Fides News Englishhttp://www.fides.org/Fides Agency Newsen-usASIA/MALAYSIA - Forced removal of a cross: the government orders an investigationhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37690-ASIA_MALAYSIA_Forced_removal_of_a_cross_the_government_orders_an_investigationhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37690-ASIA_MALAYSIA_Forced_removal_of_a_cross_the_government_orders_an_investigationKuala Lumpur - The government of Malaysia has ordered an investigation after a group of Muslim protesters forced a small Protestant church in the neighborhood of Taman Medan, the capital Kuala Lumpur, to remove a cross on top of the building of worship. Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the executive, informed of the illegal act, gave the order to prosecute the protesters under the law in force on sedition.<br />According to information gathered by Fides, on Sunday, April 19, a group of about 50 protesters began to protest violently asserting that the cross, one of the central symbols of Christianity, represented "a challenge to Islam" and could "influence the faith of young people".<br />According to the reconstruction of the police, there was also the brother of an inspector general of police among the leaders of the protest. "The investigations will be conducted without fear or favor", said local officials.<br />The protest has generated outrage among non-Muslims and moderate Muslims, many of whom have voiced concern at the increasing signs of religious intolerance in the country. Meanwhile, Christian leaders urged not to take any action against the protesters. Pastor Datuk Jerry Dusing, head of the Evangelical Church of Borneo, said that "it would be counterproductive to penalize ignorance with legal action against the protesters. Humiliation only generates more hatred". Instead, he stressed, "we are confident that if protesters understood the true meaning of the cross, they would perceive it as a symbol of God’s love and mercy. The cross is not a challenge to anyone". "We believe it is important to promote a greater understanding among all Malaysians. Let us look forward by building dialogue and social and religious harmony in the nation", he concluded. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - The Bishops: "We plead to the human traffickers who are tricking the youth to leave their country through illegal means to stop their acts"http://www.fides.org/en/news/37689-AFRICA_ETHIOPIA_The_Bishops_We_plead_to_the_human_traffickers_who_are_tricking_the_youth_to_leave_their_country_through_illegal_means_to_stop_their_actshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37689-AFRICA_ETHIOPIA_The_Bishops_We_plead_to_the_human_traffickers_who_are_tricking_the_youth_to_leave_their_country_through_illegal_means_to_stop_their_actsAddis Ababa - "We the Ethiopian Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia condemn in unambiguous terms this barbaric terrorist act and call up on all international communities and Governments to provide protection to migrants where ever they live, so that such acts may never be repeated to the lives of innocent people": say the Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia in their message on the killing of thirty Christian Ethiopians and Eritreans in Libya by the Islamic State, documented in a video released on 19 April.<br />"These Ethiopian Martyrs were not politicians, nor military soldiers, or they were not armed people, considered to be dangerous people for security, rather they were young innocent migrants hopeful for a better future", the Bishops said. "We are saddened that these young people were killed, because they refused to change their faith in a world where every human being regardless of race, color, and religion should live in any Country with their human rights respected".<br />Referring to the authors of the massacre, the message continues: "these terrorist acts do not represent any religion; it is known that these are cruel killers who murder even followers of their own religion".<br />After recalling that Ethiopia welcomes tens of thousands of refugees from other States, the Bishops expressed the request that Ethiopian migrants are treated with respect for their rights and plead to human traffickers "who are tricking the youth to leave their country through illegal means to stop their acts". To young persons who "are still planning to migrate from their country" they ask "not to travel without making sure that your country of destination provides you protection or fall in the traps of the human traffickers and travel without the necessary legal documents".<br />The Bishops finally ask youth "to consider the option of working and prospering in your own Country and drop the idea of migrating to another country where there is no safety". Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/ARMENIA - Maronite Patriarch: they avoid naming the Armenian genocide for fear of legal consequenceshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37688-EUROPE_ARMENIA_Maronite_Patriarch_they_avoid_naming_the_Armenian_genocide_for_fear_of_legal_consequenceshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37688-EUROPE_ARMENIA_Maronite_Patriarch_they_avoid_naming_the_Armenian_genocide_for_fear_of_legal_consequencesYerevan - "After one hundred years, the international community is looking for a definition for the Armenian Genocide and is afraid to call it genocide because they fear the legal consequences". This is how the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Rai, explained the reluctance of nations and international organizations to use the word genocide to describe the planned massacres of Armenians which took place in Anatolia in 1915. The statements of Patriarch Rai were released in Yerevan, where the Primate of the Maronite Church is taking part in the official commemorations of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.<br />Without specifically mentioning Turkey – which exercises diplomatic pressure at all levels and in all directions in order to avoid the definition of the Armenian Genocide to be used by political and religious leaders, the political institutions of individual nations and international bodies – the Maronite Patriarch reiterated the urgent need to recognize the Armenian Genocide "to avoid a repeat of other Genocides". If the international community does not recognize the Armenian Genocide, warned Cardinal Rai, "other Genocides will be committed". While "no Genocide, attack or massacre can be justified on economic grounds".<br />The official celebrations underway in Yerevan are being attended, in addition to Patriarch Rai, also by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II. The Holy See delegation is led by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA - Only one African child out of 5 suffering from malaria receives efficient treatmenthttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37687-AFRICA_Only_one_African_child_out_of_5_suffering_from_malaria_receives_efficient_treatmenthttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37687-AFRICA_Only_one_African_child_out_of_5_suffering_from_malaria_receives_efficient_treatmentKhartoum - Tomorrow, April 25, World Malaria Day will be celebrated. Unfortunately, the phenomenon is still widespread and from the latest reports from the World Health Organization, it appears that only one African child out of 5 suffering from malaria receives proper care, despite the fact that three-quarters of the deaths caused by the disease are among minors. In addition, 15 million pregnant women do not receive even a dose of preventive medications recommended and about 278 million people in Africa still live in homes without mosquito nets. Each year half a million people die and WHO urges early diagnosis for all suspected cases. It has also developed a new global strategy against the pandemic for the period 2016-2030, that will be examined by World Health Organization in May, which aims to reduce the impact of malaria by 40% in 2020, as well as eliminating it in at least 35 Countries by 2030. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200EUROPA - One million children die of pneumococcal disease, but vaccines are too expensivehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37686-EUROPA_One_million_children_die_of_pneumococcal_disease_but_vaccines_are_too_expensivehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37686-EUROPA_One_million_children_die_of_pneumococcal_disease_but_vaccines_are_too_expensiveRome - Every year about one million children die of pneumococcal disease. Currently in the poorest Countries, the price to vaccinate a child is now 68 times more expensive than it was in 2001, with many parts of the world unable to afford new high-priced vaccines. There is a lack of market competition, and pharmaceutical companies charge wildly different prices in different markets for the same product.<br />A note from Doctors Without Borders sent to Agenzia Fides states that the NGO has just launched the global campaign "A fair shot" to slash the price of the pneumococcal vaccine in developing countries, so as to allow greater protection against this dangerous bacterium. For example, countries like Morocco and Tunisia are paying more for the pneumococcal vaccine than France does; South Africa pays almost three times more than Brazil.<br />One of the reasons why vaccinations have become so expensive is because there is little information on prices, and this forces many developing countries and aid agencies to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies without being able to compare prices. In about 45 countries, there is no information about the price for the vaccine. Ahead of World Immunization Week, MSF invites the public to support its campaign on social media. Each year, MSF teams vaccinate millions of people, largely as outbreak response to diseases such as measles, meningitis, yellow fever and cholera. In the past, the NGO purchased the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to be used in its emergency operations. In 2013 refugees from Yida, in South Sudan were vaccinated. In 2014, it carried out similar vaccination with PCV vaccine for refugees in Uganda and Ethiopia. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/NAMIBIA - President of the Episcopal Conference: "Namibia is a stable Country, but the gap between rich and poor increases"http://www.fides.org/en/news/37685-AFRICA_NAMIBIA_President_of_the_Episcopal_Conference_Namibia_is_a_stable_Country_but_the_gap_between_rich_and_poor_increaseshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37685-AFRICA_NAMIBIA_President_of_the_Episcopal_Conference_Namibia_is_a_stable_Country_but_the_gap_between_rich_and_poor_increasesRome - "After 25 years since its independence, Namibia is a politically stable Country and is growing economically. One of the biggest problems we have to face, however, is the distribution of the wealth produced. We see the gap between haves and have-nots increase every year. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But we have an efficient judicial system, which emphasizes the responsibility of government and also corrupt Ministers are likely to be brought to trial and end up in prison", this is how His Exc. Mgr. Nashenda Liborius Ndumbukuti, Archbishop of Windhoek and President of the Episcopal Conference of Namibia, in Rome for their Ad limina visit, describe the situation in the African country to Agenzia Fides.<br />"Since independence there has not been a civil war. In this period of time there have been three Presidents. None of them wanted to stay longer than two terms of five years each required by the Constitution", said the Archbishop.<br />Mgr. Ndumbukuti explains that "the pastoral priorities have changed compared to the past. We are no longer in the emergency of the times of the war of independence, and now we can carry out an ordinary pastoral program focused on the teaching of the Gospel. Next to this, we place the emphasis on social programs to alleviate poverty. We have invested in particular in schools, and this is our biggest contribution to the development of the Country. In economic terms, we can do little but we are contributing to the formation of a new class of managers and entrepreneurs for the future development of Namibia", continues the Archbishop.<br />"We have also invested heavily in health centers, especially in rural areas, where medical care is not easily accessible. Since 1998 we have also been carrying out a prevention program against the spread of HIV and AIDS and distribution of anti-retroviral drugs for those who have contracted the virus and the disease. Particular attention is given to orphans whose parents have died of AIDS", added Mgr. Ndumbukuti.<br />As for relations with the State, Mgr. Ndumbukuti says: "we have good relations with state authorities, pursuant to an agreement of understanding, to the point that we have designated a person to liaise between the Episcopal Conference and the government. We cooperate but we remain an independent voice from the authorities. The government still appreciates our efforts and provides subsidies to our schools and hospitals", concluded the President of the Episcopal Conference.<br />The Republic of Namibia owes its name to the Namib Desert together with that of the Kalahari. The capital city is Windhoek. It is bordered to the north with Angola and Zambia, to the east with Botswana and to the south with South Africa; the west overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 824 292 square kilometers and has a population of 2,220,000 inhabitants, of whom 444,000 are Catholics. There are 3 ecclesiastical districts. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Islamic and Christian religious leaders: "Necessity to review the Bangasamoro Basic Law"http://www.fides.org/en/news/37684-ASIA_PHILIPPINES_Islamic_and_Christian_religious_leaders_Necessity_to_review_the_Bangasamoro_Basic_Lawhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37684-ASIA_PHILIPPINES_Islamic_and_Christian_religious_leaders_Necessity_to_review_the_Bangasamoro_Basic_LawZamboanga - An additional reflection is necessary. In a recent statement, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Inter Faith Council of Leaders, IFCL of the city of Zamboanga, on the island of Mindanao, highlights "the importance of reviewing the Bangsamoro Basic Law BBL on some points, that need to be modified, in order to find a way to harmonize the aspirations of different Muslim groups, to listen to comments and suggestions of other components of the population in Mindanao", in order to ensure a truly inclusive approach.<br />"The approval of the law is the last leg of a long journey for a peace agreement in Mindanao" explains Fr. Sebastiano D’ Ambra, PIME, founder of the "Silsilah" Dialogue Movement in Zamboanga, which promotes the culture of dialogue as a way to peace.<br />"Today - explains the missionary - the fear factor is used both by those who are unfavorable, and by those who are in favor of the approval of the BBL. <br />After the recent violence and the growth of new revolutionary groups with more radical approaches, fear becomes a decisive factor and the scenario becomes more alarming".<br />"I have been in Mindanao since 1977 to promote dialogue and peace. Even today, many do not like and do not believe in this dialogue. The mission of dialogue and peace is becoming increasingly difficult, especially because of radical groups" refers Fr. D'Ambra.<br />"But what will happen to our beautiful land if the peace process does not find the appropriate solution, not only in terms of an agreement, but especially in terms of respect and trust among people?" asks the missionary. "We have to be more creative and present more positive points that inspire people to build development and peace in Mindanao through a process of reconciliation and trust among different sectors of society". Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/SPAIN - Migrants: disappointment for the CIE Regulation, approved a year ago and still unrealizedhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37683-EUROPE_SPAIN_Migrants_disappointment_for_the_CIE_Regulation_approved_a_year_ago_and_still_unrealizedhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37683-EUROPE_SPAIN_Migrants_disappointment_for_the_CIE_Regulation_approved_a_year_ago_and_still_unrealizedMadrid – On Tuesday, April 22, the Jesuit Service for Migrants presented the "CIE Report 2015" , which are the subject of controversy due to the lack of organization and assistance.<br />The report also examines what are known as "express expulsions", that deny those immigrants who are undocumented, the possibility of submitting their case before the courts, sentencing them to an immediate expulsion.<br />At the end of the presentation, Miriam, a Hispanic woman who lived her son’s "express expulsion", gave her testimony recounting the atrocities of this system.<br />The 72-page report is divided into three parts: the situation in CIE; indifference by the authorities for failing to implement the regulation of CIE; express expulsions carried out freely and without any control. The note sent to Fides reports that, during the presentation of the Report, Miguel González, Coordinator of the Jesuit Service for Migrants, stressed his deep disappointment because the CIE regulation had been approved more than a year ago, welcomed with hope by those who work in this field, but after a year it has not been implemented yet. <br />With regards to the expulsions, the report points out, "the reality is that we are moving towards a model of repatriation at two speeds. 'Express expulsions' have now surpassed the expulsions from CIE Centres ". <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.fides.org/spa/attachments/view/file/Informe_2015_jesuitas_CIE.pdf">CIE Report 2015:</a>Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/CUBA - The Pope's visit will support the Cuban Church in its attention to the cause of peace and the common goodhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37682-AMERICA_CUBA_The_Pope_s_visit_will_support_the_Cuban_Church_in_its_attention_to_the_cause_of_peace_and_the_common_goodhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37682-AMERICA_CUBA_The_Pope_s_visit_will_support_the_Cuban_Church_in_its_attention_to_the_cause_of_peace_and_the_common_goodHavana - "The Catholic Church in Cuba has received the news of the Pope's visit in September with great joy, in the new era of rapprochement with the United States, a process in which the Vatican acted as mediator", said Assistant Secretary of the Bishops Conference of Cuba, Mgr. José Félix García to the press. <br />The spokesman of the Archdiocese of Havana, Orlando Marquez, said that "the Pope's visit will support the Cuban Church in its traditional attention to the cause of peace and the common good". The spokesman highlighted therefore the "privilege" of Cuba, of welcoming three Popes: John Paul II in 1998, Benedict XVI in 2012 and now Pope Francis. Pope Francis will be in Cuba in September, on dates to be determined, before his visit to the United States of America. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/CUBA - Secular Franciscans in Cuba: more and more involved in parisheshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37681-AMERICA_CUBA_Secular_Franciscans_in_Cuba_more_and_more_involved_in_parisheshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37681-AMERICA_CUBA_Secular_Franciscans_in_Cuba_more_and_more_involved_in_parishesHavana - The Secular Franciscan Order in Cuba counts 318 perpetually professed who are committed to living the Gospel according to the charism of St. Francis of Assisi in 15 fraternities on the island.<br />From April 16 to 19 they celebrated their National Chapter in Havana, to evaluate the last three years of work and identify the challenges for the future.<br />According to information sent to Fides, in a few years the number of Fraternities in Cuba has increased from 6 to the current 15, and their members are actively engaged mainly in various pastoral fields: catechesis, liturgy, assistance to the poor ... Their work is considered very valuable and important.<br />The Chapter was presided by Ricardo Herrera, head of the National Fraternity of Costa Rica, as a delegate of the Minister General, Tibor Kauser and the Assistant General Father Jose Antonio Cruz Duarte, OFM. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/SAUDI ARABIA - Video of the massacres of Ethiopian Christians: the jihadist that exposes the obligations of Christians is a Saudi terroristhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37680-ASIA_SAUDI_ARABIA_Video_of_the_massacres_of_Ethiopian_Christians_the_jihadist_that_exposes_the_obligations_of_Christians_is_a_Saudi_terroristhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37680-ASIA_SAUDI_ARABIA_Video_of_the_massacres_of_Ethiopian_Christians_the_jihadist_that_exposes_the_obligations_of_Christians_is_a_Saudi_terroristRyad - The militant of the Islamic State who in the macabre video with the execution of Ethiopian Christians launches threats against "the people of the cross" and recalls the obligations of Christians in the Caliphate, is a Saudi citizen: we are talking about Anas Al-Nashwan, and is among the leaders in the list of 50 most wanted Saudis terrorists. <br />According to the Arab media, he has the function of explaining in Arabic that the Islamic State imposes on Christians living under its law to convert or pay the Jizya, the "protection fee" imposed on non-Muslims. In the video, in addition to the brutal executions of the two groups of Ethiopian prisoners, there are also shown pictures of people who speak Arabic with Iraqi and Syrian accent, presenting themselves as Christians living in peace in the territories of the Islamic Caliphate after deciding to "freely" pay the Jizya.<br />The emir Anas Al-Nashwan, former leader of the al-Qaida network in Afghanistan, had announced his adherence to the Islamic State in June 2014. He is considered the author of one of the most popular books among the jihadists, the "Mujiaheddin Guide to the most important verdicts of the apostate". Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/EGYPT - Imams and priests promote the "culture of encounter" preaching together in schools in Minyahttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37679-AFRICA_EGYPT_Imams_and_priests_promote_the_culture_of_encounter_preaching_together_in_schools_in_Minyahttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37679-AFRICA_EGYPT_Imams_and_priests_promote_the_culture_of_encounter_preaching_together_in_schools_in_MinyaMinya - The collective "mission" of a large group of imam linked to al Azhar – the biggest theological center of Sunni Islam - and Coptic priests begins today, who for a few days will visit together the schools in the Egyptian province of Minya to meet the students and promote the culture of encounter and of peace during conferences and debates, enhancing it as the basis of peaceful social and religious coexistence. The initiative, supported by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, aims to strengthen the fabric of national solidarity and to promote mutual tolerance based on shared values, starting with compassion and solidarity towards fellow citizens in need.<br />"The meetings in schools - says to Agenzia Fides Anba Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, Coptic Catholic Archbishop of Minya - is held under the auspices of the "House of the Egyptian family", the inter-religious body created years ago by the Great Imam of Al Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch and revitalized in recent times as a tool to prevent and mitigate sectarian conflicts, in a time when the upsurge of sectarianism fundamentalist seemed to endanger national unity. In all there are 40 Imams and priests, and all serve in our region. A similar initiative already took place a few weeks ago in some schools in Cairo". The program aims to gradually involve schools in other areas of the Country affected – such as the province of Minya - by sectarian conflicts. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/SUDAN - Outbreak of measles in Darfur: cases continue to multiplyhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37678-AFRICA_SUDAN_Outbreak_of_measles_in_Darfur_cases_continue_to_multiplyhttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37678-AFRICA_SUDAN_Outbreak_of_measles_in_Darfur_cases_continue_to_multiplyKhartoum - The local Ministry of Health has confirmed a sharp increase in cases of measles in Sudan. Currently we are talking about 1,472 people infected. The dead recorded so far are 25, while other 3000 are suspected cases. In a press conference, the head of the Immunization of the Ministry of Health Office has alerted the people about the proliferation of the disease at an epidemiological level in six States: North, West and South Darfur, Sennar, Red Sea and Kassala. In early April, UNICEF had confirmed 1,120 cases of measles in the Country. In the past three months, the disease has spread in 16 Sudanese States. Kassala is the hardest hit with 353 cases and 2 deaths, followed by the Red Sea with 205 cases and three deaths and North Darfur with 140 cases and 12 deaths. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Malakal: heavy fighting between soldiers from three different ethnic groupshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37677-AFRICA_SOUTH_SUDAN_Malakal_heavy_fighting_between_soldiers_from_three_different_ethnic_groupshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37677-AFRICA_SOUTH_SUDAN_Malakal_heavy_fighting_between_soldiers_from_three_different_ethnic_groupsJuba - Violent fighting with the use of heavy weapons between two groups of soldiers of the army of South Sudan with many victims is what is happening today, April 22, in Malakal, the capital of South Sudan State of Upper Nile. "The clashes erupted last night and this morning resumed at 6 in an area within the city. Part of the population moved to southern Malakal to avoid being hit" local sources told Fides that for security reasons wish to remain anonymous.<br />"They are two rival groups of South Sudanese military army, this is because before being loyal to the nation the soldiers are loyal to their tribes. What is happening has already happened several times, that is to say that the military are divided according to which tribe they belong to" continue our sources. "In the current fighting, soldiers from three different ethnic groups, Dinka, Shilluk and Nuer are involved. The army is not united but is loyal to the politician of one own’s tribe. This is one of the elements to understand what is happening but it will take a few days to understand the dynamics that have sparked the current clashes". "The dead are numerous although we do not know how many. Continue to pray for us", concludes our source. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS - National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societieshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37676-OCEANIA_PACIFIC_ISLANDS_National_Director_of_the_Pontifical_Mission_Societieshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37676-OCEANIA_PACIFIC_ISLANDS_National_Director_of_the_Pontifical_Mission_SocietiesVatican City - On November 27, 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, confirmed Sister Merieti Riiki, of the Filles de Notre-Dame du Sacré Coeur as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Pacific Islands for another five years. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/INDIA - Catholic schools are not "against Hindu culture"http://www.fides.org/en/news/37675-ASIA_INDIA_Catholic_schools_are_not_against_Hindu_culturehttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37675-ASIA_INDIA_Catholic_schools_are_not_against_Hindu_cultureGoa - "We are not here to promote any culture or to promote a religion" but "in the name of secularism guaranteed by the Constitution": this is what, in a note sent to Fides, the Conference of Religious of Goa says, in response to allegations by extremist groups that define those run by the religious "schools against the Hindu culture". The "National Hindu Movement" had launched an appeal to parents, warning them from entrusting their children to Christian institutions.<br />Don Paulo Alvares, representative of the Conference, reiterated in the note that "through our educational institutions we promote all religions and encourage the elevation and development of all cultures". Catholics insist that "the education provided respects all religions and all cultures and aims to develop the child's growth, in the physical, intellectual, moral and social dimension". Recalling that many non-Christian children attend Catholic schools, the religious states: "At the same time we respect and encourage the individual religion and culture of the child. We will also continue to strive to serve society without distinction of caste, class, religion and language, as we have always done". Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/MALAWI - Malawians fleeing xenophobic violence in South Africa: "We were chased like dogs"http://www.fides.org/en/news/37674-AFRICA_MALAWI_Malawians_fleeing_xenophobic_violence_in_South_Africa_We_were_chased_like_dogshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37674-AFRICA_MALAWI_Malawians_fleeing_xenophobic_violence_in_South_Africa_We_were_chased_like_dogsLilongwe - "We were chased like dogs", said the first vanguards of the 3,200 Malawians that the government is repatriating from South Africa, where violent xenophobic clashes are being carreid out. This was reported to Agenzia Fides from Malawi by Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba, Monfortan missionary, who speaks of "coaches full of people who ran away without being able to take anything".<br />"Once again, at the southern end of Africa, the nightmare of hunting aliens reappears", said the missionary. <br />"The images of groups of young South Africans who stab Africans from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi ended up on the front pages of newspapers and on television, destroying the brotherhood that skin color had always supported" continued the missionary. <br />Fr. Gamba emphasized that "the limited number of the dead is surely due to a position of immediate protection of human rights organizations and Churches in particular" . <br />The message of protest by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop of Durban, where the first xenophobic clashes broke out and then spread to many other cities such as Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, was a severe warning. "Xenophobia is contrary to the Constitution of South Africa, African humanism and the Christian faith, which wants to build bridges, not walls of defense", he repeated, quoting Pope Francis. We have often heard these days what was "Mandela's dream of a democratic and free society, where all people can live together in harmony and with equal opportunities".<br />In Malawi, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops' Conference in a statement urged to avoid retaliation on South African nationals who in Malawi have different holiday homes along the lake and the biggest supermarkets. Justice and Peace also asks that we go beyond the repatriation of compatriots and we strive for constructive dialogue among governments and that protest demonstrations are carried out peacefully. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/PAKISTAN - The state of human rights in the country worsenshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37673-ASIA_PAKISTAN_The_state_of_human_rights_in_the_country_worsenshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37673-ASIA_PAKISTAN_The_state_of_human_rights_in_the_country_worsensLahore - The human rights situation in Pakistan is strongly deteriorating: is what the latest Report of the "Human Rights Commission of Pakistan" says, one of the largest NGOs in Pakistani society, with a widespread network in the country. In the document sent to Agenzia Fides, titled "State of Human Rights 2014", we note that the attack of militants against the military school in Peshawar, November 16 that killed more than 130 children, effectively symbolizes the situation of human rights in Pakistan.<br />According to the Report, the attack is somehow a "turning point", as it seems to have created a broad consensus against fanaticism in Pakistan. However Zohra Yusuf, President of the HRCP noted: "It is a shame that such consensus at a national level against the Taliban and other extremist groups has remained a military affair". <br />According to the document, 1,723 Pakistanis were killed and 3,143 were injured during 2014 in 1,206 terrorist attacks, 26 of them were suicides.<br />The fight against terrorism, joins the campaign for freedom: "The restrictions on freedom of expression did not decline in 2014", notes the Report. Pakistan has been defined as "the most dangerous country in the world" for freedom of press, with 14 journalists and media workers killed in 2014.<br />With regards to the condition of religious minorities, it is stated that "religious extremism continued to increase in 2014: 11 buildings, including Hindu temples and churches, were damaged in the southern province of Sindh, while two attacks were carried out against the minority Zikri in Baluchistan". Last year there were 144 reported incidents of sectarian violence, 141 of which were terrorist attacks and three were sectarian clashes, says the Commission.<br />"Blasphemy" remains a very sensitive topic in the nation, where 97% of the 180 million inhabitants profess Islam. The HRCP remarks that "in the past, murders for blasphemy were not as frequent as they are now" and "religious intolerance has increased considerably in the South Asian country in the last ten years". Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The Episcopal Council for Peace analyzes the situation of the talkshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37672-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_The_Episcopal_Council_for_Peace_analyzes_the_situation_of_the_talkshttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37672-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_The_Episcopal_Council_for_Peace_analyzes_the_situation_of_the_talksBogota - The meeting of the members of the Episcopal Council for Peace , to analyze the prospects of the peace process with the guerrillas of the FARC and ELN, was held yesterday, April 21, in Bogota. According to the note sent to Fides, the meeting was attended by the President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, His Exc. Mgr. Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, who is also President of the National Conciliation Commission , a group of Archbishops and Bishops from different regions of the Country where people live the daily plight of the social and armed conflict, and the High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo.<br />The members of the CEP analyzed, from a regional perspective, the situation of the negotiation process between the government and the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia . The new point on the agenda was the study of the situation of the talks with the National Liberation Army .<br />According to what was reported by the local media in recent days, the path of the peace process had been questioned because of a criminal act carried out by the FARC, in which 11 soldiers were killed . <br />Only yesterday the official report of the Colombian army was published, where we learn that the bombing ordered by President Santos in the conflict zone, caused six deaths in the ranks of the guerrillas.<br />Yesterday evening President Santos sent a message to the FARC, saying that now "the decision to get serious is in your hands. It is time to prove that peace is what you also desire". Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/MACAU - A new musical piece dedicated to Fr. Matteo Riccihttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37671-ASIA_MACAU_A_new_musical_piece_dedicated_to_Fr_Matteo_Riccihttp://www.fides.org/en/news/37671-ASIA_MACAU_A_new_musical_piece_dedicated_to_Fr_Matteo_RicciMacao - On Sunday, April 26, the "Missa in honorem Matthaei Ricci", will be performed in the church of St. Joseph's Seminary in Macao, where in the last two centuries many missionaries have studied. His Mass "for assembly, female choir, brass and organ" includes four choirs from different schools in Macao. <br />According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the Mass in honour of Matteo Ricci where he lived for a time, before going to the Chinese mainland, is the work of Aurelio Porfiri, an Italian composer who has lived in Macau for several years. With the advice of the Jesuit liturgist Father Cesare Giraudo, texts were chosen that best describe the special missionary vocation of Matteo Ricci or Lì Mǎdòu, as he is called by the Chinese. Although one cannot speak of "liturgy", this Mass, in Latin, will be presented during a concert . Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0200