Fides News English Agency Newsen-usAMERICA/HONDURAS - A new location of the detention center in San Pedro Sula for the sake of prisoners Pedro Sula - "Five months of work without interruption" says with satisfaction Mgr. Rómulo Emiliani Sánchez, C.M.F., Auxiliary Bishop of San Pedro Sula , who hopes for the arrival of other resources in order to end the new location for the prison of his diocese next year. In this way, the prison population will be transferred into the new complex where the cells, laboratories and space for activities will contribute to improving the quality of life of prisoners. <br />According to statistics, there are more than 16,000 inmates in 24 prisons in the country and the most crowded is the one in San Pedro Sula, which is in the city center. The new complex under construction is located outside the city. At the moment the prison of San Pedro Sula exceeds twice the number of prisoners it could accept, with obvious consequences regarding the dignity of prisoners. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/NIGERIA - New attacks and another 60 girls kidnapped: the possibility of a truce with Boko Haram vanishes - Hopes for peace vanishes after 5 people were killed in a bomb attack this morning at a bus station in Azari, in the State of Bauchi , and the abduction of 60 girls in the State of Adamawe. According to the local press, 40 girls were kidnapped in Waga Mangoro, and another 20 in Garta in two attacks during which several houses were burned. <br />In recent days, rumors had spread about a possible ceasefire agreement between the Government of Abuja and the Islamist group Boko Haram with the release of the famous 200 girls abducted in Chibock in April. <br />The news of the new kidnappings came as Parliament in Abuja was approving the request of President Goodluck Jonathan of a billion dollars in emergency funds to buy arms to fight Boko Haram. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/ALGERIA - The Inter-diocesan Assembly of the Catholic Church begins tomorrow - Forty representatives of the four Catholic dioceses of Algeria will meet in Algiers on Friday 24and Saturday, 25th October for the National Inter-diocesan Assembly of the Catholic Church. <br />The meeting of reflection, prayer and study of the problems will be held at the Church of Notre Dame d'Afrique and at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The Assembly is an important step in the path taken by Catholic communities in Algeria this year, marked by several moments of communion and inter-diocesan dialogue. <br />"From the earliest ages - reads the prayer written on the occasion of the inter-diocesan Year and distributed to all Algerian communities - You have not stopped calling the disciples to be signs of your love for all, without distinction, in our Country. From the days of the early martyrs to this day, You have not ceased to show the path of Your gospel through the lives of holy men and women of our people. You can see, Lord, that our everyday life is not always easy. At times we are not welcomed, we are humiliated, rejected, but we know that You will not abandon us. Forgive us when we are not faithful or when fear makes us deny you. And thank you for your ardent Spirit, that guides us during our pilgrimage on earth". Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/BENIN - New schooling project for 450 children in the north of the Countryé - The NGO Educo, born from the union of Intervida and Educación Sin Fronteras, has promoted a project of education and improvement of educational institutions in Sinendé, in northern Benin, 564 kilometers from the capital Porto Novo. The project is aimed at children between six and eight years of age. The formation will be financed by sponsors. The NGO is looking for 450 families who can economically support 450 children living in extreme poverty. The association ensures that it will finance the education of children, providing them with school material and trying to improve their living conditions, as well as renovating schools. Sinendé is a rural area where predominantly peasant families live. Educo has been active in 68 schools in Benin and in 6 communities for 3 years. It is a global NGO of cooperation for the development and protection of children's rights. Benin is a country where 47% of the population lives on less than $ 1.25 a day. Life expectancy is 59 years and the infant mortality rate of children under 5 years of age is 90 per thousand live births. The rate of female illiteracy among adults is 72%, while among men is 55%. The NGO is engaged in 16 Countries around the world in favor of 500,000 children. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/SPAIN - Every year 100,000 Christians die because of religious persecution - The Center for the Studies of Global Christianity in the United States estimates that about 100,000 Christians die every year because of their religious beliefs, that is to say one every five minutes. In addition, in many Countries, many other religious minorities suffer violence and persecution. Just to name a few, in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia and Egypt, the Christian elderly, women, men and their children live in conditions of total insecurity. They are driven from their homes; put in prison for blasphemy, and brutally killed during liturgical celebrations, churches are burned. Girls are kidnapped and forced to marry. Among the various initiatives in favor of freedom of religion and worship, the Spanish Foundation CitizenGo, created to promote respect in all contexts of human dignity and the rights that flow from it, and the International Foundation Novae Terrae have promoted a petition for the protection of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and in other parts of the world where the phenomenon is constant. So far more than 200 thousand people have signed. The two foundations urge European leaders and other continents to engage in favor of freedom of religion and worship, against any kind of persecution. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/IRAQ - Decree of the Chaldean Patriarch on priests and religious expatriates without the consent of their superiors - "Before the ordained, the “Priest” announces the offering of his whole life to God and the Church. It is an offering grounded in the obedience to the superiors without any conservation". For monks, "the vows are absolute: chastity, obedience, and poverty". This is the strong reminder regarding the commitments related to the priestly and religious vocation, expressed in the Decree published on Wednesday, October 22 by the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I, in order to highlight the disciplinary action taken against some priests and religious Chaldeans that in recent years have left Iraq without the consent of their superiors, seeking asylum in Western Countries. <br />"We – says the Patriarchal Decree, sent to Fides Agency - have bright examples of priests from our days that give us eloquent faith lessons". The Patriarch mentions the priests who shed their blood for sake of the flock: Hana Qasha, Ragheed Ganni and Bishop Paulus Faraj Rahho, and the priests who have been kidnapped yet stayed in their country and churches as well as the priests who have been expelled from their places yet they have journeyed with their flock! Then, according to the Canon Law and monastic regulations, the Decree suspends from practicing priestly ministry six monks and six diocesan priests who have left their dioceses and religious communities in Iraq to emigrate and move abroad without the consent of their superiors, assuming pastoral duties at the Chaldean communities in the diaspora. <br />The publication of the Decree - warns Patriarch Louis Raphael I - was preceded by due consultations with the permanent synod of the Chaldean Church and the Congregation of the Oriental Churches, and came after "several and unfortunately unfruitful, ultimatums and attempts" put in place in the past by the previous authorites of the Church and religious communities, in order to put a stop to the deplorable phenomenon, which has caused a scandal among the faithful of the Chaldean Church. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/SPAIN - Concerned about "our" problems, while thousands of people die every day - "Obviously World Mission Day in Spain had a shadow of sadness and sorrow: the death of two missionaries and a nurse infected with ebola" recalls the public letter of SCAM , written by missionaries from various religious and secular congregations present in Spain, sent to Fides. "We stand in solidarity with health care operators in all countries, and with all those who are engaged in the defense of others - continues the text - while we thank those who make the Spanish society reflect on several serious problems that are elsewhere". <br />The missionaries claim that an important part of the authorities, politicians and the media have focused their criticism on the "possible irresponsibility of Teresa", the nurse infected with Ebola and then cured. "It is shameful not to recognize and evaluate, above all, her attitude of service, dedication and sacrifice in a risky job". <br />The Spanish missionary organization is also saddened because "another sector of the population gave repeated evidence of selfishness, individualism and stubbornness, with an exaggerated concern for 'our' problems - for our safety - completely forgetting the countries most affected with ebola and, of course, other diseases and disasters that cause thousands of deaths every day. Someone rightly said that these people think and are concerned about saving themselves from the poor rather than saving the poor, raising all kinds of walls and barriers that isolate them. In this globalized world it is no longer possible: either we save everybody or we die together!"<br />In conclusion, the missionaries write: "We ask the authorities and all Spanish society, to treat migrants, who have left their homeland and family in order to seek a better life with all the dignity they deserve". Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/ZAMBIA - The Church's contribution to the growth of the nation after 50 years of independence - "The Catholic Church is part of the Zambian society, and shares the joys and sorrows of the nation. This is why there is great respect, and her influence has grown, thanks to her prophetic voice", says to Fides Agency Fr. Bernard Makadani Zulu, Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Zambia, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of national independence. <br />The Church has given, and continues to provide an essential contribution to the material and spiritual growth of the Country. In the health field, for example, the Church through its 17 hospitals, 38 rural health centers and other base community programs, provides 40% of healthcare in the Country. Even the program that allowed Zambia to reduce the incidence of AIDS had a strong support from the Church. As recalled by Fr. Bernard, "the Church has taken care of the poor, providing service to more than 200,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 100,000 children orphaned because of the virus". <br />Also the contribution of the Church in education and in that of economic development is also important. Among other things, the Church has promoted the success of organic and sustainable agriculture. <br />The Catholic community in the past 50 years has become self-sufficient in terms of Church personnel, thanks to a number of priestly and religious vocations, to the point that Zambian missionaries were sent to Nigeria, Rwanda, Cameroon, Paraguay, Italy, Usa, England. <br />In combining the past with the future, Fr. Bernard indicates, among the future challenges the Church has to face, the gap between rich and poor, the spread of witchcraft and Satanism and alcoholism. To cope with these problems the Church must have the ability to deepen faith, increase economic independence and promote evangelization through the use of new and old media . Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/SLOVAKIA - Reaching out to young people and drawing their attention to the mission of the Church - With the objective of reaching the younger generation and drawing their attention to the efforts made by the Church in the mission field, the Pontifical Mission Societies in Slovakia have launched their new website. Fr. Viktor Jakubov, National Director of the PMS, informs Fides Agency that information on the objectives and activities of the PMS, updates on projects funded and news of the Churches in mission territories are found on the new site. In addition, the site aims to keep the focus on the problem of poverty and discrimination of all kinds. Connected with social media, the new site features easier Web surfing and can be seen on tablets and other laptops. The PMS hopes that through the new site a greater number of people can be involved, especially young people, in the work of spreading the faith. <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="">The site of the PMS in Slovakia</a>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/COTE D'IVOIRE - Appointment of the Rector of the "Notre Dame de Guessihio" Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Gagnoa City - On September 19, 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed rev. Darius Assande Ekou of the archdiocesan clergy of Abengourou as Rector of the "Notre Dame de Guessihio" national theological Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Gagnoa . <br />The new Rector is 46 years old, was born in Bongouanou and was ordained a priest on 7 September 1996. After earning his Bachelor of Theology degree at the "Saint Coeur de Marie" Major Seminary in Anyama, he obtained a Licentiate and Doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. Since 2011 he has been teaching Social Doctrine of the Church at the Major Seminary of Gagnoa. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/LIBERIA - Ebola, not only death and suffering: MSF celebrates the thousandth survivor - Since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, MSF has admitted more than 4,500 patients to its care centres. Among these, more than 2,700 were confirmed as having Ebola. Amidst all the loss and suffering, there are several stories of survival. According to a statement sent to Fides by MSF, yesterday the center in Foya celebrated the one thousandth survivor among all patients treated in the projects in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since last March, when the organization began to respond to the emergency in West Africa. <br />The boy's father works as a health officer for MSF, visiting villages and sensitizing the population about the virus. After losing his wife, two daughters and a brother to the killer disease, the only survivor was the eldest of his sons, aged 18, who lived in Monrovia and showed no symptoms of the disease. When the boy arrived in Foya, the people turned him away. Father and son had to move. According to the father’s story, reported by MSF, the day after the boy looked more tired than usual. He was then admitted to a treatment center in Foya and was confirmed as having Ebola. After receiving treatment, the boy began to feel much better. Currently there are about 3000 MSF operators working in the region, including 250 international operators. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/CAMEROON - African Catholic Bishops: "Respect democratic turnover"é - "The closing of borders is not the solution to Ebola", says the final communiqué of the annual coordination meeting of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar which was held from October 15 to 18 in Doula, Cameroon. In the statement, sent to Fides, what is highlighted is the suffering of the people of African Countries affected by hemorrhagic fever and the necessity to be "inventive" in the search for solutions. <br />Another issue raised by the press is that of democracy in Africa, noting that "the refusal of democratic turnover and lack of respect for the law are fundamental causes of tensions and situations of disorder in several African countries". We therefore make an appeal so that "the observance of the Constitution and democratic turnover are respected, which is the basis of any sustainable development" <br />A development that can be made possible, says the document, from the proper exploitation of African natural resources. SECAM therefore commends the international initiative for transparency in the extractive industries , and recommends that all African states take part and exert strict controls on the distributions of mining income. It also emphasizes the need to open a liaison office with the African Union in Addis Ababa. <br />The statement concludes with the announcement of a Congress of the "Justice and Peace" Committees in Africa to be held in March 2015 in Namibia, on the theme of integral human development. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/PAKISTAN - Interreligious marriage canceled after threats to a young married couple - A Christian boy from Multan, Akram Masih, was arrested by the police in Multan for having forced a Muslim girl, Maria Bibi, of the District of Shiekhupura, to marry. The police broke into Akram’s family house, seizing the boy and beating other family members, including the women. <br />As reported to Fides by the Christian lawyer Mushtaq Gill, the family has asked for the help of Bishop Asher Kamran, head of the Methodist Church of Pakistan in Multan. The Bishop wrote a letter to contest the false complaint against Masih, for Maria’s alleged kidnapping and for forced marriage. <br />The Christian boy from Multan and the Muslim girl from Sheikhupura, who fell in love, got married in Multan with Islamic rites. In order to get married the young man took the Muslim name of Muhammad Akram, converting to Islam, but the conversion turned out to be useless: after the girl's family protests and the complaint registered, the police intervened. <br />According to Akram’s family, the boy is completely innocent and the couple got married freely. The two were summoned before a magistrate to confirm their free will. In a brief appearance, which was attended by family members and many Muslim leaders, the girl signed, against her will, a statement against Akram. If Maria had refused to sign, both of them would have been killed. The marriage was declared null and void. Fides Agency had recently reported a similar case in Karachi . <br />According to Islamic law, a Muslim woman cannot marry a man who belongs to another religion. "In Pakistan, the level of religious extremism is too high to tolerate marriage between a Christian man and a Muslim woman, even if the Christian converts to Islam", notes lawyer Gill, stating that "this is a serious violation of fundamental rights". Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/HONDURAS - The right to food for 700,000 people suffering hunger: it is not food that is lacking, but justice - "Hunger is not caused by lack of food, but by the lack of justice": this is how the text sent to Fides Agency by local sources begins, which presents the campaign of Caritas in Honduras. "Caritas is the main witness of the harmful consequences of this lack of justice, of unequal access to food and nutrition. It is a moral and humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by unjust policies and practices, market distortions caused by excessive financial speculation, by the deviation of food resources to produce energy", continues the statement. <br />The Caritas Honduras campaign started a week ago and joins the global campaign "Food for All" . <br />The report sent to Fides reports that more than 700,000 Hondurans do not have their basic food necessities. Children pay the consequences of not receiving adequate nutrition: Honduras is the second largest country in Central America with the highest prevalence of child malnutrition, which affects about 240,000 children. One in four children suffer from chronic malnutrition, and the areas most affected are the poorest in the country . For experts malnutrition during the first two years of life can lead to irreversible damage to the bodies and minds of children. <br />The Social Pastoral Caritas Honduras has long been committed to contributing to the elimination of malnutrition and to ensure food security. "As regards to food security, we no longer have the traditional approach, but we rather speak of the Right to Food", the statement concludes, explaining that the concept of food security is limited to considering the availability of necessary food, while the Right to Food "is much more than this, it is its availability, access, consumption and sustainability". Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/INDIA - Appeal for minorities is shared in civil society Delhi - The recent appeal to the central government and state governments to take "urgent measures to put an end to the orchestrated campaign and motivated by hatred and Violence against religious minorities, which has a negative impact on social harmony in many towns and villages and areas of the country was widely shared by more than 30 Christian and non-Christian groups and associations". As reported by Fides Agency , the text was welcomed by the Jesuit Indians gathered in the "Jesa" network . The religious, who were not the only promoters, joined the wide network of organizations that shared the content. The text of the appeal recalled "the clear support from other political leaders to radical groups and Hindu extremists" and "the over 600 cases of violence against minorities between May and September 2014," while the perpetrators go unpunished . <br />Activists, different groups and associations engaged in the defense of human rights have reiterated the request to protect the rights of minorities, especially the right to live with dignity as citizens of India, calling the institutions to put an end to the orchestrated campaign of hatred and violence against minorities. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - Appointment of the Rector of "St. John the Baptist" Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Ouagadougou City - On May 30, 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed rev. Jules Pascal Zabre of the archdiocesan clergy of Ouagadougou as Rector of "St. John the Baptist" Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Ouagadougou . <br />The new Rector was born on 17 May 1968 in Ouagadougou and was ordained a priest on July 6 1996. After having attended the minor Seminary in Pabré and obtained his BA, he studied philosophy at the Major Seminary in Wayalge in Ouagadougou and theology at the Major Seminary in Koumi in Bobo-Dioulasso. He earned a doctorate in spiritual Theology at the Université Catholique de l'Afrique de l'Ouest and a Licentiate in Liturgy at the Institut Catholique in Paris. Since 2009 he has been teaching liturgy, ecclesiology and sacramental theology at the Saint Pierre Claver major Seminary in Koumi in Bobo-Dioulasso. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/MEXICO - When you do not respect the right of even one person, it jeopardizes the right of allérida - Continue to look for students in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, and punish the guilty: this is what the Secretary of the Mexican Episcopal Conference , His Exc. Mgr. Eugenio Lira Rugarcía says to the authorities of the Country in his speech at the 14th National Meeting of Health Pastoral Care, held in Merida . The note sent to Fides reported his words: "These things cannot continue to happen in Mexico, one cannot tolerate a situation where there are people who disappear. We must walk together as a society and a safe country, where one lives in peace".<br />Mgr. Eugenio Lira Rugarcía, Auxiliary Bishop of Puebla de los Ángeles, expressed his solidarity to the families of the victims and stressed that "this situation should concern us all, because when you do not respect the right of even one person, it puts at risk the right of all". He also recalled that the Church supports and respects the request of several groups in favor of justice. <br />Mexico is going through a delicate period following the issue of students in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero . While the central government authorities continue to search for students , the population organizes marches and demonstrations against corrupt local authorities and in favor of the rural population, which has always suffered this kind of marginalization and injustice. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/EGYPT - Pilgrimages in the footsteps of the Holy Family - A delegation of representatives and pilgrims from the Philippines took part in the celebration in honor of the Holy Family held on Tuesday, October 21 at the Coptic Museum, in the historic part of Cairo, in the presence of the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Tawadros II and the Egyptian Minister for tourism, Hisham Zaazou. The project of a pilgrimage that traces the path carried out by the Holy Family in Egypt during exile officially begins. The route of the pilgrimage should start from the town of Al-Arish in northern Sinai, then head to the delta and Wadi Natrun and reach Assiut and the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, known as the Monastery of Al-Muharraq. According to statements issued to the local media by officials of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, with special advertising campaigns to be carried out in Europe, South Asia and Latin America the path dedicated to the Holy Family will hopefully draw the attention of about 500 thousand pilgrims each year. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - The warring parties recognize their responsibilities in the civil war, "an important step for peace" - "We hope this is a first concrete and decisive step for the cease-fire first and then for true peace", says to Fides Agency Sister Elena Baratti, a Comboni missionary from Juba, capital of South Sudan, commenting the agreement reached yesterday, October 20, in Arusha to resolve the civil war that since December 15, 2013 has devastated the Country. <br />According to a report in the "Herald Sudan", what was signed yesterday is an agreement within the SPLM , the government party, divided between the wing loyal to President Salva Kiir and the rebel wing led by former Vice President Riek Machar, whose conflicts have triggered the civil war. <br />"The two sides recognize their collective responsibility in the crisis of South Sudan that has caused the death of a large number of people and caused considerable material damage", says the text of the agreement. "A divided SPLM automatically means fragmenting the Country on ethnic and regional basis" continues the text, hoping for "a frank and honest dialogue that puts the interest of the people and the nation above everything". <br />"It is a first acknowledgment of responsibility by the two protagonists of the crisis, mediated by Tanzania, which has engaged in a process of 'negotiations' parallel to the peace mediation carried out by IGAD" explains the Comboni missionary to Fides, referring to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development, the organization that brings together the Countries of the Horn of Africa that is mediating to resolve the conflict in the Country. <br />"The peace agreement itself probably will be signed within IGAD" adds Sister Helen. "If this agreement had been signed, we would have exploded with joy in the streets of Juba, because people continue to suffer because of the war. However, yesterday’s signing gives us new hope", concludes the missionary. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/MEXICO - 2000 children have been killed or maimed between 2006 and 2014 City – The increase of children who disappear or are recruited by criminal gangs in Mexico and are killed or maimed continues to be alarming. This is denounced by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights after a recent visit to the country of the rapporteur on the Rights of Children, Girls and Adolescents of the IACHR. According to information gathered from various civil society organizations committed to the protection of children, sent to Fides Agency, between 2006 and 2014 2,000 children have been killed or maimed, sometimes in a bloody way, in addition to a high number of children who are forcibly recruited by criminal gangs in the poorest communities. <br />As regards to the system of protection for children, the IACHR notes that there is still a worrying lack of standards, coordination and supervision by the State. In addition, only a few months ago, in the home for children "La Gran Familia," in Michoacán, hundreds of children, infants, and young people were found in inhumane conditions, victims of all sorts of abuse. The institution has also condemned the conditions of children living in the streets, especially in the overcrowded capital, as well as immigrant children, many of whom travel unaccompanied and have no legal assistance, which is vital to ensure their rights. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0200