Fides News Englishhttp://www.fides.org/Fides Agency Newsen-usAMERICA/NICARAGUA - The Archdiocese of Managua condemns the criminal act against innocent civilians on Saturdayhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36137-AMERICA_NICARAGUA_The_Archdiocese_of_Managua_condemns_the_criminal_act_against_innocent_civilians_on_Saturdayhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36137-AMERICA_NICARAGUA_The_Archdiocese_of_Managua_condemns_the_criminal_act_against_innocent_civilians_on_SaturdayManagua - The Archdiocese of Managua expressed "deep sorrow and outrage with regards to the terrible criminal act which took place last Saturday against fellow Nicaraguans who were going back to their homes after the celebration of July 19 in Managua". Several buses were attacked as these people were traveling back home from the celebrations of 19th July, 35th anniversary of the Sandinista Popular Revolution, causing five victims and twenty wounded. <br />The attack took place in two different places: in the municipality of San Ramón, department of Matagalpa, north of Managua, and in the municipality of San Juan de Limay, department of Estelí. The national community is shocked by this act of terrorism which, according to the social networks of the country, is attributed to a group called Fuerzas Democráticas Nicaragüenses . <br />In a statement sent to Fides Agency by the Archdiocese of Managua, Cardinal Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes, along with Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, condemn the "act of violence describing it as inhuman and irrational". The text invites parishes and communities to celebrate a Mass on Thursday, July 24 for the victims of this terrorist act, and to promote "a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament to implore the gift of peace for our country". <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.fides.org/spa/attachments/view/file/Managua_comunicadoarquidiocesis21jul14.pdf">The full text of the Statement of the Archdiocese Managua (in Spanish):</a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/IRAQ - Last exodus from Mosul: nearly three thousand Christianshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36136-ASIA_IRAQ_Last_exodus_from_Mosul_nearly_three_thousand_Christianshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36136-ASIA_IRAQ_Last_exodus_from_Mosul_nearly_three_thousand_ChristiansMosul - The last Christians who have left Mosul after the jihadist ultimatum by the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate are almost three thousand. A very high number, Mosul is now empty of Christians.<br />This is confirmed by Marzio Babille, Unicef responsible for Iraq . "Most of them - refers Babille – are moving towards the towns of Tilkif, Batnaya and Alqosh. Forty families have moved to the east, towards Qaraqosh, and thirty have been accepted in the province of Dohuk. Twenty families have reached Erbil, the capital of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, where a small reception center in collaboration with the Chaldean archdiocese was set up". Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/INDIA - Religious violence increases in Uttar Pradeshhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36135-ASIA_INDIA_Religious_violence_increases_in_Uttar_Pradeshhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36135-ASIA_INDIA_Religious_violence_increases_in_Uttar_PradeshLucknow – Violence based on religion and hatred disseminated by Hindu extremist groups are increasing in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. This is denounced to Fides Agency by the Commission on Religious Freedom of the "Evangelical Fellowship of India", condemning the recent incidents that have seen Christians as victims of violent acts of intolerance. <br />The Commission recalls the "cowardly attack" on the Church of the Nazarene in Sehkari Nagar, which occurred on July 16, 2014, stating that "it is the direct result of the rapid growth of religious radicalism in Uttar Pradesh". According to Protestant pastors and other members of the various local churches, the attack on the Church of the Nazarene is the work of a group of activists of the "Bajrang Dal", a formation of Hindu militants. The attackers were led by Hemant Singh, identified as the coordinator of the "Bajrang Dal" in the area. The group ransacked the church, beat the pastor, broke the cross and other furnishings of the church. <br />Fr. Paul, a victim of the attack, said that "the militants broke into the church suddenly and began to hit the faithful and destroy everything, profaning the altar, and then hoisted a saffron coloured flag on the door of the church. "Christians submitted a formal complaint and the police have arrested a few people, but the militants have staged protests demanding the release of those arrested. <br />Other violent incidents have occurred recently in Uttar Pradesh: July 7, 2014, a church in the village of Saraiya was attacked by Hindu extremists, and there were threats and other minor cases. The faithful in the State ask Akhilesh Yadav, Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh, to take note of these attacks against the Christian community and to initiate urgent action to protect its citizens. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/HOLY LAND - Patriarch Emeritus Sabbah: there is no war in Gaza, but a useless massacrehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36134-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_Patriarch_Emeritus_Sabbah_there_is_no_war_in_Gaza_but_a_useless_massacrehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36134-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_Patriarch_Emeritus_Sabbah_there_is_no_war_in_Gaza_but_a_useless_massacreGaza - In the night between Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 July, the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip caused further destruction and casualties among the civilian population. The number of Palestinians killed have exceeded 580, while among the Israeli soldiers there have been 27 deaths so far. In the latest round of Israeli raids even four mosques and several health centers have been affected. <br />"What is happening in Gaza", says to Fides Agency His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins, "is not a war, but rather a massacre. A useless massacre, which will not advance even one step Israel towards peace and security. On the contrary, with all these human sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians are full of new hatred". According to the Patriarch Emeritus, "the means to achieve peace can only be a means of peace. For sixty years we have seen that wars, weapons, massacres are unable to secure any kind of peace". According to His Beatitude Sabbah, "the only way out of the spiral of violence and destruction is to address the underlying issue, which is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. There will be peace and security only when Israel will recognize the freedom and sovereignty of the Palestinian state. But maybe we will have to wait for a new generation of Israeli leaders to see this happen. The current leaders believe only in the military force. They have sophisticated weapons to kill, and no power to make peace". Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/SPAIN - March for solidarity: 1600 million unemployed and 400 million young slaves in the worldhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36133-EUROPE_SPAIN_March_for_solidarity_1600_million_unemployed_and_400_million_young_slaves_in_the_worldhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36133-EUROPE_SPAIN_March_for_solidarity_1600_million_unemployed_and_400_million_young_slaves_in_the_worldMadrid - Unemployment and slavery are two sides of the same coin. Young people from all over the world are slaves or are exploited. From the work done with the hands of 400 million children, clothes, shoes, fruit, cereals, flowers are produced. These are flanked by 1.6 billion unemployed worldwide. There are many situations in front of which we cannot remain indifferent: immigrant children, those who live on the streets in Argentina, the mothers of those killed violently in Venezuela. To protest against these injustices, Camino Juvenil Solidario , the Spanish youth section of the Christian Cultural Movement, has invited all the young people of Spain to take part in a joint initiative for this summer 2014. <br />After years of preparation and contacts with various Spanish groups and organizations and other countries, the CJS proposes the "March for Solidarity 2014", which will travel the Country starting from different places in order to reach Madrid together. Hundreds of individuals and associations have joined and opened its doors to all those who take part , supporting initiatives in villages and towns, through songs, dances, paintings, and staging the life of Iqbal Masih, a slave boy murdered in Pakistan on April 16, 1995 for the struggle for freedom from the slavery of minors. The march will end in Madrid on Saturday, July 26, with the meeting of groups and the end of all activities. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Although some people promote hate, the Church is committed to peaceful coexistencehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36132-AMERICA_DOMINICAN_REPUBLIC_Although_some_people_promote_hate_the_Church_is_committed_to_peaceful_coexistencehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36132-AMERICA_DOMINICAN_REPUBLIC_Although_some_people_promote_hate_the_Church_is_committed_to_peaceful_coexistenceSanto Domingo - Some sectors of Dominican society promote hatred and resentment among the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This is what is said in an editorial in the latest issue of the Catholic weekly "Camino" of 20 July. "Do not give way to reconciliation and the search for alternatives with regards to national projects to do together", the editorial says, without mentioning the names of who these people are. The text sent to Fides also reports that, in the case of relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, there is a kind of permanent war, characterized by misunderstanding and lack of unified vision to address a shared future. "How many hours wasted to foster resentment and hatred on both sides of the border", the text says. <br />Recalling that the two countries are destined to share the same territory, the same island, and neither of the two will move, nor will it ever do so, it states: "We have only one way out: peaceful coexistence". In conclusion, however, the message is full of hope: it asks to grasp opportunities on behalf of both countries, learning from other nations that share borders and are able to carry out joint projects in the field of technology and in ecological, educational, industrial and cultural areas. The editorial hopes that eventually the meeting of the representatives of the two governments, held recently in Juan Dolio , is able to open the door to a new phase in the life of both peoples. <br />From July 10 to 12 in fact the representatives of the two governments on the island met for the third time to formally review the agreements proposed by both countries in the field of trade, health, emigration, agriculture, safety and environment. The meeting, defined historic due to the presence of the two main representatives, the Minister of the Dominican Presidency Gustavo Montalvo and Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, led to the decision, among other things, to regulate migration flows and to facilitate the documentation of citizens of both countries. Haiti has announced its program to identify and provide documentation to Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The two countries also discussed the need to specify an extradition treaty to allow the prosecution of criminals who seek refuge in the territory of the other country, in order to bring them to justice. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Child malnutrition rates skyrocket: +73% compared to 2013http://www.fides.org/en/news/36131-AFRICA_SOUTH_SUDAN_Child_malnutrition_rates_skyrocket_73_compared_to_2013http://www.fides.org/en/news/36131-AFRICA_SOUTH_SUDAN_Child_malnutrition_rates_skyrocket_73_compared_to_2013Leer - Rates of malnutrition have skyrocketed in parts of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei States since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December . More than 13,270 children, most under the age of five, have been admitted to MSF feeding programmes in South Sudan so far this year, amounting to 73 percent of the 18,125 admissions during the whole of 2013. In the town of Leer, MSF teams were treating 40 malnutrition cases each month before the outbreak of hostilities. More than 1,000 new cases per month are now being treated. Violence, displacement, and food shortages are the leading causes of the spike in malnutrition rates and the increasing numbers of children requiring urgent medical care in some locations where MSF is working. In Unity State, the scale of the malnutrition became clear when people who had been displaced by fighting returned to the town of Leer in May, following months living in the bush. MSF has admitted more people for malnutrition during just the last two months than in all of 2013 . In Bentiu, a specialised MSF facility set up in May 2014 to treat severely malnourished people suffering from medical complications, including diarrhoea, chest infections and dehydration, has already admitted 239 children, of whom 42 have died. <br />In Jonglei state, MSF facilities in Lankien and Yuai have seen a 60% increase in admissions in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, from an average of 175 per month in 2013 to 290 admissions per month in 2014 so far. <br />In Upper Nile State, MSF teams have admitted 2,064 people, mostly children, in the area north of Malakal. A recent mortality survey carried out there revealved very high death rates. The vast numbers of displaced people in the bush have lost their cattle, crops, seeds and farming implements. They are trying to survive on a diet of roots and leaves, while living amidst muddy swamp water. The violence has interrupted planting and has prevented crop harvesting. Existing food stocks have been destroyed or looted. Markets have been disrupted and roads are impassable due to the conflict. The ongoing rainy season and annual “lean season” are exacerbating the food crisis. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/VIETNAM - "UN expert on religious freedom will visit Viet Nam to assess the situation in the country"http://www.fides.org/en/news/36130-ASIA_VIETNAM_UN_expert_on_religious_freedom_will_visit_Viet_Nam_to_assess_the_situation_in_the_countryhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36130-ASIA_VIETNAM_UN_expert_on_religious_freedom_will_visit_Viet_Nam_to_assess_the_situation_in_the_countryHanoi - United Nations Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt, will visit Viet Nam from 21 to 31 July 2014, "to assess the situation in the country and meet all religious communities": This is what is reported by NGOs and associations and human rights activists such as "Christian Solidarity Worldwide" . In a note sent to Fides, the NGO recalls criticisms and concerns raised by the new decree which regulates religious affairs, the so-called "Decree 92", which leaves rather arbitrary powers to government officials. <br />The Special Rapporteur will visit a country to learn more about the local situation, with regard to the promotion and protection of freedom of religion, the emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion. During his visit Bielefeldt will meet with various government officials and local authorities as well as with representatives of religious communities and civil society organizations. At the end of the visit the expert will share with the media his preliminary findings during a press conference on 31 July 2014, and will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council at a future session in 2015.<br />According to a research carried out by the CSW, in 2013 and 2014, violations of religious freedom and the abuse of religious communities in Viet nam include harassment, intimidation and intrusive monitoring, arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings. The victims are both the "new converts", and members of religious communities of ancient tradition, such as Protestants, Catholics, Hoa Hao Buddhists, Muslims, other Buddhists, followers of Cao. <br />CSW shares the concerns expressed by religious leaders on Decree 92 on activities, "which contains a vague and ambiguous terminology, and lays the groundwork for the introduction of new bureaucratic obstacles to peaceful and legal activities of the believers". He also draws attention to the grave violations of freedom on the Protestant Christian communities in the central and north-west highlands, and on Catholic communities in various parts of the country. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The missionaries for the development of indigenous peoples in Mindanaohttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36128-ASIA_PHILIPPINES_The_missionaries_for_the_development_of_indigenous_peoples_in_Mindanaohttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36128-ASIA_PHILIPPINES_The_missionaries_for_the_development_of_indigenous_peoples_in_MindanaoSultan Kundarat - To promote human development and education of indigenous Manobo-Dulangan, in the province of Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao: this is the commitment of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, established presence on the big island in the South of the Philippines. <br />Fr. Renan Aban, who served as Coordinator of pastoral care of the indigenous peoples in the local Episcopal Conference, continues to provide scholarships to elementary school children through the "Oblate Missionary Fund". In the new school year, 60 indigenous children will have shelter, food and school for free. <br />If the educational program is one of the priorities, the effort of the missionaries also focuses on adult formation and in promoting among the Monobo-Dulangan the awareness of their rights. The aim is to ensure the conservation of the cultural heritage of the tribe. Tribal leaders are more aware of the fact that they do not walk alone, but are accompanied by the Church. <br />The missionaries adopt a style of "immersion" in the tribal reality. The Manobo-Dulangan live mostly by satisfying everyday needs. Their presence is often completely ignored by the institutions: recent contracts and contracts awarded by the government for the forestry and mining exploitation of land where the Manobo live, jeopardize survival. This happens, highlight the Oblate missionaries, without any reference to the Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the Philippine government in 1997 and without any consent on behalf of the Manobo-Dulangan. The ancestral lands of the Manobo-Dulangan tribe are exploited, the land they cultivate and the forest resources have sharply decreased. Thanks to the support of the missionaries, the voice of the Manobo-Dulangans can be heard by civilian institutions and indigenous peoples can assert their rights, says Fr. Aban in a note sent to Fides. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/SIERRA LEONE - Race against time to control the outbreak of ebolahttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36127-AFRICA_SIERRA_LEONE_Race_against_time_to_control_the_outbreak_of_ebolahttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36127-AFRICA_SIERRA_LEONE_Race_against_time_to_control_the_outbreak_of_ebolaFreetown - In the last two weeks, the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres has treated more than 70 patients with symptoms similar to those of ebola and fears a possible increase of patients in the coming weeks . Beyond medical treatment, the control of the epidemic will require the deployment of many people to train health staff on infection control measures, monitor and track cases and their contacts, to create a network for the epidemiological surveillance and to promote public health messages. Because of the limited human resources, MSF is focusing its efforts on the treatment of patients and community awareness in relation to the disease, with more than 150 local and international operators in action in the Country. The organization is concerned about the hidden cases. At the moment, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization is starting to reinforce the teams involved to trace the contacts. Patients must still be identified; in one village near Ngolahun almost 40 have been reported. Through the creation of centers for the treatment and unit transit near the villages affected, MSF can intervene quickly and reduce the risk of infection in local hospitals and in the community. In units of transit in Koindu and Daru, patients who show symptoms are isolated while waiting for the test results. The Zaire strain of Ebola can kill up to 90%, but if the infected people receive treatment at the first signs of the disease they are more likely to survive. Ebola creates fear in the community and people who are ill are often stigmatized. Families can be driven out of their villages and sick people are moved away and die in solitude. To reduce the fear, MSF teams provide psychological support to patients and their families. The epidemic that is spreading in West Africa has reached unprecedented levels in terms of geographical spread, number of cases and number of deaths. According to WHO data updated to 15 July, since the beginning of the epidemic, there have been 964 cases and 603 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/SUDAN – Sudan bans the construction of new churcheshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36126-AFRICA_SUDAN_Sudan_bans_the_construction_of_new_churcheshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36126-AFRICA_SUDAN_Sudan_bans_the_construction_of_new_churchesKhartoum - The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and religious Endowments announced that the government will not issue permits anymore for the construction of new churches in the country. Sudanese Christian leaders have criticised the statement. Minister Shalil Abdallah told the Khartoum based El Jareeda newspaper recently that the existing churches are enough for the Christians remaining in Sudan, after the secession of South Sudan in 2011. He also pointed out the fact that majority of the inhabitants of South Sudan are Christians, while the number of Christians in Sudan is small. Reacting to the news, Rev. Kori El Ramli, the Secretary-General of the Sudan Council of Churches, told Radio Tamazuj that the Minister’s statement contradicts the Sudanese 2005 Interim Constitution. "Yes, we are a minority, but we have freedom of worship and belief just like the rest of the Sudanese, as long as we are Sudanese nationals like them", he explained. The pastor also criticised the recent demolition of the Sudanese Church of Christ, built in 1983 at El Izba, in Khartoum north. Most congregants of the Sudanese church of Christ are Nuba from South Kordofan. In a report issued in April, 2013, the NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide noted a significant increase in arrests, detentions and deportations of Christians by Sudan since December 2012. The organisation also reported that systematic targeting of Nuba and other ethnic groups suggests the resurgence of an official policy of Islamization and Arabization. Due to its treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the US State Department in 1999. In April 2013, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended the country remain on the list. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/IRAQ – The Syrian Monastery of Mar Behnam in the hands of the militia of the "Islamic Caliphate"http://www.fides.org/en/news/36125-ASIA_IRAQ_The_Syrian_Monastery_of_Mar_Behnam_in_the_hands_of_the_militia_of_the_Islamic_Caliphatehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36125-ASIA_IRAQ_The_Syrian_Monastery_of_Mar_Behnam_in_the_hands_of_the_militia_of_the_Islamic_CaliphateQaraqosh - On Sunday afternoon, July 20 the jihadist militiamen of the self-proclaimed "Islamic Caliphate" took possession of the ancient monastery of Mar Behnam, ten minutes from the city of Qaraqosh, until yesterday officiated by Syrian Catholic monks. The Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Yohanna Petros Moshe, confirmed to Fides Agency that yesterday the emissaries of the Caliphate "imposed on the three monks and a few families living in the monastery to go away and leave the keys". There is no other confirmed news on what is happening in the monastery, although many fear a repeat of vandalism and desecration already registered in other Christian places of worship which ended up in the hands of the jihadists. Meanwhile, in the city of Qaraqosh, only a few kilometers from Mar Behnam - the yield of the Monastery by Islamist militants has already increased the alarm status of the population, mostly Christian. <br />"The international community", said the Syrian Catholic priest Nizar Semaan, collaborator of Archbishop Moshe "recorded a disturbing passivity due to what is happening in that area. One should come out of the vague statements, and put in place concrete measures at a humanitarian and political level. For example, the time has come to include these groups in the list of terrorist organizations condemned by international bodies, and above all it is necessary to make public the names of the Countries and forces that finance them. Intelligence agencies and the governments of various Countries certainly know where certain weapons and money that keep these groups going come from. It would be enough to stop the flow for a month, and these groups would not have any more force". <br />In addition, according to Fr. Semaan it is necessary to involve leaders and followers of Sunni Islam in an effort to isolate the jihadist groups: "a pronouncement of sentence against these groups by the Islamic authorities, spread through the network of mosques, would certainly have a significant effect", highlights the Syrian Catholic priest. <br />The Monastery dedicated to the Assyrian martyr prince Behnam and his sister Sarah, is one of the oldest places of worship of the Syrian Christianity. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200OCEANIA/FIJI ISLANDS - A Seminar of the Pacific has on-line access to the best library resources in the worldhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36129-OCEANIA_FIJI_ISLANDS_A_Seminar_of_the_Pacific_has_on_line_access_to_the_best_library_resources_in_the_worldhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36129-OCEANIA_FIJI_ISLANDS_A_Seminar_of_the_Pacific_has_on_line_access_to_the_best_library_resources_in_the_worldSuva - Thanks to new technologies and the commitment of the Pontifical Mission Societies, isolation and poor cultural opportunities of a small Pacific island are forgotten. In Fiji, the seminarians of the Regional Seminary of the Pacific in Suva have found a pleasant surprise: in the library of the Seminary, 19 thousand texts and study materials from study centers and libraries around the world have been cataloged and made available to students. An invaluable resource. <br />All this is implemented, as reported to Fides, thanks to a project sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia: the project "Sharing of the Word", an initiative which links the libraries of Catholic centers around the world. In this way, seminarians and students of theology in Africa, Asia and Oceania can have the best possible resources. The project aims to provide every student of theology equal access to the best library services in the world. <br />In fact, often in the Seminaries of countries such as Africa, Asia and Oceania, library resources are scarce and isolated. This shortage is reflected on the formation of students. The Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia is the leading agency for the project, conceived and launched in 2013. The first step is to update the libraries of Seminaries, where a system of library automation is installed. <br />The work of cataloging and sharing therefore begins. "Catholic Mission" will assist every Seminar that embraces the project to acquire a server and a number of workstations for librarians and students, so that one can access more easily to available resources. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/HOLY LAND - The Israeli army enters Gaza. Pope's message to the local Catholic communityhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36123-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_The_Israeli_army_enters_Gaza_Pope_s_message_to_the_local_Catholic_communityhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36123-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_The_Israeli_army_enters_Gaza_Pope_s_message_to_the_local_Catholic_communityGaza - The Israeli army's ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, concentrated in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, was accompanied by intensified air and naval raids also on Gaza City throughout the night. The small Catholic parish in Gaza, dedicated to the Holy Family, is employed in the humanitarian emergency triggered by the military intervention. Pastor Jorge Hernandez, Argentine missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, has welcomed numerous family groups in the school premises who have fled from their homes situated in the bombed areas, and since this morning is engaged in the search for water and food for the displaced. <br />"I spoke with the families of the parish" refers to Fides Agency Sister Laudis, a religious of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, currently in Beit Jala after leaving the Gaza Strip, "everyone told me that they did not slept a wink all night because of the bombing. The houses were shaking, the children were crying".<br />In this dramatic situation, Pope Francis sent a short message to the parish priest and the small Catholic community in Gaza to show his closeness. "I am close to you, to the nuns and the entire Catholic community. I accompany you with my prayers and my closeness. May Jesus bless you and the Blessed Virgin protect you", reads the brief text, published on the website of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. "Yesterday evening", says Sister Laudis to Fides "father Jorge translated the text in Arabic to make it known to all families. Everybody was touched by the message". Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/NIGER - New French military mission for the Sahel, but not everyone agreeshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36122-AFRICA_NIGER_New_French_military_mission_for_the_Sahel_but_not_everyone_agreeshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36122-AFRICA_NIGER_New_French_military_mission_for_the_Sahel_but_not_everyone_agreesNiamey - The French military operation in Mali "Serval" has ended and has been replaced by an even vaster operation "Barkhane", a new mission led by Paris in coordination with Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, to protect the Sahel by jihadist groups expelled from northern Mali but continue to rage in the region. The new military operation was presented on the eve of the visit that the French Head of State, François Hollande, is carrying out in the region. <br />The news, however, was not welcomed by the associations of civil society in Niger, as reported to Fides by local sources. A statement signed by the President of the Network for Transparency and Budgetary analysis of Niger denounces what he qualifies as "rampant re-colonization of our Country through the maintenance and installation of new military bases under the abused pretext of security, and the fight against terrorism. This is proven by the fact that operation Serval was transformed into operation Barkhane for the Sahel with the objective to intervene in all the Sahel-Saharan space". The document recalls that the dispute between France and Niger with regards to the sharing of the profits of uranium extracted from local mines has not yet been resolved. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/BRAZIL - The first "National Catholic Congress online" for those working in the field of evangelizationhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36121-AMERICA_BRAZIL_The_first_National_Catholic_Congress_online_for_those_working_in_the_field_of_evangelizationhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36121-AMERICA_BRAZIL_The_first_National_Catholic_Congress_online_for_those_working_in_the_field_of_evangelizationManaus - "We believe that Catholics who inhabit the internet and social networks, are a new force capable of supporting concrete initiatives for the sole purpose of promoting the gospel and individual formation": is the idea that animates the promoters of the "national Catholic Congress online" , the first of its kind organized in Brazil, which wants to respond to the repeated appeals launched by Pope Francis to build a culture of meeting, and will have the theme "All for the culture of meeting". According to information sent to Fides Agency, the event, with 42 speakers will last for seven days, from 11 to 17 August and will be completely free. It will be coordinated by the journalist, Wagner Moura, with the support of the Vice-President of the Conference of Brazilian Bishops , His Exc. Mgr. José Belisario da Silva, Archbishop of Sao Luis do Maranhao, who in a video stressed: "it will be a very important Congress, with issues that affect all those who work for evangelization".<br />The speakers will cover four main themes: communication, political engagement, young people, art and design. Every day six videos will be proposed via the Internet, according to a preset time. Speakers include priests, university professors, seminarians, members of ecclesial movements and associations, journalists, professionals and communication experts, politicians, designers, photographers ... The lessons are free but will also be available for those who want to buy them: the proceeds will be used to help two organizations that deal with mothers at risk at a social level. <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.catolicoemrede.com.br/">The site of the Conacat</a>Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/KENYA - The First Lady praised the Church's role in improving the lives of millions of Kenyanshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36120-AFRICA_KENYA_The_First_Lady_praised_the_Church_s_role_in_improving_the_lives_of_millions_of_Kenyanshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36120-AFRICA_KENYA_The_First_Lady_praised_the_Church_s_role_in_improving_the_lives_of_millions_of_KenyansNairobi - The First Lady of Kenya, Ms. Margaret Kenyatta, praised the role of the Catholic Church in improving the lives of millions of people across the Country. "Our presence at this meeting indicates the affinity we have and will continue to build with the Church and other religious bodies", said the First Lady during a meeting she attended to raise funds in the parish of Blessed Joseph Allamano in Ruaka, a town 15 km from Nairobi. <br />According to what was reported by CISA Agency, Ms. Kenyatta thanked the parish for what it is doing in the field of health, environmental preservation and Youth education".<br />The First Lady also pointed out that the efforts of human development of the Church are a useful complement to the agenda of the government to change the Country through the implementation of projects in the field of education, health, environment and the growth of young people. <br />In Kenya, the Catholic Church runs 4,169 kindergartens with 335 285 children; 4,769 primary schools with 2,393,658 pupils: 1618 middle and high schools with 737 508 students; plus the Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa. The Church also runs 184 hospitals; 390 dispensaries; 22 leper colonies; 86 care centers for the elderly or chronically ill; 401 orphanages; 1,334 kindergartens . Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/ROMANIA - National Director of the Pontifical Missionhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36119-EUROPE_ROMANIA_National_Director_of_the_Pontifical_Missionhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36119-EUROPE_ROMANIA_National_Director_of_the_Pontifical_MissionVatican City - On 13 June 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, confirmed rev. Claudio Istoc of the diocesan clergy of Iasi as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Romania for another five years . Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200OCEANIA/MICRONESIA - From a small island in Micronesia to colleges in the United Stateshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36118-OCEANIA_MICRONESIA_From_a_small_island_in_Micronesia_to_colleges_in_the_United_Stateshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36118-OCEANIA_MICRONESIA_From_a_small_island_in_Micronesia_to_colleges_in_the_United_StatesChuuk - The Yap Catholic High School , located on a small island in Micronesia in the western Pacific, celebrated its first group of graduates. At the end of the seventeenth century, the Jesuits founded a mission in Micronesia which, at the end of the Second World War, was entrusted to the American Jesuits. Today, the Jesuits carry out various forms of apostolate on the islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam, Yap and Palau. The YCHS is the last of the projects initiated by the Jesuits. According to information sent to Fides Agency by the General Curia of the Jesuits, in 2011 the task of founding the school on the island of Yap had been entrusted to fathers Michael Corcoran S.J. and John Mulreany, S.J. In the space of five weeks, with the help of two volunteer teachers, the two Jesuits began the first classes with 35 students: freshmen and sophomores. This year, all the students of 2014 were accepted in college in the United States, many of them taking advantage of the generous support of a scholarship. <br />On the island of Chuuk priests and Jesuit scholastics, local people and volunteers are engaged in the YCHS and Xavier High School. The two institutes provide students with an enriching and spiritual education as well as practical resources such as a student center and Internet connection. "The people of Micronesia, and in particular students, are wonderfully rich in faith and capable of great results", remarked Father Ciancimino, Jesuit Provincial of the Province of New York, in whose jurisdiction depends Micronesia. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/IRAQ - The last Christian families leave Mosulhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36117-ASIA_IRAQ_The_last_Christian_families_leave_Mosulhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/36117-ASIA_IRAQ_The_last_Christian_families_leave_MosulMosul - The last Christian families still present in Mosul are leaving the city and are heading towards Erbil, Dohuk and other areas of Iraqi Kurdistan which are considered safer. This is confirmed by sources of the local Chaldean community to Fides Agency. The new exodus has accelerated in the past two days, after Sunni insurgents and militants of the Islamic Caliphate began to mark with letters of recognition the homes of Christians and Shiites. As reported by the website www.Ankawa.com, the evacuation of the last Christians is also due to the intensification of the bombing carried out by the military government on many areas of the city, especially at night. In many villages of the Nineveh Plain, the main emergency is currently represented by the suspension of water supply, made even more unbearable due to high temperatures. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200