Friday, January 13, 2012

Fides News: The Holy Father's intentions for prayer, entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for the year 2013


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VATICAN-The Holy Father's intentions for prayer, entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for the year 2013
Deutsch: Emblem des Pontifikats English: emble...

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Vatican City (Agenzia Fides)-The Holy Father's intentions for prayer, entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for the year 2013

General:That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary:That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.

General:That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.
Missionary:People in Conflict. That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

General:That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.
Missionary:That bishops, priests, and deacons may be tireless messengers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

General:That the public, prayerful celebration of faith may give life to the faithful.
Missionary:That mission churches may be signs and instruments of hope and resurrection.

General:That administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right conscience.
Missionary:That seminaries, especially those of mission Churches, may form pastors after the Heart of Christ, fully dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel.

General:That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.
Missionary:That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization. 

General:That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.
Missionary:That throughout Asia doors may open to messengers of the Gospel.

General:That parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life.
Missionary:That the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice.

General:That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.
Missionary:That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

General:That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love.
Missionary:That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's Word. 

General:That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity.
Missionary:That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.

General:That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary:That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.

ASIA/INDIA - The Islamic court in Kashmir incriminates a Catholic missionary and a Protestant Pastor: alarm for Christians

Srinagar (Agenzia Fides) - The Islamic Supreme in Kashmir Court has incriminated the Catholic missionary Father Jim Borst and the Protestant Pastor Chander Mani Khanna for their involvement in fraudulent activities of proselytizing and conversion to Christianity. As local sources of Fides report, the Court has officially announced that it will publish in the next few days the verdict of the sentence against the accused, with relativegrounds for the decision taken. The court had summoned Pastor Khanna: his statement was recorded and a CD was shown to prove his involvement in the issue of conversions. The pastor was arrested and charged with having converted and baptized 15 young Muslim boys.
According to Mufti Muhammad Nasir-ul-Islam, "during the hearing, Khanna confessed he drew the attention of Muslims to convert them to Christianity" and "was proved beyond doubt that the Pastor has been doing this work for years, along with other accomplices".
Fr. Jim Borst, a Catholic missionary of the Society of St. Joseph of Mill Hill, has been working for almost 50 years for human development of the Kashmiri people. "The accusations against him are false: Many Muslim leaders were formed in schools run by him", notes to Fides the NGO "Catholic Secular Forum" (CSF), recalling that last year he had already received an order of expulsion. Christian activists of CSF launch Fides an alarm: "The situation in Kashmir is at a critical stage for the individual liberties and religious freedom. The Islamic Court has no jurisdiction over Christians. We ask the government to intervene to protect the rights of citizens and to stop these extremist elements".
According to a Report sent to Fides by the ecumenical organization "All India Christian Council", which has carried out a mission on the spot, Christians suffer severe persecution in Kashmir on behalf of Islamic extremist groups in the Indian state with a Muslim majority, they also govern the politics and the judiciary, eliminating the rule of law. The 400 Christians in the capital Srinagar "are in a state of panic in the uncertainty of their future", says the text, while "the police act on behalf of political leadership", an expression of the majority of the Muslim population. The Report denounces the total absence of organizations to protect human rights and the absence of a Commission for Minorities in Kashmir. The Christian presence in the Kashmir valley has been documented since the mid-nineteenth century, with the advent of the first Catholic and Protestant missionaries. Currently there are about 18 thousand Catholics in Kashmir. 

ASIA/INDIA-New Report on persecution against Christians: more than 2,000 cases in 2011

Bombay (Agenzia Fides) - 2,141 Christians suffered aggressions, attacks and persecutions in 2011, not counting their families, relatives and friends, indirect victims. It is expected that the persecution by Hindu extremist groups, will grow

English: Pagans kill Christians in Pliska.

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 in 2012. This is the scenario outlined by the new 2011 Report on Persecution in India, published today by the "Catholic Secular Forum" (CSF), an ecumenical organization founded by Indian Catholics, supported by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay. The Report, sent by the CSF to Fides, depicts a gloomy picture in which the Hindu radical anti-Christian violence is defined as "a virus that infects society". Persecution in fact "has become more widespread, and covers almost all the states in the country".
A minimum of 1,000 Christian families have been affected by these attacks: the Report denounces "a premeditated campaign" against weak targets and, given the warnings already received, an increase is expected in 2012. The text highlights 250 of the most serious crimes and raises important issues about freedom of faith, abuse of human rights and constitutional rights. According to the CSF, the episodes are only counted as uncovered and reported by the media: if one adds those not registered the total number could triple.
The Report classifies as "rogue state" on top of the list for episodes of persecution, Karnataka, great state in southern India . Here in 2011 there were over 1,000 attacks on Christians, "an average of 3-5 attacks per day". Other states mentioned are Orissa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh.
The main victims are children and women. Children, "unarmed observers of crimes", suffer effects such as deprivation of basic education, malnutrition, life in refugee camps, fear and financial insecurity, abuse and child labor. Also vulnerable women: nuns, sisters, wives or daughters of pastors or community leaders are targeted and undergo rapes and sexual harassment.
Judge Michael F. Saldanha, commenting on the Report, has asked national and international attention, saying that "the police, the bureaucracy and the judiciary give the impression that they have abdicated their duty". According to Professor. Ram Puniyani, a scholar of Hindu extremist groups, "affiliates of Hindutva (the ideology of Hinduism, ed) have now clearly shifted their attention to Christians, especially tribal and Adivasi communities, as they are easy targets, with little fear of retaliation". According to Hindu extremist groups, the Christian missionaries converted by force, fraud and seduction, therefore "are a threat to Hinduism". This theory, said Professor Puniyani, is belied by the facts, since the percentage of Christians in India has declined, they were 2.60% of the population in 1972, 2.44% in 1981, 2.30% in 2001. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/01/2012)

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