Indian sisters pray and fast for peace, war victims, in Syria

September 29, 2012 by  
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Indian sisters pray and fast for peace, war victims, in SyriaMumbai, September 28, 2012: The Pious Disciples of the Divine Master in Bandra (Mumbai) pray for their brothers and sisters in Syria, that they may enjoy lasting peace. Founded in the spirit of Saint Paul, who met Jesus on his way to Damascus, the congregation “holds Syria in a special place.”

“We are praying for the victims of the terrible killings in Syria and for the whole country, that lasting peace may reign where Christ appeared to Saint Paul,” said the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM), as they launched a day of prayer and fasting for the victims of the Syrian war at their Prathnalaya or House of Prayer.

“We are devastated by Syria’s terrible situation,” Sister Valeriana told AsiaNews. For the mother superior of the congregation, “yesterday’s reports have increased our sense of desperation. We pray incessantly.”

“Our congregation was created by the Blessed Giacomo Alberione, in the spirit of Saint Paul who med the Divine Master on his way to Damascus. This,” she insisted, “unites us intimately to this land, which today is a place of death and destruction for many innocent people.”

“The Blessed Giacomo Alberione said that we must all consider Saint Paul the Apostle, as our father, master, example and founder,” Sister Valeriana explained.

“Our congregation was born from him and has been nourished and risen in him. We received our spirit from him. If someone suffers in the mystic body of Christ, we suffer too. Syria and Damascus hold a special place for us.”

Fr Giacomo Alberione, founder of the Pauline Family, set up the congregation in 1924.

The pope established the feast day of Jesus the Divine Master in 1958 following a request from the founder of the congregation.

– asianews

CBI court awards life sentence and fine to Hindutva activist involved murder of Rev. Job Chittilappilly

September 29, 2012 by  
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CBI court awards life sentence and fine to Hindutva activist involved murder of Rev. Job ChittilappillyKerala, September 25, 2012: Father Job Chittilappilly, who for 45 years carried out his pastoral work in the Catholic community of the Syro-Malabar rite, was found dead in the residence of Our Lady of Grace Parish, in the Diocese of Trichur, in the state of Kerala on Aug 28, 2004. The priest had been praying the rosary before Mass when he was stabbed to death. The Missionary Service News Agency reported that the man arrested in the case, Reghu Kamar, 25, has confessed to the crime.

Investigations indicate that Kamar murdered the priest because he feared Father Chittilappilly would convert Hindus to Christianity.

The suspect also wanted to revive a Hindu temple, next to Our Lady of Grace in Thuruthiparambu, which had been closed for nearly 20 years.

It was alleged that the temple priest was killed 25 years ago. Based on a local belief, the temple could be revived only by offering the blood of another priest.The Episcopal Conference also urged the state government of Kerala to order a Criminal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the murder. The murdered priest had received a number of threatening calls to prevent him from visiting Hindu families, although the latter were pleased to receive him.

Reghu Kamar, a Hindutva activist of the Bharatiya Janata Party was arrested on August 28.


ABVP against AMU branch anywhere

September 29, 2012 by  
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ABVP against AMU branch anywhereBihar, September 27, 2012: Patna: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) said Thursday that it was against the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) opening a branch anywhere in the country.

“ABVP is against an AMU branch anywhere in the country including Bihar,” its general secretary Umesh Dutt told the media here.

Dutt said ABVP had been opposing the Bihar government’s plans to set up an AMU branch in Kishanganj. The Bihar government has given 250 acres for the proposed AMU campus.

The three-day 58th national conference of ABVP will be held here Dec 26-28

– ians

More than 50 village chiefs resign in Indian Kashmir following threats from Muslim extremists

September 29, 2012 by  
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More than 50 village chiefs resign in Indian Kashmir following threats from Muslim extremistsJammu & Kashmir’s, September 26, 2012:  The decision comes after terrorist groups kill two local officials. Extremists fear losing support among the local populace. After last year’s first democratic elections in 30 years, various administrations have opened new schools, health clinics and roads, making people freer and better educated

More than 50 sarpanch (village chiefs) have resigned in Jammu and Kashmir after receiving threats from Islamic extremist groups. Their decision was made public in local Urdu-language newspaper following the assassination of a local administrator in Baramulla District, the second in less than two weeks. Locals believe the threats stem from fundamentalists’ fear of losing grassroots support in favour of village chiefs.

For the past eight months, village chiefs and their aides have been the victims of intimidation of terrorist groups like Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and Jaish-e-Mohammad. So far, more than 700 sarpanch have tendered their resignation.

Everything began in 2011 when the first free vote was held in Jammu and Kashmir’s panchayat (village-level administrations) in more than 30 years. Between 13 April and 27 June, more than 30,000 officials were elected with a 79 per cent turnout despite extremists’ threats and calls for a boycott.

Rapidly, the newly elected administrators launched a series of initiatives to favour the development of the poorest rural areas in the state, including schools, health clinics, roads and electricity.

Locals believe that the wave of democracy and progress pushed Muslim extremists to act in order to stop losing support in a population that was getting better educated.

For now, the two murders have been enough to cause panic among local administrators.

Nevertheless, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah urged panchayat officials to stay at their posts.

“The government,” he told them, “will do everything possible to create trust and bring security. Creating a network of strong and functioning local administrations remains one of its goals.”

– asianews

Church compound destroyed by Muslim rioters in Pakistan

September 29, 2012 by  
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Church compound destroyed by muslim rioters in pakistan
Christians survey the wreckage at St Paul’s Church in Mardan

Pakistan, September 25, 2012:  A church, Christian school and library, and the homes of two pastors and the head teacher, were looted and torched in Muslim riots against the anti-Islam film in Pakistan.

Friday (21 September) was declared a national holiday, “Love for the Prophet Day”, by the Pakistani government amid violent protests over Innocence of Muslims that have hit around 20 countries. The government encouraged peaceful demonstrations in Pakistan, but the day descended into clashes between protestors and police that left at least 20 people dead.

The compound of St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, was set upon by hundreds of rioters armed with clubs and sticks. They looted the church building and smashed furniture before setting the premises alight.

They raided the adjacent church-run school, taking newly-installed computers, and also torched that building. Because the day had been declared a national holiday, none of the school’s 500 primary and secondary pupils were present.

A library on the site containing more than 3,000 books about the Bible and more than 6,000 books about other religions, including Islam, was burned down by the protestors in an act that would itself be considered blasphemous under Pakistani law.

The homes of two church leaders and the head teacher, within the compound, were also destroyed, along with a car and nine bikes.

The attack continued for more than three hours, with minimal efforts by the authorities to stop it.

The local church leader said that he thought it was pre-planned because the assailants had arrived with petrol and other materials to start a fire.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack on the church compound, saying that such incidents portrayed the country and Muslims negatively. Interior Minister Rehman Malik ordered an inquiry into the attack and promised that security would be provided to all churches in the country.

Around 64 suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Christians in Pakistan have shown solidarity with Muslims by publicly condemning the film, which depicts Muhammad as fraudulent and depraved, and have even joined in peaceful protests against it. But this has not prevented them from being targeted by those wanting revenge for Innocence of Muslims. At one peaceful protest outside a church in Hyderabad on 16 September, men on motorbikes shot at Christian and Hindu demonstrators.

In another incident on 18 September, Christian workers at a hospital in Hyderabad were threatened by protestors who damaged doors and windows to the building. A Christian-run hospital in Quetta had to close its gates when a mob of hostile Muslims gathered outside.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive subject in Pakistan, where the penal code prescribes the death penalty for defiling the name of Muhammad and life imprisonment for desecration of the Quran.

– barnabas team

Persecution of Christians in Nigeria, Laos & Iraq

September 29, 2012 by  
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Nigeria: Suicide bomber hits church in bauchi, at least four deadNIGERIA: SUICIDE BOMBER HITS CHURCH IN BAUCHI, AT LEAST FOUR DEAD

A suicide bomber struck a church in Bauchi, Nigeria, on Sunday (23 September), killing himself and at least four people.

The attack on the church in the Bayan Gari area of Bauchi Town happened at around 9am as worshippers were leaving after the first service of the day. The bomber detonated his explosives at the church gate after failing to gain access to the site.

A boy aged around seven was among the fatalities. The death toll could rise, as many of the 48 people who were wounded suffered life-threatening injuries.

The incident followed another attack on Christians in the town the previous Sunday (16 September). Gunmen opened fire at a place where people gather to socialise in the evening; nine were killed.


Five Christian leaders were arrested as part of a crackdown on the Church in one Lao district.

On 11 September, three pastors, Bounlert of Alowmai church, Adang of Kengsainoy church and Onkaew of Kapang church, along with two other Christian leaders whose names have not been made public, were detained by police in Phin district, Savannakhet province.

The latter two were released on 13 September, but the other three have been held in harsh conditions, their hands and feet chained. Adang and Onkaew are seriously ill.

While the church pastors were locked up, police officers went to their congregations and questioned their wives and other leaders; they were asked about church finances, their own Christian faith and that of others, as well as details about the pastors’ work.


Over 150 young Christians held a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Saturday (22 September), following an explosion in front of a church there. Inspired by the International Day of Peace on Friday, they were also joined by older believers.

A bomb hidden in a bag had exploded at the door of the cathedral in Kirkuk on Sunday 16 September at 8.45pm. The building was damaged but nobody was hurt.

– barnabas team

Three Words That Make Relationships Better – Part II

September 29, 2012 by  
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~I understand you:

People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person
accepts and understands them.
Letting your spouse know – in so many little ways – that you understand them,
is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship.

And this can apply to any relationship.

Three Words That Make Relationships Better – Part II
~I respect you:

Respect is another way of showing love.
Respect demonstrates that
another person is a true equal.
If you talk to your children as if they were adults you will
strengthen the bonds and become closer friends.
This applies to all interpersonal relationships.

Three Words That Make Relationships Better – Part II

– fwd: hazel remedios

Three Words That Make Relationships Better – Part I

September 28, 2012 by  
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Three Words That Make Relationships Better

Three-Word Phrases, can be tools to help develop every relationship.
There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships.
Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words.
When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop
new friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships
that have soured.
The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every relationship.

Three Words That Make Relationships Better

~Let me help:

Good friends see a need and then try to fill it.
When they see a hurt they do what they can to heal it.
Without being asked, they jump in and help out.

Three Words That Make Relationships Better

– fwd: hazel remedios

Believers in China rejoice despite hardship

September 28, 2012 by  
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Believers in China rejoice despite hardship
Shouwang Church members joyfully worship God outdoors.

China, September 27, 2012: Believers at Beijing’s Shouwang Church in China are full of joy and praise despite 17 months of difficult outdoor worship. The believers have been meeting outdoors since the government began thwarting their efforts to rent premises to worship indoors (click here to learn more).

While recently conducting their 38th outdoor worship service of the year, 22 believers were arrested. Ten were released soon after, while the rest were detained at a local police station. The remaining believers were released in the afternoon.

VOM partner China Aid has been working with house churches and teams of Christian lawyers to explore strategies for using the legal system in China to defend the rights of churches and Christians. Shouwang Church has submitted an application for an official administrative review in response to harassment and ongoing detentions by authorities attempting to inhibit their outdoor worship services.

Please join with the believers of Shouwang Church who are praying: “Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalms 33:22). Please pray that the administrative review will shine a light on the persecution believers face and help usher in more freedoms in China. Pray that God will use the faithfulness of the believers at Shouwang Church to bring others to Him.

– canada free press

Dalai Lama: Marxism is finished, the world hungers for religion

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Dalai Lama: Marxism is finished, the world hungers for religionHimachal Pradesh, September 27, 2012: The spiritual leader meets a delegation of liberal Vietnamese executives. “Sharing wealth is an attractive principle, but regimes have always sought to control human lives and thoughts. That is unacceptable.”

The Communist economic system “is based on ideas that are barely 200 years old and whose influence is declining, whilst Buddhism and other religions have thousands of years and continue to attract the world’s attention,” the Dalai Lama told a group of Vietnamese executives. “Even if the world Marx imagined has some points that can be shared, the way regimes control human life and thought is unacceptable,” he told his audience, made up mostly of liberal managers and economists from Vietnam who have little sympathy is Hanoi.

The group of 102 delegates represents Vietnam’s Tibetan Buddhists, about half from the North and half from the South, members of the Vietnamese CEO’s Club, a liberal group tolerated by the regime.

Tibet’s spiritual leader met them in Dharamsala where Tibetan exiles are holding a big summit to decide the approach to take vis-à-vis the wave of self-immolations that has swept their homeland.

Tomorrow afternoon, summit delegates will present a joint motion after four days of debate.

The Dalai Lama, who will close the great gathering tomorrow, wanted to meet the Vietnamese group.

“There are times and situations in which external factors limit the sense of religion,” he explained. “However, this should not frighten us because all we need is to develop a warm and open heart to live in a positive manner. Sharing wealth as Communists preach is a good thing, in theory, but it has never been applied.”

In answering a mother who wanted to know how to live a good family life, he jokingly said, “I am 76 years old and do not have children. I think it is a bit late to start a family; so I will not dare answer your question.”

“Children like all the people we care for need attention and care. It is necessary that they grow up in freedom to develop according to their own inclinations.”

One of the delegates asked the Dalai Lama to travel to the Spratly or the Paracel Islands, which China and Vietnam claim, to start the construction of a temple that could appease recent nationalist tensions agitating the continent.

“Rather than temples, I’d like to see the construction of study centres,” the Nobel Prize laureate said. “In any event, such a place would be more useful in Saigon or Hanoi than on a small island.”

The meeting was widely covered by Tibetan media, which have stressed the closeness between the Chinese and the Vietnamese Communist parties.

The “liberal” delegation had some hurdles to clear before it could get the visa to travel to India, but in the end, they were able to meet the spiritual leader.

For this reason as well, the Dalai Lama chose not to take part in the summit but meet instead participants.


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