#ShortNews: Pakistan’s top court frees Asia Bibi

The grueling legal dispute over Asia Bibi has ended. The Pakistani Supreme Court rejected the Islamic radicals’ petition that they wanted to overturn the acquittal against Asia Bibi, sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy and acquitted at the end of October 2018.

The three judges’ decision has just been announced, by the president of the country’s highest judicial body: “The plaintiff was not able to indicate any errors in the verdict of acquittal of Asia Bibi [pronounced] by the Supreme Court”.

Convicted in 2010 of breaching the country’s strict anti-blasphemy laws for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbors, Asia spent eight years on death row. Death threats from Islamist groups followed her acquittal, but she was forbidden from leaving Pakistan pending yesterday’s court ruling. Now that decision has arrived, she is expected to leave Pakistan at the earliest opportunity to be reunited with her family already living in Canada.

Read full article here; http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Asia-Bibi-is-innocent:-the-Supreme-Court-rejects-the-Islamic-radicals’-petition-46103.html

#ShortNews: Christians now only 2% of Syrian population

After the conflict that tore Syria apart for 7 years, the Christian component of the Syrian population probably has fallen to around 2 percent. And the Christian presence in the Middle East runs the risk of becoming extinct not so much because churches are destroyed, but because men emigrate abroad, while families with a Christian spouse and a Muslim spouse will follow the Islamic religion.

This was reported by the blog of the Embassy of Hungary to the Holy See, in the brief report on the visit made in recent days by the Apostolic Nuncio in Hungary.

Read full article; http://www.fides.org/en/news/65459-ASIA_SYRIA_Cardinal_Zenari_Christians_represent_only_2_of_the_Syrian_population

#ShortNews: Philippine bishops condemn Jolo cathedral bombings

Catholic bishops condemned the twin explosions that rocked a cathedral in a southern Philippine city on Sunday which claimed several lives. A bomb exploded inside the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulo at about 8:30 AM as worshippers were gathered for mass. Few seconds later, another explosion hit the parking lot of the cathedral.

Two bombs minutes apart tore through a Roman Catholic cathedral on a southern Philippine island where Muslim militants are active, killing at least 20 people and wounding 111 others during a Sunday Mass, officials said.

As the region begins a new phase in the peace process, the bishops asked the Christians to “join hands with all peace-loving Muslim and indigenous people communities in the advocacy against violent extremism”.

“May all our religions of peace guide us in our quest for a brighter future for the peoples of Mindanao,” they said.

Read full article; http://cbcpnews.net/cbcpnews/111079-2/