Tuesday, June 03, 2014

AFGHANISTAN - Jesuit kidnapped:

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ASIA/AFGHANISTAN – Jesuit kidnapped: Fr. Moretti asks for “prayer and silence”

English: Monochrome version of the IHS emblem ...
English: Monochrome version of the IHS emblem of the Jesuits  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kabul (Agenzia Fides) – “Let us live this moment, after the kidnapping of a Jesuit priest, in profound, silent prayer and full of hope. It is a sad moment which we hope will soon evolve positively. We ask the media strict confidence, so that the institutional bodies can do their job and save father Alexis Prem Kumar”: This is what Mgr. Giuseppe Moretti, Superior of the “Missio sui iuris” of Afghanistan says to Fides Agency with regards to the kidnapping of the Indian Jesuit Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan on June 2 by an unidentified group of armed men.
Fr. Prem Kumar, 47, was kidnapped while on a visit to a school for returnees in the village of Sohadat, 25 km from Herat. The kidnapping was confirmed by the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in South Asia, Fr. Edward Mudavassery. Fr. Kumar has been working in Afghanistan for four years as director of the “Jesuit Refugee Service” (JRS), the service for refugees. The Jesuits have informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India and the Governor of Herat.
“The Jesuits – explains Fr. Moretti – have a community in Herat and carry out a service mainly in the field of education. They operate autonomously, via JRS, for humanitarian assistance”. The Superior of the “Missio sui iuris” explains: “There is no concrete news concerning those who kidnapped Fr. Kumar. Kidnappings of foreigners are common throughout the country. We only know that he was kidnapped by armed men, they could be Taliban factions or common criminals”.
The “Jesuit Refugee Service” is an international voluntary organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. The South Asia regional office assists and takes care, on the whole, of more than 800 thousand refugees: the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal, the Sri Lankan refugees in India, Afghan refugees. Services provided include medical care, education, professional training, psychological support, community development. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/06/2014)

ASIA/LEBANON – Orthodox Patriarch Yohanna X announces the Conference of the Church of Antioch
Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) – In a public letter addressed to all the members of his Church, the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Yohanna X al-Yazigi, announced a General ecclesial Conference which will be held at the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand on June 26-28, near the Lebanese city of Tripoli. In the letter of invitation, sent to Fides Agency, the Antiochian ecclesial Conference is presented by the Patriarch as a precious opportunity to reconfigure and strengthen the presence and overall pastoral activity of the Patriarchate of Antioch in the Middle East which house his dioceses and parishes.
“We – the Patriarch writes among other things – look at the Church as a reality at the service of the world that God loved.
We are aware of the important task entrusted to us. The body of our Antiochian Church” recognizes the Patriarch “continues to suffer in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and our Arab human reality remains oppressed and without homeland in Palestine”.
According to the Patriarch, the Conference will express, as its primary objective, the concern of the dioceses and parishes with regards to the condition experienced by the nations suffering in the Middle East: “When we affirm our unity”, explains the Patriarch, “we take on our task: to dry the tears of all” without distinction “among the Christian and Muslim children of our society”. Concretely, the renewed commitment is, according to the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, in taking charge of the “increased pastoral needs” even in the field of educational services, initiatives of charity and social works, for the benefit of all. His Beatitude Yohanna acknowledges that “in our region one experiences a time in which the conjunction of politics and religion is having negative repercussions for believers and religious communities”.
He therefore invites to monitor the situations in which “even the adjectives ‘Christian’ and ‘Orthodox’ are exploited for personal gain and for reasons that have no relation with the Christian message”.
Yohanna X-Yazigi was elected Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in December 2012. He is the brother of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo Boulos, who was abducted by unknown kidnappers on April 22, 2013 along with the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 03/06/2014)