Fides News Englishhttp://fides.org/Fides Agency Newsen-usAFRICA/DR CONGO - It is necessary to vaccinate children against measleshttp://fides.org/en/news/36167-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_It_is_necessary_to_vaccinate_children_against_measleshttp://fides.org/en/news/36167-AFRICA_DR_CONGO_It_is_necessary_to_vaccinate_children_against_measlesKinshasa - The immunization campaign against measles has just concluded in four health areas: Lumbishi, Numbi, Tushunguti and Shanje in the hilly surroundings of the town of Minova, the so called Hauts Plateaux, areas to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo . The campaign, carried out by the NGO Doctors Without Borders in the province of South Kivu, has reached nearly 38 000 children between 6 months to 15 years. The emergency team has now moved on to the nearby area Kalonge. Moving in this environment is often very complicated as some areas can only be reached on foot or at most on motorcycle, and that makes it difficult to keep the necessary cold chain and to preserve the vaccines to be administered. In addition, various armed groups are active in the area and armed clashed make access to some remote spots even more complicated. Almost two thirds of those vaccinated, 23,257 of a total of 37,852 people, were children under five. More than half of the smaller children, almost 15,000, passed a basic test of malnutrition, known as MUAC, which measures the circumference of the arm, and nearly 500 of them had some degree of malnutrition. In Kalonge, always the province of South Kivu, MSF hopes to immunize at least another 65 thousand people in the next two weeks. At the end of 2012, an epidemic of measles had infected more than 700 children in the district of Bunyakiri, near Minova. The disease, especially in children, can be lethal if not treated immediately. It is very contagious and can cause complications such as pneumonia, malnutrition, severe dehydration, ear infections and eye infections that can even lead to blindness. A study conducted by Epicentre, the epidemiological MSF research center, indicates that between 2010 and 2013 almost 300 000 measles cases were registered in the DRC, of which two thirds were children under 5 years of age, and over 5000 patients died. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/PAKISTAN - "Terrorism and intolerance are the wounds of Pakistan"http://fides.org/en/news/36166-ASIA_PAKISTAN_Terrorism_and_intolerance_are_the_wounds_of_Pakistanhttp://fides.org/en/news/36166-ASIA_PAKISTAN_Terrorism_and_intolerance_are_the_wounds_of_PakistanLahore - "Terrorism and religious intolerance are the worst plagues that afflict Pakistan" says to Fides Agency Fr. Inayat Bernard, rector of Santa Maria Seminary in Lahore. "The Church in Pakistan is responding to these challenges: through Caritas in Islamabad-Rawlpindi, in the North, affected by the flow of IDPs from North Waziristan, caused by the anti-terrorist offensive of the army. We want peace and even Islam is a religion of peace. The whole country is supporting the military effort to eradicate terrorism. We continue to pray so that harmony and peace triumph in the nation".<br />On the other hand, the priest says, "there is a Taliban mentality in society, made of intolerance and prejudice, which must be changed. Many madrasas and mosques teach that non-Muslims are infidels, "kafir", feeding intolerance and violence. In order to change this mentality, efforts of inter-religious dialogue are urgent. Thanks to the commitment of many Catholic leaders we have started a dialogue of life with Muslims. We organize meetings and events to show how much we have in common. These words and gestures have an impact on society. We will continue to build bridges and to sow seeds that can sprout to change this mentality. "Even schools are experiencing strong prejudice against minorities in school curricula and textbooks. We are working to change these schools texts: the important thing is to always be in dialogue with civil and religious leaders", he concludes. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Guerrilla groups become political parties: for the Church this is a positive stephttp://fides.org/en/news/36165-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Guerrilla_groups_become_political_parties_for_the_Church_this_is_a_positive_stephttp://fides.org/en/news/36165-AMERICA_COLOMBIA_Guerrilla_groups_become_political_parties_for_the_Church_this_is_a_positive_stepCucuta - Several groups of former paramilitary guerillas are turning into political parties and intend to act as actors in a democratic future in Colombia. This is the case of the "Alianza de la unidad Colombiana" that announced its transformation into a political movement: Alianza Colombiana de la Unidad por la Paz". While public opinion in the country is still divided on the possibility to accept these changes, from the Diocese of Cucuta, Mgr. Julio César Vidal Ortiz expressed himself in a positive way: "If one gives them the opportunity to do so, then they have every right. If, the FARC did it, and even ELN , it is clear that others want to do it, because all are expressions of the same reality: they are born because of poverty in the country, injustice and corruption. These are the factors that have given rise to these groups", said the Bishop in a note sent to Fides. <br />The note refers to former members of the paramilitary group, claiming that the agreement between the government and the FARC on political participation should expand opportunities for those who belong to armed groups, although they were "outlaws". Mgr. Vidal Ortiz, in the period from 2002 until 2006, acted as an intermediary in the peace process between paramilitary groups and the government of Alvaro Uribe. His speech was of great weight to the rapprochement between the parties at that time. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/MEXICO - Over five thousand people march for peace and for lifehttp://fides.org/en/news/36164-AMERICA_MEXICO_Over_five_thousand_people_march_for_peace_and_for_lifehttp://fides.org/en/news/36164-AMERICA_MEXICO_Over_five_thousand_people_march_for_peace_and_for_lifeNezahualcoyotl - More than 5000 people marched with the Bishop of the diocese of Nezahualcóyotl, Mgr. Héctor Luis Morales Sánchez in favor of peace, life and family. The massive event, held yesterday July 27, started from three points of the city of Nezahualcoyotl, towards the center, and ended in the cathedral with a prayer vigil. <br />The main reason, according to the note sent to Fides by the Diocese of Nezahualcoyotl, is the desire to publicly express the will and the commitment to promote and act effectively for life, for peace and for the family: "Considering that one cannot be insensitive or indifferent to the various situations that present themselves as serious problems in our diocese of Nezahualcoyotl and in society in general, we try to propose ways and solutions that are coherent with our principles, in the light of the Gospel", says the note. "We want to express together our right to demonstrate publicly that we are in favor of the values of life, of peace and of the family". <br />The city of Nezahualcóyotl, on the outskirts of the capital Mexico City, home to more than 1200.000 people, in recent months has had to endure situations of great violence on the streets and in families. <br />Since 2013, the city suffers kidnapping, extortion, extrajudicial executions, thefts, street violence, more than other cities in the country: all this before the authorities who, out of fear or corruption, are unable to stop social violence. The poorest people, note the local Church, are the first victims of this violence. According to data published by the newspaper "La Jornada" in Mexico, 62 people were killed every day in 2013. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/LEBANON - Patriarch Rai: The new President should not be linked to the two "blocks"http://fides.org/en/news/36163-ASIA_LEBANON_Patriarch_Rai_The_new_President_should_not_be_linked_to_the_two_blockshttp://fides.org/en/news/36163-ASIA_LEBANON_Patriarch_Rai_The_new_President_should_not_be_linked_to_the_two_blocksDiman - "The 'March 14 Coalition ' does not want a president aligned with the 'March 8 Coalition'. And the 'March 8 Coalition' does not want a President aligned with the 'March 14 Coalition'. Therefore one needs to look for a President who is not part of the blocks". This is according to the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Rai the only way out of the political impasse that for months has been deteriorating the political and institutional framework of Lebanon, where the two dominant political blocks are unable to reach an agreement on the election of a new Head of State. The institutional Lebanese system reserves the office of the Head of State to a Maronite Christian. And according to Patriarch Rai "there are many Maronite figures who are worthy of becoming a Head of State". The patriarchal considerations on the political and institutional crisis which the Land of the Cedars is experiencing were expressed by Cardinal Rai during Sunday Mass celebrated yesterday at the patriarchal summer residence in Diman. <br />The Lebanese Constitution decrees that the new President is elected two months before the end of the term of his predecessor. The office of incumbent President Michel Sleiman came to an end at the end of May. Since then, all attempts to elect his successor have failed because of the contrast between the two blocks that dominate the political scene of the Country: the March 8 Coalition - which sees the Shiites of Hezbollah allied with the Free Patriotic Movement led by former Maronite General Michel Aoun - and the March 14 Coalition - where the Lebanese Forces led by Maronite Samir Geagea are allied with the Sunnis of the 'Future' Party of Saad Hariri. During his homily, Patriarch Rai proposed once again the coexistence between Christians and Muslims as a hallmark in the history of Lebanon and as an antidote to sectarian impulses that are shaking the Middle East scenario: "for two thousand years", said the Patriarch, "Christians have given rise to the culture of the region through the Gospel, and there were even 1400 years of Islamic culture, which interacted together with with the philosophy of coexistence". Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/PARAGUAY - Thousands of children displaced due to the floodshttp://fides.org/en/news/36162-AMERICA_PARAGUAY_Thousands_of_children_displaced_due_to_the_floodshttp://fides.org/en/news/36162-AMERICA_PARAGUAY_Thousands_of_children_displaced_due_to_the_floodsAsunción - Sexual abuse, mistreatment and diseases are some of the many risks that 147,500 displaced children face due to the floods that are ravaging Paraguay. <br />Many live huddled together in more than 100 illegal camps set up in the squares and streets of the capital. According to the latest official report, the full history of the Paraguay River has forced about 245 000 people to move across the Country. In Asunción alone, the most populous city in a Country with 6.7 million inhabitants, about 85 thousand people have abandoned their homes due to the gradual increase of the water. About 50 thousand children in the capital have been forced to abandon everything, and some for more than two months, even school; the lucky ones live with relatives or in the two military barracks. Most of them, however, are dragged between 126 camps or very precarious temporary spaces, where there is lack of security, bathrooms, hygiene and drinking water. <br />According to some specialists, the children in the refugee camps are three times as likely to be raped or sexually abused. <br />The NGO Plan International has set up 18 "Anua" tents, which in the Guarani language means hug, in order to allow children and families to live in open spaces away from the stress and the crisis they are going through. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/UNITED STATES - "Looking for a lawyer to represent undocumented children"http://fides.org/en/news/36161-AMERICA_UNITED_STATES_Looking_for_a_lawyer_to_represent_undocumented_childrenhttp://fides.org/en/news/36161-AMERICA_UNITED_STATES_Looking_for_a_lawyer_to_represent_undocumented_childrenDallas - A campaign to recruit volunteers and lawyers ready to commit to help the children stopped at the border with Mexico has started in North Texas. <br />The Catholic Church in North Texas, in the person of the bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, Mgr. Kevin Joseph Farrell, launched an appeal to address the humanitarian emergency concerning the flow of children and young people who arrive at the border alone and without documents. "For a community of faith, at the moment" said Mgr. Farrell, as reported in a note sent to Fides by local sources "the issue is not limited simply on a political debate on immigration, but on the urgent help towards those most in need. "We, the Bishop added, referring to the United States "are the number 1 country in the world when it comes to helping people". <br />In front of reporters, the Bishop also responded to questions about the deployment of National Guard troops at the border announced by Governor Rick Perry. "I am sure that the governor has his own reasons for sending 1,000 troops to the border area", said Mgr. Farrell. "But this does not solve the problem at the moment", said the Bishop "but as a Church, we are now worried about the children ... This is a humanitarian crisis that will judge the character and moral level of our nation". <br />The flow of migrant children, coming mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who arrive at the border with the United States is reaching record levels. The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection reported that 57.525 children were arrested between October 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. This figure shows an increase of 106 percent compared to last year, when border authorities arrested 27,884 children. <br />The campaign started two days ago by charity groups , the association of the Hispanic Bar Association of Dallas and from the same diocese. Its aim is to recruit bilingual volunteer lawyers to assist the children cost-free whose cases are discussed at the immigration courts. About 160 lawyers have already voluntarily joined the initiative. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/PERU - 193 years of independent and Catholic lifehttp://fides.org/en/news/36160-AMERICA_PERU_193_years_of_independent_and_Catholic_lifehttp://fides.org/en/news/36160-AMERICA_PERU_193_years_of_independent_and_Catholic_lifeLima - "The challenges faced by our authorities and all Peruvians will overcome only with the mutual recognition among all citizens, far from any form of discrimination; in respect of our healthy traditions and with the sincere commitment for every Peruvian to tend to honesty, transparency, justice and peace". So reads the message issued by the Bishops of Peru sent to Fides Agency on the occasion of the celebration of the national holiday. <br /><br />"Today", the document reads, "the Peruvians continue to pursue a new battle against selfishness, hedonism and relativism that undermine our identity as Peruvians, destroy the natural and biblical image of the family, the basic cell of society; threaten marriage as a sacrament between a man and a woman, and put at risk the lives of Peruvians who are defenseless. Our heroes - the Peruvian Bishops continue - were not great for an isolated moment of heroism, but were heroes in everyday life, in responding faithfully to his own conscience, defending the inalienable human values".<br /><br />Peru celebrates 193 years of life as an independent country. All activities in the Country stop on 28 and 29 July, and the Catholic community, as reported by the text released by the Bishops, recall that currently "Peru is experiencing a special moment in its history. . The rich natural resources, the beauty of geography and especially the quality of their children represent the greatest potential which, if properly guided, will allow us to joyfully see the desire to overcome poverty, and walk the paths blessed by peace". <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.fides.org/spa/attachments/view/file/obispos_peru_28072014.doc">The full text of the Bishops’ message:</a>Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/IRAQ – Pope Francis calls the Chaldean Patriarch. Rumors about the destruction of churches in Mosul have been deniedhttp://fides.org/en/news/36159-ASIA_IRAQ_Pope_Francis_calls_the_Chaldean_Patriarch_Rumors_about_the_destruction_of_churches_in_Mosul_have_been_deniedhttp://fides.org/en/news/36159-ASIA_IRAQ_Pope_Francis_calls_the_Chaldean_Patriarch_Rumors_about_the_destruction_of_churches_in_Mosul_have_been_deniedBaghdad - Pope Francis phoned the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako to manifest his participation and closeness to the suffering of the Iraqi people, starting from Mosul Christians expelled from the city by the self-proclaimed militants of the "Islamic Caliphate". The phone call took place on Friday morning, July 25. The Bishop of Rome - as reported by official sources of the Chaldean Patriarchate - thanked Patriarch Louis Raphael for guiding the Christian people in this period, and expressed his affection for all Christians in Iraq, urging them to keep their faith alive. <br />Meanwhile, authoritative sources of the Chaldean Church deny the rumors that the militia of the Islamic Caliphate, after having destroyed the Mosque of Jonah in Mosul, have also destroyed the Chaldean church dedicated to the Holy Spirit. <br />"In the difficult times that we are living" says the Chaldean bishop of Mosul Amel Shamon Nona to Fides Agency "a further cause for concern and bitterness is represented by alarmism caused by unscrupulous people who spread false news that also touches the fate of Christians. Statements and interviews in recent days that I have never released have also been attributed to me. It is a disturbing phenomenon". Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Five new Korean Jesuit priests will welcome the Popehttp://fides.org/en/news/36158-ASIA_SOUTH_KOREA_Five_new_Korean_Jesuit_priests_will_welcome_the_Popehttp://fides.org/en/news/36158-ASIA_SOUTH_KOREA_Five_new_Korean_Jesuit_priests_will_welcome_the_PopeSeoul - There will be five new Korean Jesuit priests in the Catholic community as it prepares to welcome Pope Francis in his next trip to Korea : the Society of Jesus in Korea has in fact celebrated five new members who were ordained to priesthood. The five are: Andrew Sung-gyoon Lee, Simon Mon-hoi Kim, Benedict On-dohk Kang, Thomas Min Han and Igwan Su-yun Park. As reported to Fides, the five were ordained on July 2 at the Cathedral of Seoul. More than 1,500 faithful attended the ordination, and the Mass was presided by Mgr. Peter Chung Soon-taek OCD, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, and concelebrated by 80 priests. <br />Fr. Andrew Lee, 45, studied and worked in the Pastoral of the Jesuits in the Philippines. Fr. Simon Kim, 40, entered the Society in 2003, and completed his theological studies in France. Fr. Benedict Kang, 37, entered the Society in 2004, and lived and studied theology in Australia. Fr. Thomas Han, 37, is specialized in mass media. Fr. Igwan Park, 35, is an engineer, he entered the Society of Jesus in 2004, then studied in the Philippines. <br />Three of the five will now dedicate themselves to pastoral work in Korea, while the two will continue their studies in Australia. <br />Fr. John Sin SJ, Jesuit Provincial of Korea, asked the community to pray for the new priests, praising God "for the abundant blessing of vocations", and for the new priests who "will continue to serve the Church and the people of God". Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/EGYPT – There is no Christian in St. Anthony Abate’s hometownhttp://fides.org/en/news/36157-AFRICA_EGYPT_There_is_no_Christian_in_St_Anthony_Abate_s_hometownhttp://fides.org/en/news/36157-AFRICA_EGYPT_There_is_no_Christian_in_St_Anthony_Abate_s_hometownQumans - There is not a single Christian or church in the Egyptian city of Qumans, formerly known by the name of Coma, in the central province of Beni Suef, where in 251 AD Saint Anthony was born, regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism. This was reported by Egyptian sources consulted by Fides Agency. In recent times, the Coptic Orthodox community leaders in the region have taken note that the internal migration flows recorded in the area have also led to the transfer of the last families who lived near the village, in an area where some agricultural funds are still referred to as ancient possessions of the family of origin of the great saint. <br />The intention of enhancing the birthplace of St. Anthony could lead in the future - as suggested by some members of the Coptic Church – to the new construction of a shrine, to be suggested as a place of pilgrimage. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/PAKISTAN - Also displaced Christians and Hindus from North Waziristan: no to discriminationhttp://fides.org/en/news/36156-ASIA_PAKISTAN_Also_displaced_Christians_and_Hindus_from_North_Waziristan_no_to_discriminationhttp://fides.org/en/news/36156-ASIA_PAKISTAN_Also_displaced_Christians_and_Hindus_from_North_Waziristan_no_to_discriminationIslamabad - There are also internally displaced Christians and Hindus from North Waziristan, an area where the Pakistani government has in recent weeks launched an anti-terrorism offensive against Taliban groups. As reported to Fides, 65 Christian families and 15 Hindu families have left the city and the villages of Miranshah in North Waziristan, taking refuge in Christian schools in the city of Bunnu, run by the "Church of Pakistan" . <br />According to government sources, there are about one million displaced, 74% are women and children, and are assisted in governmental buildings. The displaced Christians and Hindus have not been officially registered in the district of Bunnu, they cannot receive the assistance and benefits assured to other refugees. The local Christian communities therefore call on the government to deal with the refugees, who are all Pakistani citizens, "all in the same way", without any discrimination based on religion. <br />An innocent was killed during the offensive against the Taliban. As reported to Fides by the "Asian Human Rights Commission," Anisur Rehman Soomro, a 17-year-old citizen from Sindh, was arrested, illegally detained for eleven days, tortured and killed by the police in Karachi, accused of being a member of a Taliban group. (Agenzia Fides 24/07/2014Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/SYRIA - Thousands of children excluded from the vaccination campaign against polio which has resurfaced in the Countryhttp://fides.org/en/news/36155-ASIA_SYRIA_Thousands_of_children_excluded_from_the_vaccination_campaign_against_polio_which_has_resurfaced_in_the_Countryhttp://fides.org/en/news/36155-ASIA_SYRIA_Thousands_of_children_excluded_from_the_vaccination_campaign_against_polio_which_has_resurfaced_in_the_CountryAleppo - About 765 000 children under 5 years of age live in areas of Syria where it is very difficult to reach because of the ongoing conflict and therefore were excluded from the recent vaccination campaign against polio or received an insufficient amount of doses. Polio has been considered virtually eradicated from the region and there have not been any recorded cases since 1999, this year 36 have been identified in Syria and 2 in neighboring Iraq. Both countries are victims of serious internal conflicts and part of their territories are out of the control of the Government and in the hands of armed movements. Given the high risk of spreading the serious disease, UNICEF and WHO have launched the largest vaccination campaign in the history of the Middle East, vaccinating 25 million children three to six times. In Syria, 2.9 million children have been vaccinated. The outbreak of polio in Syria has been attributed to reasons determined by the civil war, which began in 2011, mainly due to the interruption of the national campaigns of routine and damage to health infrastructures, with at least 60% of hospitals destroyed or damaged. In addition, among other key sources there is also the exodus of medical personnel and the ongoing forced displacement of the population in Syria, who live in deplorable hygienic conditions and many children are without any medical coverage. Before the conflict the vaccination rate in the country was 99% and now it is 52%. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200EUROPE/GREAT BRITAIN - Over 700 million girls forced into marriagehttp://fides.org/en/news/36154-EUROPE_GREAT_BRITAIN_Over_700_million_girls_forced_into_marriagehttp://fides.org/en/news/36154-EUROPE_GREAT_BRITAIN_Over_700_million_girls_forced_into_marriageLondon - All over the world more than 700 million women were forced to marry when they were still children, of these 250 million before the age of 15. This is what was stated by the United Nations Children’s Fund during the celebration of the first Summit on Children, which takes place in London, adding that girls who marry before 18 years of age are more likely to leave school and suffer domestic violence. In addition, younger adolescents are at greater risk of dying due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than those who are more than 20 years old, and their children are more likely to be born dead or die in the first month of life. According to UNICEF, in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East more than 130 million girls and women have undergone some form of genital mutilation. The goal is to be able to give the necessary support to eradicate the two phenomena which deprive women of their dignity. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/HOLY LAND - Caritas Jerusalem rescues thousands of Muslims, who have taken shelter in schools and churches in Gazahttp://fides.org/en/news/36153-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_Caritas_Jerusalem_rescues_thousands_of_Muslims_who_have_taken_shelter_in_schools_and_churches_in_Gazahttp://fides.org/en/news/36153-ASIA_HOLY_LAND_Caritas_Jerusalem_rescues_thousands_of_Muslims_who_have_taken_shelter_in_schools_and_churches_in_GazaGaza - There are almost 1,300 Palestinians, the vast majority of Muslims, who have taken shelter in the Greek Orthodox church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza in order to escape the bombing of the Israeli army. Other seven hundred have found refuge in the Holy Family Catholic Church. In these days their survival depends mainly on the efforts of rescue and assistance carried out by Caritas Jerusalem which contributes to the emergency represented by more than 130 thousand displaced people who had to leave their homes since the beginning of the Israeli military "Protective Edge" operation. So far, there have been over 700 Palestinians who have died, and healthcare facilities in the Gaza Strip are unable to cope with the huge amount of casualties . <br />"Our 18 operators are working tirelessly in that terrible situation, with our mobile medical centers that operate in schools and distribute survival kits to families massed in schools, in collaboration with the United Nations" refers Father Raed Abusahliah, Director of Caritas Jerusalem to Fides Agency. "Since yesterday - adds the Palestinian priest living in Ramallah – for a week we have the responsibility of taking care of the refugees present in the Orthodox Church and the Catholic school. We distribute food and hot meals, milk and basic necessities for the children, fuel for electric generators. Meanwhile, with Caritas Internationalis, we have launched an appeal for projects and long-term initiatives to be started immediately after the cease-fire. Funds will be needed ".<br />Next Saturday and Sunday in all parishes in Jordan, Palestine and Israel the faithful will pray for the return of peace and there will be fundraising on behalf of the people of Gaza. "In this regard - says Fr. Raed - I launch a humble appeal to Pope Francis: may you convene a vigil of prayer and fasting for peace in the Holy Land, as you did for Syria. All the people who inhabit this land, the land of Jesus, are tired of living in fear and pain". Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/INDIA - Appointment of the Rector of the interdiocesan "Khristo Jyoti Mohavidyaloyo" Seminary in Sambalpurhttp://fides.org/en/news/36152-ASIA_INDIA_Appointment_of_the_Rector_of_the_interdiocesan_Khristo_Jyoti_Mohavidyaloyo_Seminary_in_Sambalpurhttp://fides.org/en/news/36152-ASIA_INDIA_Appointment_of_the_Rector_of_the_interdiocesan_Khristo_Jyoti_Mohavidyaloyo_Seminary_in_SambalpurVatican City - On May 16, 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed Rev. Francis Pereira, SVD as Rector of the interdiocesan "Khristo Mohavidyaloyo Jyoti" Seminary in the Diocese of Sambalpur . <br />The new Rector was born on March 13, 1956 in Kanthavara and was ordained a priest on May 4, 1985. He holds a degree in theology and a Doctorate in Theological Anthropology. Since his ordination he has served as assistant pastor and pastor in several parishes, and since 2002 he has been part of the "Khristo Jyoti Mohavidyaloyo" staff. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/INDIA - Appointment of the Rector of the interdiocesan "Morning Star College" Seminary in Calcuttahttp://fides.org/en/news/36151-ASIA_INDIA_Appointment_of_the_Rector_of_the_interdiocesan_Morning_Star_College_Seminary_in_Calcuttahttp://fides.org/en/news/36151-ASIA_INDIA_Appointment_of_the_Rector_of_the_interdiocesan_Morning_Star_College_Seminary_in_CalcuttaVatican City - On May 30, 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed rev. Santhanam J.A., of the diocesan clergy of Bauripur, as Rector of the interdiocesan "Morning Star College" Seminary in the Archdiocese of Calcutta . <br />The new Rector was born on July 24, 1962 and was ordained a priest on 22 April 1990. He graduated in History at Calcutta University, then studied philosophy and theology at the "Morning Star Regional Seminary," and systematic theology at the Pontifical Seminary in Pune, and earned his PhD at the Catholic University in France. In the diocese of Bauripur he served his pastoral roles as a parish priest and in the field of education, secretary of the diocesan commission for education, professor and treasurer at the Morning Star Regional Seminary. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200ASIA/INDONESIA - Priorities for new president Joko Widodo: stop intolerance and guarantee religious freedomhttp://fides.org/en/news/36150-ASIA_INDONESIA_Priorities_for_new_president_Joko_Widodo_stop_intolerance_and_guarantee_religious_freedomhttp://fides.org/en/news/36150-ASIA_INDONESIA_Priorities_for_new_president_Joko_Widodo_stop_intolerance_and_guarantee_religious_freedomJakarta - Priority for the new president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, and his new government is to address the issue of the growing religious intolerance in Indonesia, which has become a national concern, and that penalizes minorities. The is stated by Churches and NGOs in the aftermath of the announcement of the results of the presidential elections. According to the official count, Widodo obtained 53.15% of the votes, while his rival, former general Prabowo Subianto – who contests the election results - reached 46.85%. Subianto announced a legal recourse for the review of the results. Widodo has launched an appeal to "national reconciliation", calling for the unity of the nation, for the good of the country. <br />Intolerance and religious violence remains a serious problem in the country: as noted by the NGO "Christian Solidarity Worldwide" , in recent years there has been an increase of abuses, discrimination and violence on Christians, Ahmadis and Shia Muslims, followers of traditional indigenous beliefs. The NGO has recently published a report titled "Indonesia: Pluralism in danger. The rise of religious intolerance" , which provides a detailed analysis of the increasing violations of freedom of religion or belief, and proposes 25 recommendations to the Indonesian government. <br />Widodo, in his political career, has openly defended the freedom of religion and the Indonesian tradition of religious pluralism. In his presidential election campaign he pledged to protect the Constitution, which provides for freedom of religion. In a note sent to Fides, Mervyn Thomas, Director of CSW calls on the new president "to protect and promote freedom of religion in Indonesia, placing it as a priority for the new government. It is urgent to take measures to curb religious intolerance. We hope that the government is committed to enforcing constitutional guarantees on freedom of religion, for example, by removing the indication of religion on identity cards, revising the discriminatory and unjust laws, enforcing the judgments issued by the courts. We hope that Joko Widodo’s election inaugurates a new era of freedom of religion, peace and stability in Indonesia". Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AFRICA/BENIN - Children sold for 30 euro as slaves by their parents: a campaign against traffickinghttp://fides.org/en/news/36149-AFRICA_BENIN_Children_sold_for_30_euro_as_slaves_by_their_parents_a_campaign_against_traffickinghttp://fides.org/en/news/36149-AFRICA_BENIN_Children_sold_for_30_euro_as_slaves_by_their_parents_a_campaign_against_traffickingPorto Novo - "Poverty and family breakdown are, without a doubt, two of the main causes of child trafficking. To these we must add the lack of education of children and their families, conflicts and political instability in the countries of Africa and Asia in particular, the debts accumulated by the family and the impunity enjoyed by traffickers": This is what we read in the note sent to Fides Agency to present the campaign "I am not for sale", sponsored by the Salesian Missions in Benin to protect children against human trafficking. <br />"The trafficking of children is one of the worst realities with which we are dealing, because it destroys a child’s childhood and his/her hope for the future", continues the statement. Father Juan José Gómez, head of the Don Bosco reception center in Porto Novo offers a dramatic testimony: "We have welcomed children who had been sold for about 30 Euros by their parents ...". To promote this campaign a video has been prepared that shows the dramatic situation in Benin on this issue, a situation that reflects what is happening in Africa but also in other continents. <br />More than one million children worldwide are victims of human trafficking, according to the International Labor Organization. The number, however, increases if you count illegal adoptions, forced marriages and trafficking in organs. 27% of all victims of trafficking are identified as children in the world, according to UN figures. <br/><strong>Link correlati</strong> :<a href="http://www.misionessalesianas.org/especiales/2014/reportajes/no-estoy-en-venta-menores-sin-identidad-y-sin-derechos/">The video of the Campaign</a>Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200AMERICA/UNITED STATES - The Bishop of Brownsville: "In the face of a humanitarian crisis, we need a humanitarian response"http://fides.org/en/news/36148-AMERICA_UNITED_STATES_The_Bishop_of_Brownsville_In_the_face_of_a_humanitarian_crisis_we_need_a_humanitarian_responsehttp://fides.org/en/news/36148-AMERICA_UNITED_STATES_The_Bishop_of_Brownsville_In_the_face_of_a_humanitarian_crisis_we_need_a_humanitarian_responseBrownsville - The situation of children and young Central Americans stopped at the U.S. border with Mexico, in Texas, continues to present itself as a state of authentic humanitarian crisis . The Bishop of Brownsville, His Exc. Mgr. Daniel Ernest Flores, visited, together with a group of religious leaders of the Convención de Bautistas del Sur, the different facilities that welcome the children who are stopped. <br />In the note sent to Fides Agency, Mgr. Flores points out that in order to address this humanitarian crisis it is important for religious leaders to see with their eyes, the facilities that accommodate unaccompanied minors, and also see how the government is trying to accomodate this segment of the population, even on a temporary basis. "The leaders of the government must find a way to remedy the situation of these refugees - says the Bishop - especially because we have childern and mothers who are suffering enormously. Each government's response at a federal and state level, should focus on this".<br />Mgr. Flores also reiterated that the Church supports the current law, which provides asylum to these people and allows them to present their cases in court. "The Church will always try to ensure that human rights are respected, especially in the case of the protection of these people", the Bishop stressed, noting that "faced with a humanitarian crisis, humanitarian response is needed". Also immigration agencies of the government and the police should treat all refugees seeking asylum with dignity, justice, compassion, and in full respect of their rights to a fair trial. <br />The note concludes informing that the group of the religious who visited the facilities, sent a letter to the Congress expressing their concern about the current situation of the children and how they are cared for, asking for sufficient resources to enable them to overcome the current situation in a dignified manner. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200