#ShortNews: Christian-Taoist dialogue on ethics affirms 7 points

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, and the Taoist Federation of Singapore (TFS) jointly organized the Second Christian-Taoist Colloquium in Singapore from 5-7 November 2018. The theme of the Colloquium was “Christian and Taoist Ethics in Dialogue.” Seventy Christian and Taoist scholars and practitioners of interreligious dialogue mainly from Singapore but also from China, France, South Korea, Malaysia, Switzerland, Taiwan and the Vatican, took part in this event. The participants included a representative each from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and the World Council of Churches.

The Colloquium focused on the following topics: Today’s Crisis of Ethics and Hope for Tomorrow; Taoist and Christian Responses to the Crisis of Ethics; Social Institutions and the Transformation of Human Persons; Spiritual Development and Self-Cultivation; Global Ethics and the Interdependency of All Human Beings; Fostering a United and Harmonious Society; and Emerging Orientations for Future Christian-Taoist Engagement. The program also included cultural and interreligious visits to the Taoist Kew Ong Yah Temple, the Catholic Church of the Transfiguration, and the Harmony in Diversity Gallery.

To check the 7 points read here: https://www.pcinterreligious.org/latest-news

#ShortNews: Link between love of God and love of neighbor is inseparable

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

At the centre of this Sunday’s Gospel (cf. Mk 12: 28b-34), there is the commandment to love: love for God and for neighbour. A scribe asks Jesus: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (v. 28). He answers by quoting that profession of faith with which every Israelite begins and ends the day, and which starts with the words, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Dt 6: 4). Thus Israel safeguards its faith in the fundamental reality of the whole of its creed: there is only one Lord and that Lord is “ours,” in the sense that He bound Himself to us with an indissoluble pact; He has loved us, He loves us and He will love us forever. It is from this source, this love of God that the twofold Commandment stems: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. […] You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (vv. 30-31).

Choosing these two Words addressed by God to His people and, putting them together, Jesus taught once and for all that love of God and love of neighbour are inseparable; rather, more than that, they support one another. Although placed in sequence, they are the two faces of the same coin: lived together they are the believer’s true strength! To love God is to live of Him, for Him, for what He is and for what He does. And our God is donation without reserve; He is unlimited forgiveness; He is a relationship that promotes and makes one grow. Therefore, to love God means to invest one’s energies every day to be His collaborators in serving our neighbour without reserve, in seeking to forgive without limits and in cultivating relationships of communion and fraternity.

Read the full message of Pope’s words here: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/11/04/181104a.html

#ShortNews: Christians flee Henan to escape persecution

As a province with one of the largest population of Christians in East Asia, Henan has always been under the authorities’ radar. At the beginning of this year, the provincial authorities launched a campaign to persecute religious belief. As a result, numerous churches, including the government-approved Protestant Three-Self places of worship, have been sealed off or forcibly demolished.

Bitter Winter interviewed a couple that used to belong to a Three-Self church in Pingdingshan city in the central province of Henan. A few months ago, they fled to Heilongjiang – China’s northernmost province – because their hometown church and its congregation had been frequently harassed by the local government. Officials came to the believers’ houses to register their personal information, including their religious beliefs. If believers were identified, all of their government subsidies and benefits were revoked. Religious items and books found in households were destroyed or confiscated.

Read full article from Bitter Winter: https://bitterwinter.org/christians-flee-henan-to-escape-persecution/