Fides News - English Agency NewsenContent on this site is licensed under aAMERICA/PERU - The Bishops on the new public education program - "The basic principles of education in the country should follow the provisions of the General Education Law and the Constitution of the country. <br />Recognizing the many positive aspects of the program of study, we draw attention to the fact that the Ministry of Education has included notions that are not from the Constitution but from the so-called gender ideology. This procedure seriously reverses the constitutional legal system: a lower-level legislation cannot be above the law or contradict the fundamental law of the State". This is what is said in the statement issued by the Bishops of Peru, at the end of 109 ordinary Assembly of the Episcopal Conference, which concerns the principles of public education in the country.<br />"A climate of confusion has been created among Peruvians regarding the role of the State towards family and marriage - continued the text sent to Fides - and the right of parents to choose the type of education they want for their children has been violated".<br />"For the sake of our children, adolescents and Peruvian families, until an agreement is reached according to the constitutional order established, we urge the deletion of ideology notions of gender in the new program of study", the Bishops conclude. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:39:46 +0100AFRICA/DR CONGO - Mgr. Ambongo: "The implementation agreement will have to be signeded within the 28th" - Within January 28 the implementation agreement of the understandings reached on December 31, 2016 between the majority and opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo will have to be signed warned the Congolese Bishops, who continue to mediate between the parties to resolve the serious political and institutional crisis in the Country.<br />"The agreement was to be applied since its signing", said His Exc. Mgr. Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, Archbishop of Mbandaka-Bikoro and Vice President of the Episcopal Conference. "We are leaving for Geneva on January 29. If by Saturday 28 the implementation agreement is not signed, it is over". Mgr. Ambongo also criticized "the bad faith of politicians" that "puts a strain on our patience as pastors."<br />The so-called "Agreement of San Silvestro", reached on 31 December 2016 thanks to the mediation of the local Episcopal Conference , provides for the continuation in power of President Joseph Kabila for another year , the appointment of a Premier appointed by the opposition and the creation of a national Council to monitor the operations of the electoral process led by Etienne Tshisekedi.<br />The points to be discussed concern the appointment of the Prime Minister, his Deputy and the National Supervisory Board Members. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:30:14 +0100AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Bishop offers a donation for the restoration of the mosque - Coptic Orthodox Bishop Takla, at the head of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Dishna, in the governorate of Qena, has offered a donation to finance the restoration of the historic mosque dedicated to Abd al-Rahīm al-Qenāwī. The symbolic gesture of the donation took place recently during a public meeting in the presence of some local sheikhs, some Coptic priests and many residents of the area surrounding the mosque, in a festive atmosphere and marked by the desire to show the harmony between the Muslim and the Christian component of the Egyptian people.<br />In his speech, the Bishop presented the donation as an expression of the feelings that move the most attentive Egyptians to foster unity and to banish all forms of discrimination and to nurture a society "where children can grow together, without being separated on the basis of ethnic or religious issues, and people can enter the homes of neighbors and exchange greetings, remaining faithful to the spirit handed down from generation to generation, one that recognizes that religion is for God and Homeland is for everyone". In the past, even the governorate of Qena was affected by sectarian strife, with attacks against Christian homes which occurred in the village of al Faw. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:15:45 +0100AFRICA/CAMEROON - Appointment of the Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda City – Today the Holy Father appointed rev. Michael Miabesue Bibi, Secretary-Chancellor of the archdiocese as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bamenda , assigning him the titular see of Amudarsa.<br />Rev. Michael Miabesue Bibi was born on July 28, 1971 in Bamessing , Archdiocese of Bamenda. He studied Philosophy and Theology at the St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary of Bambui in Bamenda. He was ordained a priest on April 26, 2000 and incardinated for the Archdiocese of Bamenda.<br />Since his ordination he has served the following roles: 2000-2001: Assistant priest at St. Jude, in Fundong; 2001-2003: Assistant priest at St. Matthias, in Widikum; 2003-2004: Assistant priest at St. Joseph, in Mankon; 2004-2006: Studies for the Master in Theology, with a specialization in catechetics at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England; 2006-2008: Parish Ministry in St. Joseph Parish, in Bafut and All Saints' Parish; 2006-2007: Chaplain of the Sacred Heart College in Mankon; 2007-2008: Chaplain of St. Paul College of Nkwen; 2009-2011: Assistant Archdiocesan Financial Secretary and diocesan Chancellor; 2012-2015: Special Assistant to the Archbishop; since 2015: Secretary Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Bamenda. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:02:49 +0100AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Instrumentum laboris for the 2018 American Missionary Congress is ready - After celebrating the two international Symposiums of Missiology in Puerto Rico and Uruguay, the Theological Commission has prepared the Instrumentum laboris which will guide the work of the Fifth American Missionary Congress and the Tenth Latin American Missionary Congress to be held in Bolivia in July 2018.<br />The document was prepared under the theme "The joy of the Gospel, heart of the prophetic mission, reconciliation and source of communion", and proposes the slogan "America in Mission, the Gospel is the joy". The document can be downloaded from the website of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Venezuela to the address below. <br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="">Instrumentum laboris CAM V</a>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:55:41 +0100ASIA/PAKISTAN - Debate to amend the blasphemy law in Senate - The debate to amend the controversial "blasphemy law", composed of the articles of the Penal Code that punish with life imprisonment or the death penalty insults against Islam has begun in the Pakistani Senate. It was Muslim Senator Farhatullah Baber, a member of the Pakistan People's Party and representative of the Special Committee of the Pakistani Senate on human rights, to introduce the theme to look for ways to stop the abuse of the law.<br />The new attempt to discuss the matter in Parliament comes a decade after parliamentary Minocher Bhandara, a Zoroastrian, presented in 2007 a bill with amendments to the blasphemy law. The proposal was immediately blocked by the then Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Sher Afgan Niazi, for fear of offending the feelings of Muslims, appealing to the principle that "no law should contradict Islamic law".<br />In 2010, then, it was the parliamentary Sherry Rehman of the Pakistan People's Party who submited a new bill to amend the blasphemy law, but was threatened with death and forced to withdraw it.<br />After the assassinations of the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, and Catholic federal minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, who took up the case of the Christian Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy, the debate was completely silenced. Now it is Senator Farhatullah Baber who has reintroduced the issue in Parliament.<br />However attempts to stop the possibility of amending the law has been registered: lawyer Nadeem Siddiqi yesterday presented a recourse to the High Court of Lahore criticizing Senator Babar and asking the Court to stop the debate, because "Parliament cannot make a law contrary to the Islamic principles". The Court should respond within two weeks.<br />"The misuse of blasphemy hurts many innocent people, of all faiths, and often turns against Christians and other religious minorities. Hundreds of Pakistanis have been in prisons for years for crimes they never committed. Asia Bibi is perhaps the best known example of the way this law is used to target minorities", says a note from the NGO "Centre for legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement" , sent to Fides.<br />"The blasphemy law clearly violates international human rights such as the right to life, freedom of belief, freedom of expression and conscience: it is urgent to realign Pakistani law with international treaties ratified by the government of Pakistan", said Christian lawyer Nasir Saeed, head of CLAAS. "All of us who are opposed to the blasphemy law in Pakistan – he continues - are called to pray for the protection of those who expose themselves in Parliament, so that the Commission's efforts are fruitful and the government commits itself to changing the blasphemy law, stopping its misuse. By reforming this law, Pakistan will demonstrate to the world that it is a responsible nation that cares for minorities and believes and promotes equality, peace and justice", he concludes. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:50:24 +0100AMERICA/PARAGUAY - Denunciation of violence against children employed as domestic servants without pay - Six out of ten children have been victims of different types of violence in Paraguay, caused in particular by the environment surrounding them. This is what emerged from the complaint of the Coordination for the Rights of Children and Adolescents , which adds violence on children employed as domestic workers. In fact, about 47,000 children are victims of a form of modern slavery culturally accepted in Paraguay.<br />CDIA notes that the lack of an effective protection system isolates people, families and communities living in poverty, making them easy prey for criminal networks such as human trafficking. According to a recent study by UNICEF, to be a domestic servant is one of the worst forms of child labor, and in most cases girls, children and adolescents do not receive a salary, but only room and board, in an inappropriate environment for their well-being. UNICEF also noted that Paraguayan law prohibits domestic child labor and that the State has ratified the International Labour Organization's agreement on the forms of child labor, including slavery as a means to pay off family debts and similar practices regarding slavery. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:03:26 +0100AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. - Institute in favor of good education and the care of children awarded in Bangui - The Nicolas Barre Institute, school supported by the non-profit organization Friends for Central Africa, was the most awarded in Bangui on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Enseignement Catholique Associé de Centrafrique , the body that brings together Catholic schools operating in Central Africa. <br />In the Barthélémy Boganda sports complex in Bangui schoolchildren of Catholic institutes of the nine dioceses of the region marched. The march was held in coincidence with the National Congress of Catholic education in Central Africa on the theme "A school of all the talents". "We are very proud of an award that honors the commitment in favor of good education and the care of children" reads the note sent to Fides by the President of the non-profit organization. The Association "Friends for Central Africa" was founded in 2001 and to date has built 15 schools, two dispensaries, two health centers, 1 rehabilitation center for the handicapped, 1 dental center. <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:02:32 +0100AFRICA/IVORY COAST - The Bishops denounce "a deleterious climate which threatens to undermine the achievements made" - National reconciliation, release of all persons detained in relation to the political-military crisis of 2002-2011, redistribution of wealth for greater social justice. These are the indications offered by the Bishops of the Ivory Coast in a message in which they express serious concern for the future of the Country in the grip of military uprisings and strikes by public employees .<br />"Feelings of frustration and revolt still harbor in the hearts of so many Ivorians" reads the message, sent to Agenzia Fides, which was published at the end of the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops' Conference of the Ivory Coast, held in Katiola.<br />Among the causes of discomfort there are ongoing trials against the leaders of the old regime of former President Laurent Gbagbo, who "instead of calming people down, arouse sufferings and concerns. Some of our compatriots are unjustly detained in prison, and others live in exile, far from the Country".<br />"Several fighters and military involved in the successive crises that has shaken our Country are not serene, and fear for their future", such as "many young people, who had hoped for a better life by engaging on the side of politicians, are increasingly disillusioned and embittered". "This deleterious climate - says the message - is likely to seriously undermine all the achievements made, the fruit of our efforts".<br />Recognizing the rulers in charge of the efforts made for the development of the Country, the Bishops ask them "more effort for the redistribution of growth, for a fair trial and to facilitate the return of exiles, with guaranteed security for all".<br />The Bishops' Conference finally launch an appeal to "all the components of the Ivorian society, to discuss issues related to security, the cost of living, youth unemployment, working conditions, wage situation, etc ...". <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:44:37 +0100AMERICA/MEXICO - Mgr. Chávez Botello to reporters: "nourish the social conscience, because it is very weak" - The Archbishop of Antequera, Oaxaca , His Exc. Mgr. José Luis Chávez Botello, anticipating the feast of St. Francis de Sales, Patron of journalists, wanted to celebrate the feast yesterday with media operators. Stressing the importance they represent for society, he told them: "You must not remain silent, you always have to convey the truth, like it or not".<br />During the Mass which he presided in the Cathedral, he recalled that Mexico is going through a very delicate moment, then called on the media to "nourish the social conscience, because it is very weak". The Archbishop pointed out that there are many good reasons why journalists, Church, business people, politicians, educators and parents "should commit themselves to respond to this emergency we are experiencing. Society needs media that disseminates truth as it is, not a sick or compromised truth". <br />Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:43:59 +0100ASIA/INDIA - Young Catholics march for peace and for the common good - A large gathering of young Catholics prayed, reflected and demonstrated for peace in Karnataka, the Indian state crossed by anti-Christian violence due to the presence of extremist movements and groups. As Fides learns, the march for peace which gathered more than 10,000 young Catholics from across the nation, yesterday, January 22, crossed the city of Mangalore at the end of the Assembly of the India Catholic Youth Movement, who thus wanted to launch a message of peace and harmony in the ethnic and religious diversity of the nation. <br />"India is a nation that welcomes diverse cultures and identities", remarked Fr. Asis Parichha, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, in Orissa, among the participants in the march.<br />In the march there was Archbishop Bernard Moras, at the head of the city of Bangalore, capital of Karnataka state, who initiated the march, which started from Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral. The march concluded the X National Youth Conference where young Catholics meet to exchange views on current issues thanks to the participation of ecclesial and civic leaders.<br />The 2017 edition was attended by some political leaders of Karnataka and also Catholic Judge Joseph Kurian, of the Supreme Court of India, guest of honor at the closing ceremony of the conference. The judge stressed the importance of defending "the rights and constitutional values that belong to every citizen of India". "We were born in this land and we, therefore, are Indians, then we are Catholic Christians. All Indians, irrespective of their beliefs, are custodians of constitutional rights and also have the duty to respect the Constitution", he said. Judge Kurian invited the youth to participate in nation-building "to establish the kingdom of God on earth", urging them to be "responsible citizens" and "promoters and protagonists of change".<br />Archbishop Bernard Moras reminded the young that "we have the fundamental right to profess our faith, and no one can deprive us", saying that "we must be united, to promote justice and defend Christian values". The Bishop of Mangalore, Aloysius Paul D'Souza, advised young people to follow the way of Jesus: "Bring the light of Christ in your area and make it shine with your life", he said.<br />The political representatives congratulated the young Catholics for the discipline they showed and thanked Christians for the high-quality training that they provide to young Indians in Catholic schools. "To serve God and serve the nation are complementary: young people use given talents to serve humanity", said Oscar Fernandes, a local politician. <br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:27:32 +0100ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarch: "positive signs" from Islam in the fight against religious extremism - The expected defeat of jihadist militants and their campaigns of terror provides the opportunity for a real change of pace in Iraqi politics, which aims to build a democratic State based on the principle of citizenship. To achieve this objective it will be necessary to start a "national reconciliation" process along the lines of the model carried out in South Africa, when the Apartheid system failed. But in the Muslim community "positive signs" of the desire to emancipate itself from extremism conditionings are registered. This is how Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis Sako I outlined the crucial historical phase crossed by Iraq, in the intervention he carried out at the conference on the defense of religious freedom, held on Saturday, January 21 in Baghdad by Massarat Foundation.<br />Among the more recent "positive signs" from Muslim civil authorities and Islamic institutions, the Primate of the Chaldean Church listed a local authority declaration of Najaf, which called upon the Muslims to attend the Christian joy for the feast of Christmas; monitoring stepped up by the Ministry for business and religious facilities in order to identify and combat the preachers who incite sectarian hatred; and also the measures taken by the Ministry for Religious Affairs of the Iraqi Kurdistan Autonomous Region to ban any speech or offensive expression against other faith communities. <br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:18:00 +0100AFRICA/DR CONGO - The ultimatum of the Military Adviser of the President to former M23 who have returned from Uganda - "CEPADHO appreciates the firmness and the opportunity of general Olenga's message of ultimatum to former members of the M23 to surrender to the Congolese armed forces ". This is what was said in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides by CEPADHO , an NGO of North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.<br />General François Olenga, military adviser to the President of the DRC, during his recent visit to Goma, ordered the surrender of former M23 fighters who fled from Uganda and which, it is feared, have returned to the DRC to start a new war.<br />"Our organization - says the statement of CEPADHO - hopes this very reassuring message is the final warning to former M23, whose recurrence is flagrant".<br />"CEPADHO recalls the need that the ICGLR , SADC and the UN take compelling measures against Uganda and Rwanda, which continues to host former M23 in violation of the framework Agreement of Addis Ababa, threatening the peace and security of the DRC".<br />The Addis Ababa agreements were signed on February 24, 2013 with the aim of putting an end to the bloody guerrilla of the M23. <br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:00:39 +0100AMERICA/ARGENTINA - International Festival on child labor de Plata - The initiative "Building Cinema: International Film Festival on Work" has announced the opening of registrations regarding the fourth edition of the international short film competition and national and international feature film competitions dedicated to the world of work and workers. The purpose of the competition is to feed the creativity and support the dissemination of audiovisual works that contain stories of employment and workers. According to the note sent to Fides, the registration will be open to all, until 15 March 2017, for initiatives based on four main points: people, education, social dimension and industry. Participants must be of legal age, the theme for 2017 will be Child Labour? Forced labor? <br /><br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="">Information</a>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:48:03 +0100VATICAN - The Pope's greetings to those celebrating the Lunar New Year City - After praying the midday Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis sent greetings to all people who celebrate the Lunar New Year, with these words: "In the Far East and in various parts of the world, millions of men and women are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 28. My cordial greeting goes out to all their families, with the hope that they might become ever more a school in which is learned respect for others, to communicate with and care for others in a selfless manner. May the joy of love be propagated within families, and from there radiate throughout all of society".<br />Previously the Pope had also recalled the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on the theme "Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us" , which will conclude next Wednesday, January 25, with the ecumenical celebration of Vespers at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. "I invite you to persevere in prayer – he said -, so that the desire of Christ, ‘That they all might be one,” may be accomplished ". <br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:37:49 +0100AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Mgr. Rosa Chavez: "Violence is not the solution to the problem of gangs" Salvador - The Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador, His Exc. Mgr. Gregorio Rosa Chavez, yesterday expressed in the usual press conference on Sunday, his concern for disputes among the main political forces in El Salvador, after the ARENA party decided to leave the table for dialogue with the government. The decision had already been announced: ARENA had in fact warned that, if the 2017 national budget had been approved underfunded, it would abandon dialogue, dialogue proposed with the aim of reaching agreements with the government.<br />Mgr. Rosa Chavez went back to talk about the need for solutions related to gangs in the country: "Violence is not the solution, fire is not quenched by putting more gasoline", said the Bishop. "The problem regarding gangs is a real problem. Distrust is normal, but something must be done, because the problem is causing daily anguish and casualties among the population", he said. "In these days we hear the language of arms, which is why we count the dead every day", he stressed. According to the local press, there are about 70,000 gang members and about 16,000 are in prison with extreme security measures, to prevent continuing to plot other crimes. <br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:27:11 +0100ASIA/SYRIA - The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate distances itself from the Hatune Foundation: "It does not represent us in any way" - The Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch distances itself from the "Hatune Foundation", the organization headed by the religious Syrian Orthodox Hatune Dogan. The foundation presents itself as a charity, dedicated to helping the poor and needy in various parts of the world, with a special concern for initiatives in favor of Christians and other minority groups subjected to violence in the Middle East and persecution.<br />A statement released by the patriarchal Office states that the Hatune Foundation "is not affiliated with the Syrian Orthodox Church, nor does it represent in any way the same Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate". The organization - emphasizes the statement, sent to Agenzia Fides - works "in a completely independent manner, without the approval or consent of the Syriac Orthodox Church and its primates in Europe and around the world. Therefore, it is confirmed that the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate does not support directly or indirectly this organization, nor actively promotes its fundraising or other activities".<br />The Syrian Orthodox nun Hatune Dogan, the mind behind the Foundation that bears her name, is currently working in Germany. In numerous interviews circulating on the Internet, she makes reference to the events of her family, forced to flee Turkey in the past. In many of her statements a total identification between bloody jihadism of the self-proclaimed Islamic State and Islam is proposed. "Islam is ISIS. Anyone who says different things is a liar", said Sister Hatune in an interview nearly a year ago to CBNNews, linked to media networks founded by US tele-preacher Pat Robertson. "Islam and democracy" stated amongst other things Sister Hatune in that interview "are opposites, like white and black. And I hope that America understands".<br />It is not the first time that the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate distances itself from organizations which in the West justify their initiatives and fundraisers with the motivation to offer support to the persecuted Christians. <br /><br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:20:23 +0100AMERICA/PERU - "Tired of feeling sorry for ourselves", young people overcome poverty through education - "We are tired of feeling sorry for ourselves", said Father José Chuquillanqui, pastor of Manchay, district of Pachacamac, in the course of the Peruvian program Diálogo de Fe. A note sent to Fides says that the pastor talked about the great commitment of the Church of Manchay, where he conducts the program "Work formation for young people at risk", explaining that the institution does not want to "cry poverty" and seeks to give tools to the needy so that they can achieve their goals with self-employment: "Let us work for their self-esteem". Father Chuquillanqui also explained how his project works and what his goal is: "the social project of Manchay is divided into education, health and human rights, with a strong commitment to combat sexual and domestic violence. We support entrepreneurship in favor of young people, so that they have the tools to get out of poverty through education". <br />Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:18:59 +0100ASIA/TURKEY - Father Santoro’s killer provides an unbelievable version of the murder - Oğuzhan Akdin, the 26-year-old murderer of Don Andrea Santoro, after his early release - which took place last August - has released for the first time to the Turkish press his version of the murder, intended to cause controversy because of its apparent unreliability.<br />According to the killer’s statements, published recently by the Turkish newspaper Karadeniz, he himself, on February 5, 2006, went to the church of Trabzon with a gun to ask Don Andrea the reasons of his activities and the conversion to Christianity of some young Muslims. At that point, the Catholic priest stated that "Christianity is the only true religion" and that one day "all Turks would be converted to Christianity", provoking a violent reaction on behalf of his interlocutor. Oğuzhan Akdin at that point shouted that Islam is the only true religion, killing the priest with two gunshots.<br />The story provided by the murderer appears as yet another act of offense against Don Santoro, who testified with his life as a priest, right to the end, even his love for Muslims and his absolute strangeness regarding projects of organized "proselytism". "Don Andrea, with his approach – said to Agenzia Fides Bishop Paul Bizzeti SJ, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, on the tenth anniversary of the assassination of the Italian priest - helped to make people understand each other and to disarm the logic of confrontation. That is why his figure of a missionary and man of dialogue is very current".<br />Oguzhan Ayudin, who at the time of the murder was 16, had been sentenced in 2006 to 18 years and 10 months in prison before being released last August with more than 10 years ahead of the expiry of the sentence. <br />Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:11:13 +0100AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - More than 4,500 children reunited with their families, more than 16 thousand recruited as soldiers - At least 4,563 children have been reunited with their families in South Sudan, some of them after years of separation. "Since 2013, 9,046 cases of children also remain active and open requiring ongoing interim care and family tracing services", says a note of the UNICEF local spokesman sent to Fides. An estimated 900,000 children have been displaced by the ongoing war in South Sudan, with 14,628 identified as separated and missing from their families since December 2013, putting them at risk of abuse. <br />Nearly 1,200 children have been killed as a direct result of combat. In addition, more than 16,000 children have been recruited as soldiers since war between the government and rebel groups broke out. <br />Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:43:53 +0100