is Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping in the PML-N-led government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. For 10 years a member of the provincial assembly of Punjab, he is the second Christian (after Shahbaz Bhatti) to play a leading role in the executive. A plan for development and the goal of peace.

06/20/2013 HONG KONG – CHINA

Concert and discounts to undercut Hong Kong’s 1 July march

Since 1997, Hong Kong residents have called for democracy and civil rights in the mainland. Backed by Beijing, the regional government has tried to limit the annual march’s turnout by allowing stores to offer rock-bottom prices and organising a concert with Korean stars. The latter however appear unwilling to go for it. 06/20/2013 ISLAM

Oasis: a “shared grammar” for Islam and Christianity in the face of secularism

by Bernardo Cervellera

Secularisation is underway in the Islamic world that is not driven by Western anti-religious ideologies. In Iran, civil society, especially young people and women, is putting pressure on the ayatollahs for greater space and rights. In Morocco, the separation of state and religion is gaining ground even among Islamist parties. In Saudi Arabia, the alliance of Wahhabism and consumerism is society’s worst enemy. At the end, Card Scola sums up the meeting.

06/20/2013 INDIA

For Christian leader, Hindutva does not represent hope for India

by Nirmala Carvalho

For the head of the Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu radical ideology is “the only way to change the country.” President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) says that Hindu extremists “have always opposed social equality”. For him, support for the caste system goes against the positive change. 06/20/2013 SINGAPORE – INDONESIA

Fires in Sumatra, smoke envelops Singapore. Alarm for citizens’ health

An emergency summit called between a delegation from the city-state and officials in Jakarta. For days, Singapore has been wrapped in a thick blanket, the prime minister invites people to stay home as pollution worsens. The fires caused by clearing of forests to create agricultural areas.

06/20/2013 ASIA

Hong Kong Stock Exchange plummets on negative signs from Bernanke and China

Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai also slide. A further reduction in China’s industrial output. The Fed is going to reduce stimulus of the U.S. economy. 06/19/2013 HONG KONG

Economic development wiping out Hong Kong’s pink dolphins

Only 78 animals were found in 2011, a 70 per cent drop since 2003. Construction and noise pollution are driving pink dolphins away from their normal habitat. “I’ve been working on dolphin conservation for over a decade, and this is the worst situation I’ve seen,” activist said.

06/19/2013 G8 – SYRIA

G8 leaders hold back weapons from rebels in favour of dialogue

After opening with the announcement of a possible No-Fly Zone in Syria, the G8 in Lough Erne ends with a bland declaration calling on rebels and regime to talk. No reference is made to the fate of Bashar al-Assad in a possible transitional government. The shadow of al-Qaeda and Moscow’s subtle threats stop United States and Europe. 06/19/2013 IRAQ – VATICAN

For Chaldean patriarch, Sunni-Shia divisions and foreign influences are obstacles to peace

by Dario Salvi

Mar Sako is in Rome for ROACO’s 86th Plenary Assembly to talk about the violence in Syria and the Middle East. Calling on Christians to show the positive side of the separation of Church and state that “respects religion”, he says it is different from Western secularism. Politics “seeks oil,” the Church “seeks people.” He renews the invitation to Pope Francis to visit the Christians in the region.

251 Economic developmentultima modifica: 2013-08-04T19:18:43+02:00da unius-rei
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