Monthly Archives: August 2016

Angola. New mining frontiers

Angola which is over-reliant on oil and diamonds is beginning to diversify its economy through tapping other resources, namely gold, copper and iron.  Angola which depends from oil for 95% of its export revenues, while the rest is overwhelming dominated by diamonds, is desperately trying to diversify its economy, in particular through tapping other mining…

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Swahili Myth. Heaven and Earth

When God’s moment had come, He began creating the world of matter. He rolled out the day-sky and the night-sky like an immense tent, or like carpets full of mysterious signs and symbols. In the night-sky He placed the fixed stars like lamps with motionless flames. Others move along the sky, each following a path…

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Lalibela, the Ethiopian Jerusalem

The apotheosis of Christian worship in Ethiopia is Lalibela, which is named after the sovereign who lived between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. At the time, the expansion of Islam had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem difficult for the faithful: King Lalibela then thought of setting up an Ethiopian Jerusalem, complete with Golgotha, the Sepulchre,…

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Philippines. Fighting together

A group of religious from different congregations oppose, even at risk of their life, the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources and the violations of tribal rights. Sister Famita Somogod of the Missionary Sisters of Mary, 48, has been aware of risking her life every day since when she became coordinator of the Rural Missionaries’ project…

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Coptic Churches of Ethiopia

A journey among the Coptic churches of Ethiopia. In search of the Christian roots… Axum was Christian even well before much of Europe: from this point of view Ethiopia is also quite unique in Africa. Christianity, which according to the tradition of the Ethiopian church arrived in the country at Axum, from the times of…

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Ibn Arabi. Poet and mystic

Mystic, philosopher, poet, sufi, Muhammad ibn al-Arabi was one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. In particular, he taught how to keep faith with reason. An important lesson for our society disrupted by tensions. Known as Muhyiddin (the ‘Revivifier of Religion’) and the Shaykh al-Akbar (the ‘Greatest Master’), he was born in 1165 AD during…

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Debre Damo, the mystical experience

A journey back in time is certainly what Debre Damo ofers, the oldest preserved Ethiopian monastery, and an emblematic situation of the Ethiopian monastic experience. At about ninety kilometers north-east of Axum – in a spectacular landscape, marked by deep canyons and framed by the flat profile of large ambe, the mountains with the summit…

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Malaysia. Africa’s Silent Partner

Talk about Africa’s international investors and partners and Malaysia’s name rarely comes up. Yet in the shadow of China’s African engagement (and the attention paid to Sino-African relations), Malaysian companies and policymakers have built a sizeable presence across Africa over the past two decades. In 2011, with investments of $19 billion Malaysia was in fact…

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One hand washes the other and together they wash the face.

“Woe to Assyria! My rod in anger, my staff in wrath… But this is not what he intends… He says By my own power I have done it, and by my wisdom“. These words of Isaiah pop up in my mind, reading about Cyril Mooney: why not understand those words also in positive way, following…

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The Olympic Game of Life

The Olympic Games are about to be declared open.  The Games inspire the Olympic Spirit whereby men and women rigorously train, condition their bodies and brains to endure pain, sacrifice, and discipline to achieve success. We admire them; they are examples of great courage and a strong human spirit and youth imitate them. We can…

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Music. Youssou N’Dour: the king’s comeback

For many Senegalese Youssou N’Dour is more than just a singer: he is a living symbol of success, almost a legend even for those who are not his fans. Taxi drivers carrying foreigners around Dakar point at the building hosting his media group (comprising a newspaper, a radio and a tv station) as they do…

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Brazil. Committed to helping young people

Spreading the culture of life to realities of violence and death. This is the goal of the Legal Project. Father Saverio Paolillo, a supporter of this initiative, talks to us about it. Gabriel, one of our children, looks 12, but we don’t know his real age since his birth was never officially recorded. He used…

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Money as a mission.

St. Basil the Great, in the 4th century would call money ‘the devil’s dung,’  an epithet reused by Pope Francis last year. Oscar Wilde said…

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The Hare, the Hippo and the Fire.

The hare and the hippo were great friends. They walked together in the veld and visited each other in their homes. The hippo was very proud…

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Youth & Mission

The Virus of Racism.

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is…

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