#ShortNews: Hindu radicals destroy Jesuit college in Jharkand

A Jesuit-run Catholic school in Jharkhand was devastated last week by a crowd of 500 people, presumed radical Hindu nationalists, and no one intervened to bring the culprits to justice

The incident was denounced by Fr. Thomas Kuzhively, secretary of the institute, who yesterday released an official statement condemning the inertia of government authorities. The school is the St. John Berchmans Inter College of Mundli and is run by the Jesuits of the Dumka-Raiganj province. The priest complains: “Everything is destroyed. We can’t reopen college “.

The school leadership appeals to the governor of Jharkhand, the Chief minister and the presidents of the National Commission for Human Rights and the National Commission for Minorities. The incident took place last September 3, in a long sequence of discriminatory acts against the state’s Christian minority.

Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Jharkhand,-Hindu-radicals-devastate-a-Jesuit-college.-‘Completley-destroyed’-47981.html

#ShortNews: Christianity is not colonialism, Philippine prelate tells nation’s president

What the Filipino Church will celebrate in 2021 is not colonialism but 500 years of Christian faith, which “the natives of these islands welcomed as a gift, albeit from people who were not necessarily motivated by the purest of motives,” writes Mgr Pablo Virgilio Siongco David (pictured), Bishop of Kalookan and vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Two days ago, Mgr David did not mince his words in his response to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. On Friday, the latter had criticised the celebrations for the important anniversary. “Why would I give something for the celebration?” Duterte said. “When Magellan came here, he brought the cannon and the cross,” Duterte said. “But because the cross is there, the natives immediately embraced them,” he added.

The bishop points out that the natives did not equate Christianity with colonialism. Instead, “Our own ancestors were intelligent enough to accept what was good and reject what was evil”. In fact, “At some point, the faith that they had embraced was no longer alien to them. It had succeeded in taking root on the fertile ground of our innate spirituality as a people.”

Read the full story here: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bishop-David-tells-Duterte-that-Christianity-is-not-colonialism-47952.html

#ShortNews: Fewer Catholics but more income for the Church in the Germany

The German Church’s income rose by 3.3 per cent to a record 6.64 billion euros in 2018, despite the massive exodus of 216, 078 German Catholics in the same year.

The figures were published in a bishops’ conference brochure, “The Catholic Church in Germany: Facts and Figures 2018/19”, presented in Bonn on 8 August.

“This work aid shows a vibrant community which is trying to discern “the signs of the times” and “to adjust its actions accordingly”, bishops’ conference president Cardinal Reinhard Marx says in the foreword before admitting the Church is going through “stormy times”.

Source: https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/11971/fewer-catholics-but-more-income-for-german-church-

#ShortNews: Asia Bibi pleads for justice for victims of Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws

As Asia Bibi sits free at last in a secret location in Canada, the Pakistani Christian woman who spent years on death row after a false blasphemy charge thinks of those left behind still facing the same ordeal.

Mrs Bibi thanked the supreme court for acquitting her and her daughters, but said others also needed fair trials. “There are many other cases where the accused are lying in jail for years and their decision should also be done on merit. The world should listen to them.”

“I request the whole world to pay attention to this issue. The way any person is alleged of blasphemy without any proper investigation without any proper proof, that should be noticed. This blasphemy law should be reviewed and there should be proper investigation mechanisms while applying this law. We should not consider anyone sinful for this act without any proof.”

Read full story: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/31/asia-bibi-pleads-justice-victims-pakistans-harsh-blasphemy-laws/

#ShortNews: Pope prays for peace ahead of 80th anniversary of beginning of World War II

Sunday, 1 September, marks 80 years since the outbreak of the Second World War. On that day in 1939, Germany invaded Poland, leading Britain and France to declare war on Adolf Hitler’s Nazi state, two days later. Pope Francis recalled that tragic day on Wednesday, as well as the commemorations to be held in Warsaw, Wielun, and other Polish cities.

“We shall all pray for peace, so that the tragic consequences of hate – which brought only destruction, suffering, and death – may never be repeated,” he said.

The Pope also invited everyone to pray to God, so that “peace may reign in the hearts of all and in families, societies, and amongst peoples.”

Source: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-08/pope-francis-80th-anniversary-world-war-2.html

#ShortNews: 900 religious leaders take part in ‘Religions for Peace’ assembly

The 10th World Assembly of “Religions for Peace”, the world’s most representative, multi-religious gathering of religious communities, concluded on Friday in the German town of Lindau, with participants committing themselves to common action for the common good of humanity.

Some 900 senior religious leaders, 100 representatives of governments, intergovernmental  organizations and civil  society  groups, and youth and women of faith from over 125 countries came together, August 20 to 23, to discuss their theme “Caring for our Common Future—Advancing   Shared   Well-Being.”

Every 5–7 years, “Religions for Peace” convenes a World Assembly for the purpose of forging a deep moral consensus on contemporary challenges and advancing multi-religious action across and beyond its network.

Read full story; https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2019-08/religion-peace-assembly-declaration-common-good.html

#ShortNews: 11 years after India’s deadly anti-Christian violence, faith still growing

It was on August 25, 2008, that hell broke loose on the Christians of Kandhamal, with Hindu extremists attacking them for the August 23 murder of Hindu leader Swami ‎Lakshmanananda Saraswati, even though Maoist rebels ‎claimed the assassination.

In the rioting by radical Hindus that went on unabated for months, some 100 people were killed, thousands were injured, 300 churches and 6,000 homes were destroyed, and 50,000 people were displaced, with many forced to hide in nearby forests where many died of hunger and snakebites.

Eleven years on, Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, whose jurisdiction includes Kandhamal, says the faith of Christians is growing, the people have no fear, and “they can face any challenge with faith and trusting in God”.  “They burnt our people, our houses, our churches, but the fire of the Holy Spirit filled our people with a burning love for Jesus and the Church,” Archbishop Barwa told Crux.

Read full story: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-08/india-kandhamal-odisha-christian-persecution-anniversary-barwa-m.html