Monthly Archives: August 2014

Myanmar – Missionaries at the ends of the earth

Choosing faraway places and love for the poorest are the characteristics of a community of Christians who live, as Pope Francis says, “at the ends of the earth”. Fr Elizeo Hla is a small dark man with a permanent smile. He wears threadbare jeans and a cardigan of no particular colour. He wears his straw…

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Growing social discontent

Since February 2012, South Korea has a woman as president (unique in the Confucian area which includes China, Japan, the two Koreas, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, nearly a quarter of the world population), but this does not mean that it has reached equality between the sexes. However, it is an important signal and the election…

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Zimbabwe – Women who do not give up

They have been arrested many times; they are considered dangerous to public order. Their crime is defending women and the lowly’s rights. Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu talk about their social engagement in Zimbabwe. Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe. It has always been the epicentre of protests against Robert Mugabe’s regime. Jennifer…

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Bangladesh. Pedalling for the poor

At the age of 77, an American Maryknoll missionary, Fr Bob McCahill continues riding his bicycle on the countryside roads of Bangladesh, to meet and help sick people, especially children. He is a sign of Christian love among Muslim and Hindus. Along these roads he is greeted as Bob Bhai (Brother Bob – bhai is…

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Southern Asia. Opium production in the Golden Triangle

Cultivation of opium in Southeast Asia’s notorious Golden Triangle region has doubled in the past decade, according to an in-depth study that rebuffs claims by governments that an aggressive anti-narcotics policy is reaping benefits and improving livelihoods. The findings come a year before the 2015 deadline set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)…

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For a true and sincere dialogue with islam

Dialogue with Islam represents a special challenge for all those who want to engage in inter-religious dialogue. Father Joseph Scattolin, a Comboni missionary, underlines three fields which are important for a dialogue between Christianity and Islam. In the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, it is first of all important to have a rational investigation. History…

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El Salvador – Ancestral knowledge to cultivate the land

Agro-ecological practices include the use of native seeds, organic fertilizer, biological pest control, crop rotation, and respect of the ecosystems. There are no shortcuts to wisdom. There also is no magic formula to retain knowledge and pass it on to future generations. El Salvador is beginning to understand now that its soil and food are…

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EU looks for alternatives in Africa and the Middle-East

The halt of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the possible complications that may follow are prompting the EU to diversify its alternative supplies, namely in Africa and the Middle East. The halt of Gazprom’s supplies to Ukraine on the last 16 June, in the context of the political crisis with Russia has encouraged the…

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South Korea. In search of its identity

South Korea is shortly going to be a witness to two important national and ecclesial events: Asian Youth Day (13-17 August) and the beatification of 123 Korean martyrs (16 August). Two events that will see the presence (14-18) of Pope Francis, his first apostolic journey to Asia, the first by a pontiff to the continent…

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The Catholic Church

As for the Catholic Church, after the first baptized in 1631 and the first Korean celebrant in 1783 (even if the Church officially recognizes St. Andrew Kim Taegon, 1821-1846, ordained in 1845), its identity has been well-shaped by foreign missions, but even more, by Westernization and the opening up of society after the end of…

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The challenges of the church

The Catholic Pastoral Institute, which was launched on the initiative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in its analysis said that South Korea is facing its own crisis of faith. According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Catholic Church in Korea the number of believers actively engaged in the sacramental life is decreasing. The baptisms of…

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India. The Garo People: Culture and Dances

The Garos people live in the northeast of India, in the state of Meghalaya. They are distributed over a hilly area, hence the name Garo Hills. After territorial partition that created modern India and Pakistan, well over one hundred thousand live over the border, in northeastern Bangladesh. Those living in Bangladesh generally prefer to call…

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Rely on one own strength first.

We are in Pikine, a Dakar suburb, Senegal. Father Armel Duteil, is the one telling the story. He is an 80-year-old Spiritan missionary. French by…

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The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger.

Once there lived a hard-working farmer in a small village who had a water-buffalo. Every day, with his plough on his shoulder, he led his water-buffalo…

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Youth & Mission

Nine Challenges Facing Young People in Syria.

For over nine years, violence and displacement have devastated opportunities for youth across the country. Here are nine of the most pressing challenges facing young people…

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