Fides News - Englishhttp://www.fides.org/Fides Agency NewsenContent on this site is licensed under aASIA/OMAN - Orthodox Patriarch Yohanna X inaugurates the church dedicated to Saint Arethas martyrhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72252-ASIA_OMAN_Orthodox_Patriarch_Yohanna_X_inaugurates_the_church_dedicated_to_Saint_Arethas_martyrhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72252-ASIA_OMAN_Orthodox_Patriarch_Yohanna_X_inaugurates_the_church_dedicated_to_Saint_Arethas_martyrMuscat Agenzia Fides) - Yohanna X Yazigi, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, celebrated the first divine liturgy on Friday, May 27 in the new church dedicated to the Holy Martyr Arethas in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The liturgical celebration in the new church, inaugurated with an official ceremony the previous day, constitutes the culmination of the pastoral visit made by Patriarch Yohanna in Oman, a visit carried out at the helm of a patriarchal delegation including Archbishop Efrem Maalouli, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo. "The Sultanate of Oman" underlined Patriarch Yohanna in some statements issued upon his arrival in the Sultanate "is a tolerant country, where everyone lives in harmony and peace, and where every person feels as if he were in his own land and in the midst of one’s own family". <br />Representatives of the Sultanate's institutions also took part in the official inauguration ceremony, such as Dr. Ahmed al Bahri, representative of the minister of religious endowments of Oman and director of the department for religious harmony. <br />The land on which the new Christian place of worship stands was granted to the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch Quabus bin Said al Said, who died in January 2020 at the age of 79. <br />During the inauguration ceremonies, the Patriarch and members of the patriarchal delegation also expressed their gratitude to current Sultan Haitham bin Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, calling him "the best successor to the best predecessor" for the wisdom and tolerance with which he leads. the nation. <br />The figure of the Holy Martyr to whom the new church is dedicated evocatively recalls the millennial history of the Christian communities in the Arabian Peninsula, from the earliest times of the proclamation of the Gospel to today. Arethas , martyred in 523 AD, was a Christian at the head of the city of Najran and its surroundings, in northern Yemen . Dhū Nuwās, then ruler of the Himyarite kingdom who converted to Judaism, was then in conflict with the king of Abyssinia, the Christian Caleb. To prevent a possible alliance between Abyssinia and the Yemeni city of Najran, led by Arethas, Dhū Nuwās decided to attack the city and exterminate the Christians who lived there, forcing them to choose between death and denial of Christ. Arethas, already in his nineties, was executed together with an unspecified number of fellow Christian martyrs . <br />The persecution of Dhu Nuwas is also described and condemned in the Qur'an itself . <br />Those who escaped the carnage found hospitality at the Byzantine Emperor Justin I. In Christian martyrologists, Arethas and fellow martyrs are remembered as the Marthyri Homeriti, or "Himyarite martyrs". Arethas, his wife Ruma and the entire community of Najran are also celebrated as martyrs in the Catholic Church, on October 24. <br />Sat, 28 May 2022 12:39:33 +0200ASIA/CAMBODIA - Buddhist leaders honor the Bishop for his contribution to societyhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72251-ASIA_CAMBODIA_Buddhist_leaders_honor_the_Bishop_for_his_contribution_to_societyhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72251-ASIA_CAMBODIA_Buddhist_leaders_honor_the_Bishop_for_his_contribution_to_societyPhnom Penh - Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, French Bishop of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, was honored by Buddhist leaders in Cambodia for his precious contribution to society. The Apostolic Vicar of Phnom Penh received the recognition of “a Great Buddhist supporter” at a recent event at Ang Montrey Pagoda in Tram Kak district of Takeo province in southern Cambodia. Among the reasons for the award, which confirms the excellent relations between the Catholic community in Cambodia and the Buddhist community, is the recognition of the support offered by the bishop to local Buddhists and to the monastic community of a specific Pagoda. Seng Somony, Secretary and spokesman for the Ministry of Cults and Religions, presented Bishop Schmitthaeusler with a certificate of honor issued by the "Mahanikaya Council of Cambodia", the country’s supreme Buddhist council. Speaking on the occasion, venerable Nget Chamroeun, the abbot of Ang Montrey Pagoda, told the gathering that "as a priest and bishop the French missionary invited Buddhists and Christians to build bridges of peace and reconciliation. "I am humbled by the honor. I thank the Buddhist leaders for working together for society in understanding and solidarity", said Bishop Schmitthaeusler, 51, noting that this recognition is not for himself but "for the Church as a whole". "We are happy to work together as Catholics and Buddhists for the common good. The event shows how the different religions must work in solidarity and fraternity and serve society. The Catholic Church is rooted in Cambodian culture", said the Prelate. <br />Bishop Schmitthaeusler recalled that when he first arrived in Chamkar Teang village in Takeo province in 2002, there was only one Christian. One of his first projects was to help build a 1,200-meter road to connect the village with Ang Monrei Pagoda. Over the years, the Church had also opened education institutes in the area. The Church also introduced handicraft projects that allowed people to find jobs and preserve Khmer traditions. <br />Meanwhile, a Catholic community has grown and flourished: "It is nice to note that we travel together as brothers and sisters, and during the era of Covid-19, we have an opportunity to strengthen our relationship. This is how we can walk together to establish peace", added the Bishop. <br />Seng Somony, a government official, said he was surprised and elated that a Catholic bishop had become a symbol of unity between two religions through his great works . The honor for the French bishop comes less than two months after he received the National Order of Merit medal for his decades of seminal efforts in social development on March 8. Speaking on that occasion, Somony expressed appreciation for the efforts of Christian and Buddhist leaders who work together and promote harmony and peace in Cambodian society. In the 1950s, the Holy See estimated that Catholics in Cambodia numbered about 120,000, with some 50,000 being ethnic Vietnamese. Catholicism nearly died out in Cambodia during the long-running civil war and genocidal Khmer Rouge regime that left at least 2 million people dead. The missionaries returned after the end of the civil war in the 1990s and the Church was reborn from the ashes. Today, Christians make up less than one percent of an estimated 17 million people in Cambodia. About 20,000 Catholics live in three church jurisdictions — the apostolic vicariate of Phnom Penh and apostolic prefectures of Battambang and Kampong-Cham. <br />Sat, 28 May 2022 11:57:08 +0200EUROPE/ITALY - Long-term sustainable solutions are urgently needed: World Hunger Dayhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72250-EUROPE_ITALY_Long_term_sustainable_solutions_are_urgently_needed_World_Hunger_Dayhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72250-EUROPE_ITALY_Long_term_sustainable_solutions_are_urgently_needed_World_Hunger_DayRome - "To avert the imminent risk of an unprecedented global food crisis, there is an urgent need for long-term sustainable solutions and political will and determination, addressing the roots of our unjust food system that triggers hunger", says the Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, Aloysius John, on the occasion of World Hunger Day which is celebrated today May 28, 2022. <br />The impact of COVID-19, conflicts, climate crisis, the war in Ukraine are having terrible consequences all over the world, especially as regards to food insecurity. Hence the appeal to Agenzia Fides of the Caritas Confederation that calls on governments and the main stakeholders to commit themselves at all levels and to urge the implementation of sustainable recovery strategies based on addressing the impacts of climate change and conflicts . "A world without hunger is possible if people are motivated and encouraged to become active players in food production", said Aloysius John. <br />According to the note received, in Burkina Faso, in order to assist the more than 2.2 million people who have suffered from hunger due to the conflict and extreme climatic conditions, the local Caritas has provided the affected people with food and access to social and economic services in order to improve inclusion. It also facilitated access to information and services for smallholder farmers and other actors in the value chain to improve the production and processing of sustainable products and nutritious food. In the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, the Confederation has organized and supported a series of microfinance initiatives. Around the world, some 276 million people suffer from acute food insecurity, while 811 million people still go to sleep without eating. In the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions, several million people are facing drought and famine conditions, and an estimated 15-16 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in need of immediate food assistance due to drought. . In Venezuela, where child malnutrition rose to 26% during the Covid-19 pandemic, 9.3 million people are in conditions of food insecurity and 96% of the population lives in poverty, on less than $ 3 a day. In Syria, more than 55% of the population is believed to suffer from food insecurity. The number of malnourished Syrian children – more than 6.5 million - has increased by 7% in the last year alone. <br />Sat, 28 May 2022 10:24:01 +0200ASIA/INDIA - The Missionaries of Charity: "to live like the poor among the poorest, to bear witness with them to God's love"http://www.fides.org/en/news/72249-ASIA_INDIA_The_Missionaries_of_Charity_to_live_like_the_poor_among_the_poorest_to_bear_witness_with_them_to_God_s_lovehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72249-ASIA_INDIA_The_Missionaries_of_Charity_to_live_like_the_poor_among_the_poorest_to_bear_witness_with_them_to_God_s_loveCalcutta - "Our whole existence revolves around the love for Jesus towards the poor, because our foundress, Mother Teresa, taught us that Jesus is in them. This is the principle that guides all of our existence and transforms our days into a continuous encounter with Christ: giving the Eucharist, visiting the poorest of the poor, giving them food, clothes, caring for them is a gesture of love towards Christ himself". This is what Sister Mary Prema, of German origin, former Superior General of the Order, says in an interview with Fides, speaking of the missionary commitment that the nuns carry out all over the world, caring especially for the poor and the sick. Taking care of the most needy, orphans and lepers - explains Sister Mary - is the fulcrum of the charism of this congregation which, after more than 70 years since its foundation, now has 6,000 religious women scattered in 123 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, America. <br />"It is a life following Jesus Christ with the four vows of the Congregation: poverty, obedience, chastity and free service to the poorest of the poor. We are not called only to be efficient, but in everything we do we wish to satisfy the thirst of Christ in the Cross at the service of the poor. Our vow is of poverty", said Sister Mary.<br />Mother Teresa distinguished between physical suffering and spiritual suffering: "Here in Calcutta - says the missionary - we see that it is much easier for us to carry out the physical services of the 'corporal works of mercy': taking care and looking after dying people, giving medical assistance to the sick and helping the homeless in our homes. The spiritual services of charity - she continues - require a much greater commitment. We can react to the suffering of the soul above all with our prayers". <br />The mission of the Sisters of Mother Teresa is therefore "to work for the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor wherever they are throughout the world, transforming the love of God into concrete actions such as: caring for the needy, the sick and the dying materially and spiritually, to gather street children to instruct them, taking care of beggars, lepers and their families and, in general, taking care of those who are marginalized, those who are not loved, those who are alone". <br />Each sister - she explains - goes where she is sent and does not choose either the place or the type of apostolate. "We serve the poor - adds Sister Mary - in the sense that we try to be one of them. We too are the poorest of the poor, because with them and like them we are in search of Jesus. Jesus who is in our hearts, serving Him present in the poor. And there is no privileged place to do this, one can serve the poor Jesus in every corner of the world, because in every corner of the world - she concludes - one experiences the same reality of the search for Jesus, in those who do not know him and in those who are excluded". <br />The Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was founded on 7 October 1950 by Mother Teresa of Calcutta who on October 19, 2003 was beatified by Pope John Paul II. <br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkYd52oQLh8&ab_channel=AgenziaFides">Watch the video interview on Agenzia Fides Youtube channel</a>Sat, 28 May 2022 10:11:00 +0200EUROPE/ITALY - Fr. Maccalli and his mission together with migrants: “The human person first because we are all brothers”http://www.fides.org/en/news/72248-EUROPE_ITALY_Fr_Maccalli_and_his_mission_together_with_migrants_The_human_person_first_because_we_are_all_brothershttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72248-EUROPE_ITALY_Fr_Maccalli_and_his_mission_together_with_migrants_The_human_person_first_because_we_are_all_brothersModica - "To be there is to be in the middle of the ford of a challenge that challenges us in humanity first and foremost. And to those who shout out loud against migrants without knowing their stories, their faces and their names, I reply: 'the human person first because we are all brothers' ". This is what was expreesed by Father Pierluigi Maccalli, priest of the Society for African Missions, on his return after a period of 'rest', as he himself defined the months he spent in Sicily to "listen, see and touch a reality that challenges everyone". <br />The missionary, a guest in Modica of the inter-congregational missionary community created in 2016 by the will of the leaders of all the Italian female and male missionary communities that belong to the Conference of Italian Missionary Institutes , spent time together with migrants to "be a presence of prayer and sharing of life". "The challenge of migration is one of the signs of the times of humanity on the move, in search of the future and peace, writes Fr. Maccalli. Not being able to return, for the moment to the shore of the African Sahel in Niger, I thought of visiting the shore of the Italian Sahel. I have lived in Africa for 23 years and have always been welcomed and hosted as one of them. Sicily was chosen as a place of landings and consolidated immigrant communities. The reality of migration is the subject of political debates and prejudices that often forget personal and community tragedies and do not facilitate the process of reception and integration. To act as a bridge of cultures is the vocation of us missionaries, not simply as cultural mediators but as people who have lived among peoples and shared with them the joys and sorrows, efforts and hopes of a new world that knows how to reconcile harmony of differences". <br /><br /><br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://omnisterra.fides.org/articles/view/188">Continue to read - Omnis Terra</a>Sat, 28 May 2022 09:39:56 +0200ASIA/HOLY LAND - In Jerusalem, the liturgical feast of the Ascension of Christ is also celebrated in a mosquehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72247-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_In_Jerusalem_the_liturgical_feast_of_the_Ascension_of_Christ_is_also_celebrated_in_a_mosquehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72247-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_In_Jerusalem_the_liturgical_feast_of_the_Ascension_of_Christ_is_also_celebrated_in_a_mosqueJerusalem - It only happens in Jerusalem: it is there that one day a year, on the top of the Mount of Olives, Eucharistic liturgies are celebrated in the Roman rite even in a mosque. It happens on Thursday, on the day on which the Church of Rome celebrates the liturgical Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sacred place where this tradition is repeated every year, yet another singularity experienced by Christians in the Holy Land, is the small Chapel of the Ascension, a building of Crusader origin which according to tradition contains the last trace of Christ, shortly before his ascension to Heaven. The place of worship was built as an octagonal chapel in 1152, and in 1198 it was transformed into a mosque by Sultan Salah al Din , architect of the Islamic reconquest of Jerusalem. Today, the chapel is still part of the so-called Mosque of the Ascension of Jesus, whom Muslims recognize and celebrate as the Prophet ʿĪsā. <br />The ancient Christian place of worship is open to visitors and pilgrims throughout the year, and on the Feast of the Ascension, by special concession of ancient tradition, the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land celebrate Eucharistic liturgies there, attended by groups of native Christians and pilgrims. This year, on Thursday 26 May - the official media of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem reported - a mass in Arabic was celebrated at 8 am in front of the shrine of the chapel of the Ascension, and another Eucharistic liturgy in Latin at 9.30 am. On a very hot day, after the liturgy, those present gathered inside the chapel to contemplate the place from which, according to local tradition, Jesus ascended to the Father. The Feast of the Ascension celebrates the event - reported in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles in which the Risen Jesus bids farewell to his disciples and ascends to Heaven. <br />"So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs" . <br />The Gospel of Luke reports that the Ascension of the Lord took place outside Jerusalem, along the route "to Bethany", a village situated on the Mount of Olives. The Byzantine tradition - as the contributions of Bishop Manuel Nin, Apostolic Exarch of Greece also reveal - in the liturgical texts of the Solemnity of Christ's Ascension to the Father traces the great moments in the history of salvation, from the incarnation of the eternal Word of God, his birth, his passion and death, up to his resurrection and ascension, from where he sends, as his gift and from his Father, the Holy Spirit, whose work makes the mission of the Church possible. From the very first troparium on the eve of the feast, the Byzantine liturgy also recounts the astonishment of the angels at seeing a man ascending with his flesh to the right hand of the Father: "The Lord has ascended to heaven to send the Paraclete to the world. The heavens have prepared his throne, the clouds the chariot in which to ascend; Let the angels be amazed to see a man above them. The Father receives the one who from eternity dwells in his bosom". <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 13:28:42 +0200AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - More than 50 killed in the east by a jihadist assaulthttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72246-AFRICA_BURKINA_FASO_More_than_50_killed_in_the_east_by_a_jihadist_assaulthttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72246-AFRICA_BURKINA_FASO_More_than_50_killed_in_the_east_by_a_jihadist_assaultOuagadougou - More than 50 people have been killed near Madjoari, a village in eastern Burkina Faso. The massacre took place on May 25, but it was not known until yesterday, May 26. <br />Madjoari village is located between those to the north and east blocked by jihadists who have cut off roads to the rest of the country. The army barely manages to deliver convoys with food and basic necessities. The besieged villagers try to flee, risking being intercepted and killed by the jihadist groups. This is what allegedly happened to the victims of the May 25 massacre. Before this episode, there had been several more recently in Madjoari against soldiers and civilians. On May 19, the military detachment was the target of an attack in which eleven soldiers were killed and another twenty were wounded. Five days earlier, an attack on civilians killed seventeen people and injured seven. For two months, attacks against civilians and soldiers in the north and east of the country have claimed some 200 lives. For seven years, the northern and eastern regions of Burkina Faso have been affected by attacks perpetrated by movements affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization , which have caused the death of more than 2,000 people between civilians and soldiers and the displacement of almost 2 million people. We also remember the kidnapping of Sister Suellen Tennyson, a missionary of the Congregation of the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross, who was forcibly taken on the night of April 4-5, 2022 in northern Burkina Faso . Finally, the country's instability has increased the infiltration of international criminal organizations that use Burkina Faso as a transit point for illicit trafficking such as drugs. On May 25, Burkina Faso customs authorities announced the seizure of 115 kg of cocaine in a van from Sierra Leone bound for Ghana. Before reaching the Burkina Faso border post, the shipment had passed through Guinea Conakry and Mali. This shows how for criminal organizations and jihadist groups, state borders are easily circumvented. <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 12:27:54 +0200OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Education as the key to proclaiming the Gospel in Ethiopiahttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72245-OCEANIA_AUSTRALIA_Education_as_the_key_to_proclaiming_the_Gospel_in_Ethiopiahttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72245-OCEANIA_AUSTRALIA_Education_as_the_key_to_proclaiming_the_Gospel_in_EthiopiaSydney - "We believe, as Catholic Church, that education is the key to transforming society, in the process of proposing the proclamation of the Gospel". This is what was expressed by Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, who was invited at the Australian Catholic University, on the North Sydney campus, to share the path undertaken with the help of "Catholic Mission", Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia. Educational projects were at the center of this meeting as the Ethiopian government recently urged the Church of Ethiopia to build more Catholic schools across the country. "This is a gift we can make to society - says Cardinal Souriaphiel - Our Catholic schools are open to all and focus not only on the transmission of information and school knowledge, but also on teaching values that focus on peaceful coexistence and mutual respect". <br />In collaboration with local communities and the Church of Ethiopia, Catholic Mission is currently involved in four significant projects, three of which are directly linked to the educational commitment. In the city of Meki, for example, a professional center has been developed to promote the education of women in a country where 83% of them are illiterate. Since the beginning of the project, the Kidist Mariam Pastoral Center has supported more than 8,000 women in a socio-economic context in which very often they are forced to look for work abroad, running the risk of exploitation. <br />Catholic Mission is also collaborating with Lideta Catholic Cathedral School to offer scholarships to children of families who otherwise would not have access to school education. "This school offers many advantages to students in both educational growth and spiritual development - continues Cardinal Souraphiel - students who come from this school manage to enter university brilliantly. Most of them now work in Ethiopia and occupy key positions for the development of their country". <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 12:15:48 +0200EUROPE/ITALY - Making short videos for missionary animation: a course for communicatorshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72244-EUROPE_ITALY_Making_short_videos_for_missionary_animation_a_course_for_communicatorshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72244-EUROPE_ITALY_Making_short_videos_for_missionary_animation_a_course_for_communicatorsVerona - A multimedia training Course will be held in Verona on 17 and 18 June 2022 aimed at communicators, missionary pastoral workers and teams of Diocesan Missionary Centers or missionary institutes, to all interested pastoral workers. As reported to Agenzia Fides, the course is part of a training course dedicated to communication and promoted by the "Fondazione Missio" in the CUM training center in Verona. <br />The course intends to propose practical solutions to communicators, missionary institutes and associations to create short videos to be used in missionary animation and evangelization activities. The course has an operational character: from the images that each participant will bring or from those provided by the organization, one will learn how to better manage videos, sounds, interviews. For participants it is recommended to have a laptop with an editing program installed and a tool with which images or short videos were made. Organized in collaboration with "Luci nel Mondo", which has long been involved in production and training in the multimedia missionary field, the course includes meetings with Anna Pozzi, journalist of the PIME magazine "Mondo e Missione", on "Communicating today the mission, between insights and news" and sessions on "How to create a video. How to make a video. Production and editing. The importance of the storyboard". Lastly, there will be talk about "How to manage a video on social media". <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 12:01:25 +0200EUROPE/RUSSIA - The Catholic community will pray the Rosary for peace with the Popehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72243-EUROPE_RUSSIA_The_Catholic_community_will_pray_the_Rosary_for_peace_with_the_Popehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72243-EUROPE_RUSSIA_The_Catholic_community_will_pray_the_Rosary_for_peace_with_the_PopeMoscow - “I invite all the faithful to pray together, here in the Cathedral, the Rosary in communion with Pope Francis, at the end of the month of May on Tuesday, May 31, which as we know, is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary. We join the Pope and, through him, the universal Church, to implore the gift of peace in Ukraine and in every part of the world where conflicts are taking place that are often forgotten”. Thus Msgr. Paolo Pezzi, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Mother of God in Moscow, at the end of the celebration for the solemnity of the Ascension, which he presided over in the Catholic Cathedral packed with faithful, announced yesterday, May 26, the participation of the Catholic community of Moscow to pray the Rosary wanted by Pope Francis. As Fides has learned, it will be possible for the faithful to follow the live broadcast of the event in the same Cathedral. Archbishop Pezzi will then preside over the Eucharistic celebration, during which people will pray for peace. <br />The Catholic Church in Russia immediately mobilized to help refugees and those in need of help due to the situation in Ukraine. For this purpose, as can be learned from the official website of the Cathedral , it is possible to make a donation through three different channels: the Caritas of Saratov , which directly takes care of refugees in the Rostov region; the Interfaith Foundation for the Promotion of Humanitarian Projects ; and the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, which then sends the donated sums directly to the Holy See. The reason for making donations in each of the ways indicated is a solidarity contribution to refugees. The Catholic Cathedral of Moscow, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, is a neo-Gothic style building built in the early twentieth century. Like all the other buildings intended for worship located on Soviet soil, it went through the various phases of the contemporary history of the Church in Russia: closed in 1938, at the time of the so-called great Stalinist purges, it was desecrated and used by the Communist regime as a warehouse and market, to then return to the possession of the Catholic Church after the collapse of the USSR and re-consecrated in 2005. To date, Catholics in Russia are less than 1% of the total population of the Federation. <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 11:52:19 +0200AFRICA/DR CONGO - "Joining forces in Christ": Catholics of the diocese of Goma prepare to welcome the Popehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72242-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_Joining_forces_in_Christ_Catholics_of_the_diocese_of_Goma_prepare_to_welcome_the_Popehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72242-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_Joining_forces_in_Christ_Catholics_of_the_diocese_of_Goma_prepare_to_welcome_the_PopeGoma - "We must commit ourselves to be merciful and not dwell on the shortcomings we have observed, but to be motivated by the desire to overcome them in order to prepare for the meeting with the Successor of Peter, who is coming as a messenger of peace" said Msgr. Willy Ngumbi Ngengele, bishop of Goma, exhorting the Catholics of the diocese in view of the visit of Pope Francis scheduled for July, 2-5 2022 . The bishop invited the people of God to intensify prayers and remain united as the Central African nation prepares for the pastoral visit of Pope Francis. "I urge you to unite forces more in Christ for an effective communion and participation", says Msgr. Ngumbi. "The Pope is coming at a very troubled moment in the life of our country. He will be in Goma, where there is a lot of tension with armed groups that spread terror for selfish reasons, even if it is the richest part of the country", said the bishop of Kikwit, Msgr. Timothée Bodika Mansiyai. <br />Pope Francis is expected to arrive in the capital of DRC, Kinshasa, on July 2 in his two-African-nation pastoral trip that is to see him proceed to Goma and then to South Sudan in an ecumenical trip alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace. <br />"Pope Francis confirmed that he is coming. Unless there are new developments", said Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kinshasa, referring to the Pope's knee problems. <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 11:42:55 +0200ASIA/INDIA - The Church to young people: energy, talent and dynamism at the service of the Kingdom of Godhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72241-ASIA_INDIA_The_Church_to_young_people_energy_talent_and_dynamism_at_the_service_of_the_Kingdom_of_Godhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72241-ASIA_INDIA_The_Church_to_young_people_energy_talent_and_dynamism_at_the_service_of_the_Kingdom_of_GodBangalore - Living youth to the full, putting energy, talent and dynamism at the service of the Kingdom of God: this is the spirit that pervaded the third National Youth Conference, organized by "Young Catholic Students Movement" and "Young Students Movement " in Bangalore in recent days. <br />Msgr. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, urged the more than 220 students, delegates from different parts of the country, to give their precious contribution of ideas, creativity, enthusiasm to evangelization and the promotion of the common good in India. Fr. Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General of the CCBI , Fr. Chethan Machado, National Chaplain of YCS/YSM, Fr. Anil D'Sa, Executive Secretary of the Youth Commission of the Archdiocese of Bangalore, and other priests and lay leaders involved in youth ministry in India were among those present at the Conference, which lasted five days and ended yesterday, May 26. <br />K. Mathai Kas, a former officer of the Indian Air Force, who, in the course of his service, was transferred 28 times, spoke during the conference and raised the issues of embezzlement and corruption in the administration. The man also filed a petition before the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission. Kas spoke before the youth assembly, by appealing to the spirit of patriotism, arguing that young people are "the first and true promoters of truth and justice". <br />During the sessions, the young reflected on the theme “personal identity, education and a new society.” Father Stephen Alathara shared examples of many Indian saints who lived a youth filled with ideals and the grace of God and urged the students to to be "modern saints". <br />As part of the conference, the students were taken to ten different locations in Bangalore, to experience pastoral and social service, putting into practice the “see, judge, act” methodology. The students had a fruitful experience of cultural exchange, meeting people from the different regions, cultures, languages and ethnic groups of India, in an atmosphere of friendship and fraternity. <br />Fri, 27 May 2022 10:45:24 +0200ASIA/JORDAN - 76th anniversary of National Independence: the Churches renew their certificates of loyalty to the Hashemite Dynastyhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72240-ASIA_JORDAN_76th_anniversary_of_National_Independence_the_Churches_renew_their_certificates_of_loyalty_to_the_Hashemite_Dynastyhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72240-ASIA_JORDAN_76th_anniversary_of_National_Independence_the_Churches_renew_their_certificates_of_loyalty_to_the_Hashemite_DynastyAmman - The celebrations to commemorate the 76th anniversary of Jordan's independence begin today, Wednesday, May 25, and will last three days. The celebrations are especially extensive this year, with military parades, art events and fireworks shows organized in all the governorates of the Kingdom, after two years of lockdown due to the pandemic.. On this occasion, the Heads and representatives of all the Churches and ecclesial communities rooted in the lands crossed by the Jordan River wished to express with public messages their grateful closeness to those who govern the destinies of the Kingdom, renewing their loyalty to the Hashemite royal family and reaffirming its role as guardian of the Christian and Muslim Holy Places of Jerusalem claimed by dynastic tradition by Monarch Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein. <br />All the representatives of the different ecclesial groups - underlines the information portal abouna.org - wanted to pay tribute to a nation that "despite limited natural resources and the narrowness of its territory, has been able to overcome the limits of geography, the dilemmas of wars, the calamities, the setbacks", and over time "has offered shelter to the defeats of Arabism and shared its victories, becoming a shared homeland for Christians and Muslims". Among others, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III, invoked God's protection "over Jordan, its leader and its people" in his message, while Archbishop Yasser Ayyash, the Melkite Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, wanted to reaffirm in the name of his Church loyalty, fidelity and love to our Hashemite leader", praying that the leadership of Jordan will always be preserved "from the crises and from all the conspiracies to which it is constantly exposed". <br />Archbishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for the Holy City of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has renewed his gratitude "for the efforts of the Hashemites in defending the Islamic and Christian Holy Places of Jerusalem. We, the Palestinians, Muslims and Christians - Archbishop William added - ask God to protect His Majesty and the Hashemite family, so that Jordan remains a shining beacon and a safe harbor for its people and for those who come close to it". Father Joseph Soueid, Patriarchal Vicar of the Maronite Church of Jordan, has composed a poetic ode in honor of King Abdullah for the occasion. The days of celebration of Jordan's independence have been preceded by events that have once again brought to light the tensions and contrasts within the royal family. On May 21, a royal decree issued by King Abdullah II placed severe restrictions on the movements of Hamzah bin al-Hussein, the monarch's half-brother. Two days earlier, in a letter published in Jordanian newspapers, the King had explained the reasons for the harsh decree against his half-brother, stating that "During the past year or so Hamzah exhausted all opportunities to restore himself on the right path. I will not allow anyone - the royal letter reads - to place their interests above that of the nation, and neither will I allow my brother to disturb the peace of our proud nation". In the text released by King Abdallah, Hamzah is again accused of complicity with emissaries of unidentified foreign forces who seek to bring about "regime change" in Jordan. Abdullah and Hamzah are sons of Jordan's King Hussein , the ruler who ruled Jordan for nearly 50 years, and who died in 1999. Already last year, Hamzah was placed under arrest by his brother King Abdullah for his alleged involvement in an attempted coup. <br />Wed, 25 May 2022 13:36:49 +0200ASIA/MALAYSIA - The Church of Malaysia stops broadcasting liturgies online to celebrate in presence againhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72237-ASIA_MALAYSIA_The_Church_of_Malaysia_stops_broadcasting_liturgies_online_to_celebrate_in_presence_againhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72237-ASIA_MALAYSIA_The_Church_of_Malaysia_stops_broadcasting_liturgies_online_to_celebrate_in_presence_againKota Kinabalu - The dioceses of Malaysia have decided to suspend streaming in parishes to encourage the faithful to participate in liturgies and celebrations in presence. In a note issued by the Diocese of Kot in Kinabalu, in the Malaysian state of Sabah , Archbishop John Wong has informed the clergy, religious and laity to stop broadcasting masses on the Internet, to reactivate the normal participation mode in presence. <br />Since government measures allow it, and since the country seems to be entering the endemic phase of Covid -19, the note states that "everyone must physically attend Mass again, as in the times before the pandemic." During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government also placed restrictions on religious services. The dioceses began to hold celebrations, applying the prescribed procedures. <br />In a second phase, churches with limited capacity were allowed to attend again. Today, the measures once again allow the full capacity of the faithful in churches and chapels, but recommend the use of masks. "With the return to physical participation in masses, greater communion and fraternity will be fostered in our communities", says the Archbishop in the note sent to Agenzia Fides. <br />In the state of Sabah, but in the diocese of Sandakan, the priestly ordination of the seventh local priest, Father Raymond Lee Seng Huat, celebrated a few days ago in the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and presided over by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, was a solemn and moving celebration, in the presence of about 500 faithful. <br />"With Baptism and Confirmation, all Christ's faithful are called to be prophets to announce the Good News. Whenever God calls, he sends Christians on mission. Some, like Father Raymond, are called to the priestly ministry. The sacrament of Holy Orders imparts a permanent grace: this gift cannot be taken away because it is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is faithful forever", said Msgr. Julius Gitom. Fr. Raymond said that "his priestly vocation is a manifestation of God's grace and love, and it is a blessing to be a priest forever". The Catholic faith was brought to Sabah by the priests of Mill Hill in 1883, when missionaries established the first Catholic mission. <br />Wed, 25 May 2022 13:05:26 +0200EUROPE/SWITZERLAND - In search of today's “Pauline Jaricot”http://www.fides.org/en/news/72239-EUROPE_SWITZERLAND_In_search_of_today_s_Pauline_Jaricothttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72239-EUROPE_SWITZERLAND_In_search_of_today_s_Pauline_JaricotLugano - Looking for today's "Pauline", woman or man who is in parishes, communities and groups by filming a brief testimony for each of them: this "hunt for charisma" of Pauline Jaricot consists of the contest conceived by Missio Switzerland on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the very recent beatification of its foundress . <br />To promote the competition that will take place next October, a 3-minute video "My cloister is the world!" produced by Gaëlle May, Lueurs Productions, in collaboration with Missio, which invites you to enter the life of Pauline Jaricot with a question: "and if you were the Pauline of today?". Love for God and commitment to one’s neighbor, action and what moves him from the deepest will be at the center of these short films that want to be an invitation to everyone to offer their own testimony as the first and oldest form of transmission of faith as has happened for 2000 years now. Each parish will therefore be called to present one or two people who briefly tell their testimony, then passing the "baton" in an ideal relay race to the next parish. A "propagation" mechanism that wants to take up the model devised by Blessed Pauline Jaricot which consisted in forming groups of ten who prayed and offered a "penny" a week for the mission. In turn, the same members were called to form new groups, thus creating an "avalanche" effect. Among the missionary animation materials useful for discovering the charism of Blessed Pauline Jaricot there is also a leaflet designed for users of Italian-speaking Switzerland aimed at children, but also very useful for adults, entitled "A soul of fire" which in a simple and immediate manner tells who is the foundress of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Living Rosary. <br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9k7TVRjJHs https://www.missio.ch/it/chiesa-universale/pauline-jaricot/materiali-di-animazione">LINK VIDEO MISSIO LINK WEBSITE</a>Wed, 25 May 2022 12:51:05 +0200EUROPE/POLAND - Assistance to Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons continues in the Camillian reception centershttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72238-EUROPE_POLAND_Assistance_to_Ukrainian_refugees_and_internally_displaced_persons_continues_in_the_Camillian_reception_centershttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72238-EUROPE_POLAND_Assistance_to_Ukrainian_refugees_and_internally_displaced_persons_continues_in_the_Camillian_reception_centersUrsus - Checking the needs and primary demands of the Ukrainian refugees is the main objective of the visit that the missionaries of the Camillian Disaster Service International will carry out, from May 26 to 29, in Poland for the first evaluation of the project in which they are involved. The visit will cover the two centers made available by the Camillians of Poland in Ursus and Łomianki-Buraków, where Ukrainian women and children are welcomed, currently for a total of 51 people . <br />For the first on-site visit, the Cadis staff is led by the executive director, Fr. Aris Miranda, MI, who will meet the group involved in the two centers and working at the Warsaw West Central Station. "The visit to the Warsaw West railway station, where volunteers welcome Ukrainian refugees with help and assistance, will be a moment to share feelings and impressions related to the first approach to Poland of people fleeing the war", said Fr. Miranda. <br />"Although the migratory flow has slowed compared to the first weeks of the war, it is still considerable. In addition, for a few weeks there has been a flow of people who have taken the opposite path, to return to Ukraine and try to return to normality". <br />The current shelter project will house around 70 women and children in the two centres, engaging them in recreational and psychosocial activities. It will also help internally displaced people from the cities of Lviv and Kharkiv, in Ukraine. <br />Wed, 25 May 2022 12:39:05 +0200AMERICA/DOMINICAN REP. - The Minister of the Environment to the Pastoral Commission for Ecology: working together to defend the common homehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72236-AMERICA_DOMINICAN_REP_The_Minister_of_the_Environment_to_the_Pastoral_Commission_for_Ecology_working_together_to_defend_the_common_homehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72236-AMERICA_DOMINICAN_REP_The_Minister_of_the_Environment_to_the_Pastoral_Commission_for_Ecology_working_together_to_defend_the_common_homeSanto Domingo - The value of the work carried out by the Church and the importance of joining forces to protect our common home, as urged by Pope Francis, were highlighted during the recent meeting of the Minister of the Environment of the Dominican Republic, Orlando Jorge Mera, with the National Commission for Ecological and Environmental Pastoral Care, of the Dominican Episcopal Conference , meeting at the CED headquarters. "The Catholic Church has a great particularity, there is no better administrator than a priest and people linked to the Church", said the minister, in the note sent to Fides by the CED -. "For me it is important to maintain a cordial and respectful relationship with this Pastoral care, we are available for any situation in which we can intervene ... Our common home is the Dominican Republic, therefore, we must work hard to protect and defend it together, we must think about our children, grandchildren and those who will come after them". At the meeting of the Commission, chaired by Monsignor Héctor Rafael Rodríguez Rodríguez, Bishop of La Vega, the diocesan delegates, internal and external environmental consultants shared various problems and initiatives of their respective dioceses, as reported by Jovanny Kranwinkel, executive secretary of the National Commission, who also underlined that the seventh anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Sì is being celebrated. Biologist Luis Carvajal, coordinator of the Environmental Commission of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo , member of the Academy of Sciences and advisor to the Pastoral, also participated in the meeting, who warned about the number of mining concessions that exist and the danger they represent, highlighting the role that the Church can play in education, accompaniment and demand for respect for environmental laws. Other guests also took part. Father Ricardo de la Rosa, delegate of the Episcopal Territorial Vicariate of Santo Domingo Este, highlighted the importance of integrating the community in environmental projects: "we must involve the different movements and communities, since they are the ones who they know the reality of their environment". <br />Wed, 25 May 2022 12:30:39 +0200AFRICA/ZAMBIA - Unity and solidarity are needed for the development of local Churcheshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72235-AFRICA_ZAMBIA_Unity_and_solidarity_are_needed_for_the_development_of_local_Churcheshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72235-AFRICA_ZAMBIA_Unity_and_solidarity_are_needed_for_the_development_of_local_ChurchesNdola - "It is important to have unity of purpose and unity of vision to build the local Church with a common motivation", underlined Msgr. Benjamin Phiri, bishop of the Diocese of Ndola. The prelate, according to a note sent to Agenzia Fides, highlighted how the achievement of growth and development of the local Churches requires the collaboration, common vision and unity of all the actors of the diocese. "Not much progress can be made in the local Churches if each pastoral urgency is seen as something individual. We have gone through Covid-19 together, we have seen the need to continue along the same line of unity and solidarity, also with a view to a good preparation for the next Synod of Bishops". Bishop Phiri has given as an example the choice of his episcopal coat of arms, which represents unity: “may we be one through the cross. This is because the cross is a uniting factor for all believers”. "The spirit that encourages us to work together is growing among the pastoral agents and we hope, through this collaboration, to achieve more and more", said the bishop in reference to the work carried out in the last year. "The religious do not come to a diocese to take care of their own activities, but join the diocese to support the efforts of the local Church and carry out what is in line with evangelization. Therefore, in their apostolates they must work in collaboration to bear witness to Christ and evangelize for the salvation of souls. Therefore, we must be focused, we must complement and integrate so that we can all achieve our common goal". Wed, 25 May 2022 12:21:42 +0200AFRICA/NIGERIA - Two priests kidnapped in the diocese led by Msgr. Kukah, subject to heavy threatshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72234-AFRICA_NIGERIA_Two_priests_kidnapped_in_the_diocese_led_by_Msgr_Kukah_subject_to_heavy_threatshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72234-AFRICA_NIGERIA_Two_priests_kidnapped_in_the_diocese_led_by_Msgr_Kukah_subject_to_heavy_threatsAbuja - Two priests have been kidnapped in northern Nigeria. This is reported by Fr. Christopher Omotosho, Director of Social Communications of the Diocese of Sokoto in a statement: "At midnight today, May 25, 2022, armed men broke into the rectory of the Catholic Church of Saint Patrick, in Gidan Maikambo, Kafur LGA, in Katsina State". "The parish priest, Fr. Stephen Ojapa, MSP and his collaborator Fr. Oliver Okpara and 2 other boys in the house were kidnapped. We have no information on their whereabouts. I ask you to pray for their safety and release". According to the testimonies collected, the kidnappers, armed, arrived in large numbers, and were not seen riding motorcycles, as is usually the case in attacks for kidnapping of people in Nigeria. <br />Fr. Oliver Okpara was ordained in September by His Exc. Mgr. Mathew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto, who was the subject of recent threats . <br />The Bishop had strongly denounced the murder of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a Christian student, lynched on May 12 for "alleged blasphemy" . <br />The diocese of Sokoto headed by Msgr. Kukah fully covers the states of Sokoto and Katsina, and partially those of Zamfara and Kebbi. <br />Wed, 25 May 2022 12:13:09 +0200ASIA/INDIA - Appeal from the Catholic laity: Stop hatred and violence against Christianshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72233-ASIA_INDIA_Appeal_from_the_Catholic_laity_Stop_hatred_and_violence_against_Christianshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/72233-ASIA_INDIA_Appeal_from_the_Catholic_laity_Stop_hatred_and_violence_against_ChristiansNew Delhi - Act promptly to stop the targeted hatred and violence against religious minorities, especially Christians and Muslims in India: this is what the "All India Catholic Union" asks of the Prime Minister of the Indian Union, saying it was "deeply troubled by the hatred against religious minorities which in recent months has erupted like so many volcanoes in the sea of religious harmony in India". The AICU has written to the federal government and to the governments of the various states of the Federation, calling for urgent measures to be taken to put an end to the campaign of hatred and persecution that is raging in the nation's territory. <br />In a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the organization of the Indian Catholic laity, born over 100 years ago, Lancy D'Cunha, national president of AICU states: "If it is not controlled now, hatred could cause incalculable damage to national peace". <br />"We have gone far beyond polarization through the so-called 'Laws on freedom of religion' which criminalize interfaith marriages under the pretext of curbing conversions by force or deception", notes D'Cunha. <br />The AICU recalls the most recent and serious episodes of violence in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana, where thugs, militants and local political leaders have terrorized communities of religious minorities , clergy and institutions . <br />"Over the centuries ancient civilizations such as India have overcome epochs of violence to become leaders of peace and development", observes the President. "We must learn from the mistakes made by other nations, which have ruined their economies and their social fabric and have brought them to the brink", D'Cunha said. <br />"Political and religious leaders must act together to strengthen peace and friendship. They cannot take their eyes off their responsibilities. The Catholic Union is committed to working for peace, harmony between religious and social groups and the integrity and progress of our country", he added. AICU, along with other Christian groups, has already challenged the discriminatory laws before the Supreme Court which deny Christian Dalits the protection of the constitutional provisions granted to Dalits who profess the Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist religion. <br />AICU, along with other religious groups and civil society movements, reports that it will file legal appeals against anti-conversion laws that go against the letter and spirit of the Constitution and trigger targeted violence. <br />Established 103 years ago as an organism of the Catholic laity, AICU has seen the nation face challenges such as the partition between Pakistan and India in 1947, violence against Sikhs in 1984, bloodshed and clashes between Hindus and Muslims after the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992. In all these situations it made his voice heard by proclaiming evangelical values such as dialogue, tolerance, peace, justice, religious social harmony, protection of the common good. <br />Wed, 25 May 2022 11:43:33 +0200