Fides News - Englishhttp://fides.org/Fides Agency NewsenContent on this site is licensed under aASIA/TURKEY - Armenian Genocide commemorated also in Istanbul. Message from US President Trump announcedhttp://fides.org/en/news/62155-ASIA_TURKEY_Armenian_Genocide_commemorated_also_in_Istanbul_Message_from_US_President_Trump_announcedhttp://fides.org/en/news/62155-ASIA_TURKEY_Armenian_Genocide_commemorated_also_in_Istanbul_Message_from_US_President_Trump_announcedASIA/TURKEY – Armenian Genocide commemorated also in Istanbul. Message from US President Trump announced <br />Erevan – Events and ceremonies scheduled for April 24 all over the world to mark 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide will include commemoration events also in Istanbul. This is reported by local sources including Armenian-Turkish bilingual weekly Agos, published in Istanbul, according to which commemorations will take place in Sultanhamet Square and at the Armenian cemetery in the Sisli district. Evening commemorative events will be held in the urban district of Beyoglu. <br />In the meantime diplomat Rafik Mansour, Charge d’Affairs at the US embassy in Armenia, has announced that the American President Donald Trump will issue a message on the occasion of the anniversary of the massacre of the Armenian people in the Anatolia Peninsula 102 years ago. Asked whether the US President will use the definition “Armenian Genocide” the diplomat said he lacked sufficient information to reply to the question. .<br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:39:31 +0200VATICAN - Pope Francis: “The Church is Church if she is a Church of martyrs”http://fides.org/en/news/62154-VATICAN_Pope_Francis_The_Church_is_Church_if_she_is_a_Church_of_martyrshttp://fides.org/en/news/62154-VATICAN_Pope_Francis_The_Church_is_Church_if_she_is_a_Church_of_martyrsRoma – “The memory of these heroic, early and recent witnesses confirms us in the awareness that the Church is a Church of martyrs… and martyrs are those who had the grace to confess Jesus until the end, until death. They suffered, they gave their lives, and we receive the blessing of God for their witness”. This was said by the Holy Father Francis during a Liturgy of the Word in memory of the New Martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries, which he presided in the afternoon of Saturday 22 April in the Basilica of St Bartholomew on the Tiber Island in Rome, looked after by the S. Egidio Community, and which has become a memorial to all New Martyrs, and has the custody of several relics. <br />The Pope continued: “there are also many hidden martyrs, those men and women who are faithful to the gentle strength of love, to the voice of the Holy Spirit, those who in their daily lives seek to help their brothers and sisters and to love God without reserve.” The cause of every persecution, he said, lies in “the hatred of the prince of this world toward those who have been saved and redeemed by Jesus through His death and resurrection. “ <br />Asking himself what is the most urgent need for the Church today, the Holy Father continued: “Martyrs, witnesses, that is, everyday saints of ordinary life, lives lived coherently; but we also need those who have the courage to accept the grace to be witnesses until the end, until death. All these are the living blood of the Church. They are the witnesses who carry forward the Church; those who witness to the fact that Jesus is risen, that Jesus is alive, who witness to Him with coherent lives and with the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received as a gift.”.<br />The Pope concluded “ Remembering these witnesses of the faith and praying in this place is a great gift. It is a gift for the Community of Sant'Egidio, for the Church in Rome, for all the Christian communities of this city, and for so many pilgrims. The living legacy of martyrs today gives us peace and unity. They teach us that with the strength of love, with gentleness, one can fight against arrogance, violence, and war - and that peace can be achieved with patience ”. <br /><br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:50:45 +0200AFRICA/DR CONGO - “Empathise more with the sufferings of the people”: local Bishops say political impasse must be overcomehttp://fides.org/en/news/62153-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_Empathise_more_with_the_sufferings_of_the_people_local_Bishops_say_political_impasse_must_be_overcomehttp://fides.org/en/news/62153-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_Empathise_more_with_the_sufferings_of_the_people_local_Bishops_say_political_impasse_must_be_overcome<br /><br />Kinshasa - The appointment of Bruno Tshibala as Premier of the Democratic Republic of Congo “is a distortion of the New Year’s Eve Agreements” the Catholic Bishops of DR Congo declare in a statement sent to Fides.<br />According to the Agreements the Premier was to be designated in a consensual way by the Opposition, but the latter became divided. President Joseph Kabila appointed as Prime Minister Tshibala, a member of only one part of the Opposition. The appointment the bishops say is “a distortion of the New Year’s Eve agreements and explains the persistence of the crisis”.<br />Political impasse threatens to prevent the enactment of one of the fundamental points of the agreements signed on 21 December 2016: the holding of presidential, legislative and provincial elections before December 2017.<br />The impasse is the result not only of the failure to appoint with the consensus of all sides the Premier of the national unity government, but also of the fact that the Opposition failed to agree on the name of the chairman of the Control Committee for the enactment of the New Year’s Eve Agreements. The latter, on the basis of the agreements signed on 31 December was to be the President of the Rassemblement, formation of the main Opposition parties. The death of Étienne Tshisekedi , leader of the Rassemblement, reopened the question of this important figure of guarantee. <br />President Kabila asked the political forces “to accelerate talks for the consensual designation of a person to preside the structure”, leaving the door open for the appointment of someone not from the Rassemblement. Whereas the Bishops insisted on an appointment with the consensus of all sides of a member of the Rassemblement, because in their view “exiting from the political compromise reached by the parties would represent a violation of the New Year Eve’s agreements”. <br />The message underlines lastly that political impasse is aggravating the already precarious economic and security conditions in RDC, lamenting in particular the situation in Kasai “where in the archdiocese of Kananga and in the dioceses of Mbujimayi, Luebo and Luiza cruel fighting is reported between police forces and militiamen of Kamuina Nsapu”.<br />In this situation “CENCO urges political and social leaders to empathise more with the suffering of the Congolese people”. <br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:10:36 +0200ASIA/NEPAL - Two years after earthquake child trafficking thriveshttp://fides.org/en/news/62151-ASIA_NEPAL_Two_years_after_earthquake_child_trafficking_thriveshttp://fides.org/en/news/62151-ASIA_NEPAL_Two_years_after_earthquake_child_trafficking_thrives<br /><br />Katmandu – April 25 marks the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake in Nepal which left 9,000 dead, more than 700,000 homes destroyed and at least three million people in dire need of assistance. “Two years have passed, the country is still on its knees but there is little or no information about the present situation” we read in a report to Fides by NGO WeWorld, for twenty years committed to defending the rights of the most vulnerable persons, women and children, in Italy and in the south of the world.<br />The NGO warns about a silent emergency involving children orphaned in the earthquake now living in dire poverty. “In this situation children in particular risk becoming victims of trafficking. According to official figures, each year 12 to 15 thousand children, boys and girls are trafficked from Nepal destined mainly for India to be sexually exploited. The tragedy of child trafficking especially in situations of emergency and not only in Nepal, is an evil for which we should all feel responsible. Countries most hit by this crime are those suffering because of situations of war, natural disasters, chronic poverty . The causes are equally poverty of families and criminal demand. Poor and unable to provide for or protect them, parents sell children to traffickers. Sex tourism, dangerous and badly paid child labour, and more recently organ trafficking are the main factors that feed child trafficking”. <br />“In the districts of Sindupalchock, Kavrepalanchok and Kathmandu where we have worked for several years providing basic education – says WeWorld -, following the earthquake disaster to provide protection, security, as well as schooling for the children, we built 63 Temporary Learning Centres TLC, in bamboo, where the children can live a normal life, with somewhere to learn, play and overcome trauma. It is important to rebuild schools in Nepal not only to provide safety and schooling but also to tackle the causes of widespread child trafficking in the country: we are watchful, we keep them away from the dangers of the streets and traffickers. Schools provide healthy food and medical care unaffordable for most of the families living even below the subsistence level”.<br /> <br /><br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:22:30 +0200AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Closeness and solidarity for Venezuela also from the Catholic Church in Colombiahttp://fides.org/en/news/62152-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Closeness_and_solidarity_for_Venezuela_also_from_the_Catholic_Church_in_Colombiahttp://fides.org/en/news/62152-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Closeness_and_solidarity_for_Venezuela_also_from_the_Catholic_Church_in_ColombiaBogotà – “Closeness and solidarity has been voiced by the Catholic Church in Colombia towards the people of Venezuela, and the present difficult situation in that country” as expressed already by the Catholic Church in Panama . A statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Colombia signed by its chairman, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, of Tunja, underlines that “the Catholic Church, faithful to the Gospel of Our Lord will not cease to call for reconciliation and peace”. “With Pope Francis – says the text sent to Fides -, we urge everyone to avoid all forms of violence and seek instead political solutions to the serious problems afflicting Venezuela”.<br />Expressing his solidarity with the bishops, priests, religious men and women and lay people “who in situations of suffering and privation continue to announce the gospel and to work for the good of Venezuela and to defend human and Christian values ”, the Colombian bishops say they will continue to pray to the Lord “for reconciliation, unity and wellbeing among their Venezuelan brothers and sisters”. <br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:21:22 +0200AMERICA/BRAZIL - New window for the evangelising activity of the Catholic Church in Brazilhttp://fides.org/en/news/62150-AMERICA_BRAZIL_New_window_for_the_evangelising_activity_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Brazilhttp://fides.org/en/news/62150-AMERICA_BRAZIL_New_window_for_the_evangelising_activity_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_BrazilBrasilia – On 26 April the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Brazil will launch its new portal www.cnbb.org.br. <br />The aim, says Auxiliary Bishop of Brasilia and CNBB secretary, is to give new impulse to digital communication and the evangelising activity of the Church in Brazil and render more visible her identity and activity. <br />Fr. Rafael Vieira, CNBB press officer, told Fides about the portal designed to combine in one platform the latest modern technology to improve access to information and especially to increase synergy between the production of contents and the distribution of the same through the different CNBB communications channels.<br />The new platform will present articles by Brazil’s bishops, as well as information regarding CNBB commissions and bodies. It will have a banner space for church events, campaigns and other important activities and also make available sound, images, animation, video and texts for smartphone, tablet and computer. <br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:52:40 +0200AFRICA/KENYA - Resignation of the Archbishop of Nyeri, successor appointedhttp://fides.org/en/news/62149-AFRICA_KENYA_Resignation_of_the_Archbishop_of_Nyeri_successor_appointedhttp://fides.org/en/news/62149-AFRICA_KENYA_Resignation_of_the_Archbishop_of_Nyeri_successor_appointed<br />Città del Vaticano – The Holy Father Francis on 23 April 2017 accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the archdiocese of Nyeri , presented by Archbishop Peter J. Kairo. The Pope appointed as new Archbishop of Nyeri, Mons Anthony Muheria until now Bishop of Kitui and Apostolic Administrator of Machakos. . <br /><br />Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:23:36 +0200AFRICA/EGYPT - There are hopes that Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt may boost plans for ‘Holy Family Way’ pilgrimageshttp://fides.org/en/news/62148-AFRICA_EGYPT_There_are_hopes_that_Pope_Francis_visit_to_Egypt_may_boost_plans_for_Holy_Family_Way_pilgrimageshttp://fides.org/en/news/62148-AFRICA_EGYPT_There_are_hopes_that_Pope_Francis_visit_to_Egypt_may_boost_plans_for_Holy_Family_Way_pilgrimagesI<br />AFRICA/EGYPT – There are hopes that Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt may boost plans for ‘Holy Family Way’ pilgrimages <br /><br />Cairo – Pope Francis’ imminent visit to Egypt could be an opportunity for this important north African country to become a centre of pilgrimage for Christians the world over in the footsteps of the Holy Family who, according to the Gospels, took refuge here to save the life of the Infant Jesus threatened by King Herod. This is the opinion of Egyptian tourism experts who have for some time tried to fit Egypt into the circuit of Christian religious tourism, as a means to counterbalance, at least in part, the enormous losses suffered by Egypt’s tourist industry due terrorism and the general situation of instability in the region. The most recent to view in this key the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis is Nader Guirguis, a member of the departmental Commission for promoting the Holy Family Way, who, referring to historical references based on the Gospel account, affirmed that ‘Flight into Egypt’ of Jesus and the Holy Family could possibly have lasted several years. <br />Attacks on churches have obviously not affected the intention to propose Egypt as a land of pilgrimage for Christians all over the world, to visit places connected with Jesus and the Holy Family, preaching in the time of the Apostles and the earliest centres of Christian monasticism. How to promote the “the Holy Family Way” – a pilgrim itinerary in places which according millenary traditions were visited by the Holy Family in Egypt - has for some time been a central issue for politicians and Egyptian tourist operators. At the beginning of 2017 Al Abdel Aal, speaker of the House of Representatives, during a visit to the Copt Patriarch offices, said the valorisation of the tourist project for an itinerary according to the path followed by Jesus, Mary and Joseph, was of interest and importance for all Egyptians, not only Christians . <br />The first proposals to promote also in a touristic key a ‘Holy Family Way’, were made twenty years ago. At the end of 2016 – local sources told Fides – a Commission to promote the ‘Holy Family Way’ chaired by Hisham el Demeiri was constituted at Egypt’s Tourism Ministry. More than two years ago an itinerary in the footsteps of the Holy Family in Egypt which would start at Al-Arish – largest city of the Egyptian governorate of North Sinai and the scene of recent Jihadist violence against Copt Christians – continue on to the Wadi Natrun delta, and reach the Asyut Holy Mary Virgin Monastery, known as Deir Al-Muharraq. . <br />Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:16:09 +0200AFRICA/TANZANIA - The Bishop of Moshi: "The loss of moral values threatens our common existence"http://fides.org/en/news/62146-AFRICA_TANZANIA_The_Bishop_of_Moshi_The_loss_of_moral_values_threatens_our_common_existencehttp://fides.org/en/news/62146-AFRICA_TANZANIA_The_Bishop_of_Moshi_The_loss_of_moral_values_threatens_our_common_existenceDar es Salaam - "The population lives in constant fear of kidnapping or sexual harassment, especially women who are afraid of being raped. Eight policemen were killed recently while they were returning from work. It is sad to note that some people rejoiced for the death of these people", denounced Mgr. Isaac Amani Massawe, Bishop of Moshi in his homily during Easter Mass.<br />"These are signs of lack of love among the people of the Country. In our thoughts there are things that threaten peace and unity", the Bishop warned. "Crimes are born in our minds and in the end are put into practice".<br />Mgr. Amani Massawe stressed the loss of moral values in society as a cause of this situation, recalling in particular superstitions, alcohol abuse and drugs, the loss of the sense of life that drives people to engage in futile activities. The most dangerous acts are human trafficking and sexual violence "that are pushing the nation into darkness. These are shameful acts that are associated with globalization, alcoholism and superstition", he concluded. <br />Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:11:13 +0200AMERICA/PANAMA - The Church in Panama is sympathetic with the people of Venezuelahttp://fides.org/en/news/62147-AMERICA_PANAMA_The_Church_in_Panama_is_sympathetic_with_the_people_of_Venezuelahttp://fides.org/en/news/62147-AMERICA_PANAMA_The_Church_in_Panama_is_sympathetic_with_the_people_of_VenezuelaPanama - "We are sympathetic with the request of the Bishops 'Conference of Venezuela, which calls for action on the basis of conscience and the exercise of the right to demonstrate", says a statement from the Bishops' Conference of Panama published on 21 April.<br />"We have seen levels of social explosion and political confrontation, which has led to mourning in Venezuelan society because of the country's difficult situation, which is becoming more and more unsustainable every day", the statement said.<br />"We ask society in Panama - concludes the statement - to call on prayer days for Venezuela, for the return of peace and for the reconstruction of the neighboring Country". <br />Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:10:36 +0200ASIA/SIRIA - Four years after the abduction of the two Metropolitans of Aleppohttp://fides.org/en/news/62145-ASIA_SIRIA_Four_years_after_the_abduction_of_the_two_Metropolitans_of_Aleppohttp://fides.org/en/news/62145-ASIA_SIRIA_Four_years_after_the_abduction_of_the_two_Metropolitans_of_AleppoAleppo - "Christ is risen and the destiny of our brother-archbishops Boulos and Yohanna is still unclear". Pascha fell this year close to the day of their abduction. "This fourth anniversary is perhaps the most appropriate time for us to raise our voice once more, and to put in the ears of our believers and of all the world the voice of our pain in the Church of Antioch, and the voice of all those who are afflicted in this East". With these words, in a joint message, the two Patriarchs of Antioch, Greek Orthodox Yohanna X and Siro Orthodox Mar Ignatios Aphrem II, remind everyone of the two Metropolitans of Aleppo - Syriac Orthodox Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Boulos Yazigi - abducted on April 22, 2013, on the fourth anniversary of their disappearance.<br />The two metropolitan Bishops of Aleppo were kidnapped in the area between the Syrian metropolis and the border with Turkey. The car on which the two Bishops were traveling was blocked by the kidnappers, and the driver was killed cold-bloodedly, after his escape attempt. We are talking about Fathallah, a Catholic, father of three children.<br />Since then, no group has claimed the kidnapping. Six months after the kidnapping General Abbas Ibrahim, head of the Lebanese General Security, revealed that the place where the two abducted Bishops were detained had been identified, and "Indirect contacts" with the kidnappers to obtain their release had begun. <br />"Christians of the Church of Antioch" reads the joint message sent to Agenzia Fides "always pledge to remember that the path of the resurrection began with the Cross, and was crowned with the light of the empty Tomb. As we imitate Christ, we do not fear death or adversity, but we pray in our weakness, as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself prayed, that the cup of suffering may pass". The message of the two Patriarchs also expresses the will and desire of the Eastern Christians to continue to live in the lands of their millennial rooting: "The power of this world", the two Patriarchs remark, "will not drive us out of our land, because we are the sons of the cross and the resurrection. We have been displaced throughout history, and we are still being displaced up to this day, but each of us is called to remember that the land of Christ will not be emptied of his beloved ones and of those who were named after him two thousand years ago. And if the act of kidnapping the two archbishops and priests aims at defying our Eastern Christian presence, and uprooting it from this land, our answer is clear: even though it has been four years since the two archbishops were kidnapped and this crisis has lasted six years, we are staying here next to the tombs of our fathers, and their hallowed ground. We are deeply rooted in the womb of this East".<br />In their message, the two Patriarchs, also have the opportunity to express critical considerations of the political and geopolitical lines followed on the Middle East scenarios by Western powers: "We are not in need of sympathy for us or denunciation of others" write Mar Ignatius Aphrem and Yohanna in their message "but we are in need of serious and sincere good will from all parties to foster peace in our land. .We do not leave this issue in the care of the civilized world, which has burdened us with its talk about democracies and reforms, while our eastern man is deprived of bread and of all means of livelihood. There is a war, unfortunately, imposed upon us as Syrians, and there are consequences that burden us as Lebanese. And there is a price which we pay as Easterners all over the Middle East stemming from the results of all wars, as though bets are waged on our land... Our summons today is a cry “enough!” in the face of those who finance the terrorist, but feign blindness of his existence, and later rush to fight him or to make a claim to fight him". <br /><br />Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:30:38 +0200AMERICA/BRAZIL - 9 other peasants killed in an agrarian conflicthttp://fides.org/en/news/62144-AMERICA_BRAZIL_9_other_peasants_killed_in_an_agrarian_conflicthttp://fides.org/en/news/62144-AMERICA_BRAZIL_9_other_peasants_killed_in_an_agrarian_conflictMato Grosso - Nine people killed. This is the toll of the last massacre caused by an agricultural conflict in Brazil. The massacre occurred a few days ago in a settlement in the municipality of Colniza, about 1000 km from Cuiabá, but the news was only released yesterday, April 21st.<br />The Pastoral Land Commission said it was a new massacre of poor peasants, victims of criminal gangs sent and paid by leaders of large companies in the region in order to intimidate and, if necessary kill small agricultural entrepreneurs and peasants. Only a few days ago, the report on violence in the area was published: "Conflicts in the countryside of Brazil 2016" .<br />Mato Grosso Public Security Bureau confirmed the tragedy, pointing out that the massacre was carried out by a group of "hooded" men. The army was sent to the site because it is a difficult place to access in a region inhabited by about 100 families. According to the latest survey conducted by the Pastoral Land Commission , there are 6,601 families in Mato Grosso who live in areas of agricultural conflicts, most of which are located in Xingu National Park, in the municipalities of Querencia, Canarana and São Felix do Araguaia. <br />Sat, 22 Apr 2017 11:36:50 +0200AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Emergency in Mocoa continues and the risk of infection increaseshttp://fides.org/en/news/62142-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Emergency_in_Mocoa_continues_and_the_risk_of_infection_increaseshttp://fides.org/en/news/62142-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Emergency_in_Mocoa_continues_and_the_risk_of_infection_increasesMocoa - Two weeks after the overflow of the two rivers, Sangoyaco and Mulato , the population of Mocoa still lives in a state of emergency: there is no food, water and medical treatment. In such a context, the risk of epidemics is becoming extremely high, as is confirmed by the latest medical bulletin: there have been many outbreaks of hepatitis A and B and cases of dysentery have increased.<br />In the city it is mandatory to wear masks due to the strong odor of mud and dirt, which has attracted numerous vultures. The mud landslide has not only killed children but also many parents: the orphans are in a not far-off structure. The destiny of many children is not known. Meanwhile local media have begun criticizing the Colombian Red Cross, accused of not treating the emergency in the best possible way. <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:15:17 +0200AMERICA/PERU - School kits and food for working childrenhttp://fides.org/en/news/62139-AMERICA_PERU_School_kits_and_food_for_working_childrenhttp://fides.org/en/news/62139-AMERICA_PERU_School_kits_and_food_for_working_childrenSullana - The Yachay National Program of the Peruvian Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations, in agreement with the Municipality of Sullana, has distributed a total of 50 school kits and food to working children and teenagers. Among the goals of this Social Program there is the desire to ensure a dignified school year start-up, to allow children and teenagers to achieve full development and prevent their exposure to risky situations. "We want to ensure that the children start the school year without the excuse that they do not have the economic resources to buy the necessary material, because education is very important for social development", said a coordinator of the Yachay Program to Fides. <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:06:41 +0200AMERICA/BRAZIL - Protomatyrs of Brazil: examples of Eucharistic devotion, faithfulness to the Church and missionary commitmenthttp://fides.org/en/news/62141-AMERICA_BRAZIL_Protomatyrs_of_Brazil_examples_of_Eucharistic_devotion_faithfulness_to_the_Church_and_missionary_commitmenthttp://fides.org/en/news/62141-AMERICA_BRAZIL_Protomatyrs_of_Brazil_examples_of_Eucharistic_devotion_faithfulness_to_the_Church_and_missionary_commitmentRio Grande do Norte - There is great joy in Rio Grande do Norte after the news that the canonization of the Protomartyrs of Brazil will take place on 15 October: André de Soveral, Ambrosio Francisco Ferro, priests, Matteo Moreira, Layman, and other 27 wer killed in faith in Brazil on July 16, 1645 and October 3, 1645. Yesterday, Pope Francis, during the Ordinary Consistory, spoke about the date of the canonization, which will be celebrated at St. Peter's on October 15. The promulgation of the decree of canonization had taken place on 23 March.<br />As the note sent to Fides from local sources informs, not only in Cunhaú and Uruacu, but in the whole Rio Grande do Norte and in many other cities in Brazil, people pray for the Protomartyrs of Brazil, especially whenever an Eucharistic Congress or the Corpus Christi feast is celebrated, as they have always been considered examples of Eucharistic devotion, loyalty to the Church, and missionary commitment.<br />These are the words of St. John Paul II during the celebration of the beatification of the 44 martyrs, on March 5, 2000, in St. Peter’s. <br />"These are the sentiments that fill our hearts as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of Brazil, which occurs this year . In this immense country, the implanting of the Gospel encountered many difficulties. The Church's presence was gradually strengthened through the missionary activity of various orders and religious congregations and by priests of the diocesan clergy. The martyrs beatified today came, at the end of the 17th century, from the communities of Cunhaú and Uruaçu in Rio Grande do Norte. Fr André de Soveral, Fr Ambrósio Francisco Ferro and 28 lay companions belong to this generation of martyrs who watered their homeland, making it fertile for a generation of new Christians. They are the first fruits of the missionary work, the protomartyrs of Brazil. One of these, Mateus Moreira, had his heart ripped out through his back while he was still alive, and yet he had the strength to proclaim his faith in the Eucharist, saying: "Praised be the Blessed Sacrament". <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:52:44 +0200AFRICA/GHANA - Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle: "If Christians put their faith in practice, Ghana will be a country of unimaginable success"http://fides.org/en/news/62138-AFRICA_GHANA_Most_Rev_Palmer_Buckle_If_Christians_put_their_faith_in_practice_Ghana_will_be_a_country_of_unimaginable_successhttp://fides.org/en/news/62138-AFRICA_GHANA_Most_Rev_Palmer_Buckle_If_Christians_put_their_faith_in_practice_Ghana_will_be_a_country_of_unimaginable_successAccra - "There are more evil deeds propagated and practiced by some Ghanaians professionals in their line of work", said Most Rev Charles Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop of Accra, during the Chrism Holy Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral.<br />The Archbishop said Ghana has to face illegal activities that compromise its social and economic development. He mentioned much indiscipline such as illegal mining popularly called “Galamsay” which causes irreparable damage to Ghana’s’ natural resources, citizen vigilantes groups causing confusions during judicial proceedings, tribal conflict among others.<br />The Archbishop said he was was unhappy at the behavior of Christians who fail to practice their Christian faith in their professions. "If Christians put their faith in practice, Ghana will be a country of unimaginable success. Ghana is blessed with natural resources and strong human resources based". But he added, "Some persons want to destroy Ghana, the indiscipline and crime activities are not only perpetuated by some evil minded Ghanaian but also some foreigners". <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:28:13 +0200AFRICA/NIGERIA - A Jesuit kidnapped in southern Nigeriahttp://fides.org/en/news/62137-AFRICA_NIGERIA_A_Jesuit_kidnapped_in_southern_Nigeriahttp://fides.org/en/news/62137-AFRICA_NIGERIA_A_Jesuit_kidnapped_in_southern_NigeriaAbuja - A Jesuit has been kidnapped in southern Nigeria: we are talking about Fr. Samuel Okwuidegbe, a 50-year-old Nigerian Jesuit, who was kidnapped on April 18, on the road connecting Benin City to Onitsha.<br />According to the information gathered by "La Croix", Fr. Okwuidegbe was to lead a retreat 150 miles from the spirituality center led by him, where he lives with three confreres. His car was found by the police, who are still investigating. "At the moment we do not have much detail. <br />Rigobert Kyungu Musenge, the Regional Secretary of the Jesuits for Africa and Madagascar reveals that two other people were abducted along with Fr. Okwuidegbe. "We do not think he was kidnapped" he stresses.<br />In 2016, several Catholic priests were kidnapped in Nigeria, especially in the southern regions. Don Sylvester Onmoke, President of the Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priests Association , defined "the recent wave of priests and religious kidnapped as an assault on the Church" . <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:17:40 +0200ASIA/INDONESIA - Elections in Jakarta: Christian governor, defeated. But his trial for blasphemy continueshttp://fides.org/en/news/62140-ASIA_INDONESIA_Elections_in_Jakarta_Christian_governor_defeated_But_his_trial_for_blasphemy_continueshttp://fides.org/en/news/62140-ASIA_INDONESIA_Elections_in_Jakarta_Christian_governor_defeated_But_his_trial_for_blasphemy_continuesJakarta - "Power comes from God and it could be taken by God. No one comes to power without God’s permission. Don’t be sad. God knows". With these words, implicitly quoting the Gospel and St. Paul , the Governor of Jakarta, Protestant Christian Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama tried to comfort his supporters, embittered after Ahok himself recognized his defeat in the ballot election on 19 April. The opponent is Anies Baswedan to be re-elected Jakarta's next governor.<br />After the closing of the seats, a quick count showed that Anies won around 58 percent of the vote. <br />He congratulated Anies and Sandiaga, their campaign team and supporters. The Protestant governor also promised to help Anies Baswedan, a Muslim backed by radical groups, in the transition process and would accelerate his programs until the end of his term in October. "It is our hope" said Ahok at a press conference held at a hotel in the Indonesian capital "that all sides will forget the election campaign and Jakarta election. We’re actually the same, we want Jakarta to be better because it is our common home". The Jakarta governor then called on his supporters to move on from the election, which has been seen by many as the most sectarian and divisive in the city’s history.<br />Anies and Sandiaga also appreciated Ahok-Djarot for their participation in ensuring Wednesday’s election a worthy democratic process. They called on Ahok-Djarot and their supporters to work together with them to fix all the damages caused during their election campaigns and to cooperate in building Jakarta.<br />Meanwhile, on Thursday, April 20, Ahok returned to court, the 19th trial session over his blasphemy case since the first hearing last December. During the session, public prosecutors demanded the North Jakarta District Court sentence Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama to one year in jail with to two years of probation, if he is found guilty of spreading hatred. <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:03:41 +0200EUROPE/SPAIN - Missionary Youth recalls the Spanish religious woman killed in Haiti, murderer arrestedhttp://fides.org/en/news/62136-EUROPE_SPAIN_Missionary_Youth_recalls_the_Spanish_religious_woman_killed_in_Haiti_murderer_arrestedhttp://fides.org/en/news/62136-EUROPE_SPAIN_Missionary_Youth_recalls_the_Spanish_religious_woman_killed_in_Haiti_murderer_arrestedMadrid - In the past few days, the alleged murderer of the Spanish missionary Sr. Isa Solá, who was attacked and killed on a Haitian road in the capital while driving her car, on September 2, 2016, for robbery purposes was arrested. The news was confirmed by the Spanish press. The religious worked in the capital of Haiti for seven years, committed to the humble and poor with whom she practically lived after the 2010 earthquake. According to the note sent to Fides, the criminal was part of a very dangerous gang, responsible for thefts, rapes and murders. Other 12 members of the criminal group were also arrested.<br />Maria Angeles Aliño, Provincial Superior of the Religious of Jesus and Mary in Spain, explained to the magazine "Vida Nueva" that in these seven months, "the memory of Isa Solá has always been present in our community", underlining that she has a very strong influence among the younger sisters. Mother Aliño confirmed that the congregation continues to seek a substitute for the mission in Haiti: "We want to remain in Haiti, people are worried and we want to continue with our assistance".<br />During the XIV Meeting of Missionary Youth, held in El Escorial from 21 to 23 April, organized by the Pontifical Mission Societies of Spain, in collaboration with the Episcopal Mission Committee, a space will be reserved for the memory and homage to sister Isa Solà. More than 150 young people from all over Spain will be present at the meeting, who will share the experiences of their stays in mission countries. Among them are some "special" missionaries such as Dara O'Brien, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and lives "the victory of Christ on the cross, which many times she preached to young people", as the note sent to Fides by the PMS of Spain reads. <br />Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:10:28 +0200ASIA/SYRIA - Assyrian leaders of the Syrian opposition received in Moscow by Russian Deputy Foreign Ministerhttp://fides.org/en/news/62135-ASIA_SYRIA_Assyrian_leaders_of_the_Syrian_opposition_received_in_Moscow_by_Russian_Deputy_Foreign_Ministerhttp://fides.org/en/news/62135-ASIA_SYRIA_Assyrian_leaders_of_the_Syrian_opposition_received_in_Moscow_by_Russian_Deputy_Foreign_MinisterMoscow - Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov received a delegation of Assyrian leaders on the various fronts of the Syrian anti-Assad opposition in Moscow. The delegation was led by Nimrud Suleiman, and was received by Vice-Minister Bogdanov on Wednesday, 19 April. According to reports from Russian media, Suleiman explained to Deputy Minister Bogdanov the political acronyms handled by Christian Assyrians on the future structure of Syria, reiterating the demand to support the political and administrative arrangements that favor the decentralization and the enhancement of diverse ethnic and cultural identities in the Syrian territory. The Russian press presented the meeting as an attempt by Assyrian organizations to find in Russia support in the ever-complex Syrian scenario.<br />The Democratic Organization of Assyria have lined up on the front of the anti-Assad opposition since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, denouncing the lack of political agility attributed to the centralist regime leadership. <br />Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:29:07 +0200