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Asia

Kazakhstan. “The Heart of the World”.

Right in the middle of Eurasia, in that mass of land known as ‘The Heart of the World’, we find Kazakhstan, impervious, legendary, and fascinating – the land of fiery bloody sunsets that bewitched the passage of many merchants en route to China by way of the silk road. Its natural beauty, together with its…

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The hard road towards Nation-Building.

Kazakhstan achieved independence in December 1991 at a time when the dissolution of the USSR was inevitable. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Soviet leader of Kazakhstan since 1989 and President in 1990, was reconfirmed in 1991 following the independence of the country. Nazarbayev, in taking on the leadership of the new state, was obliged to face all…

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Graphite at the centre of new political equilibrium.

Besides lithium, another mineral occupies a central role for its use in high technology. China controls 70% of this mineral. In pursuit of the electric machines market. Computers, tablets, smartphones, and high-tech instruments, together with the principle of electrical energy transition, of the transformation of cities into ‘smart cities’, and the spread of electrical vehicles,…

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A Eurasian canal.

The modernisation of the state forms part of the ‘Kazakhstan 2030 Plan’ launched by Nazarbayev in 1997 with the aim of transforming and developing the country, and now continued by his successor. The plan is based upon wise economic options, the strategy of which is not limited simply to the exploitation of the enormous energy…

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Great reforms.

For Kazakhstan, the year 2019 may be remembered as a time of political change. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, having led the country for almost three decades, resigned as President, though retaining ample powers in accordance with a law passed in 2018 granting him the status of ‘Father of the Nation’, a law which guaranteed him judiciary…

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The Philippines. The church in the sea.

In the Bay of Manila, north of the Philippine capital, it is already possible to see what awaits the inhabitants of the coastal regions of the world: entire areas being swallowed up by the sea.   Perhaps hardest hit is Sitio Pariahan in the province of Bulakan – once a flourishing village but now accessible…

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Contradicting results.

With a population that is 70% ethnically Malayan, Brunei has been under the influence of a much more rigid version of Islam as compared with bordering Malaysia and neighbouring Indonesia. The situation leaves little room for religious freedom for other faiths, especially Christianity, of whatever origin, be it Chinese, tribal or immigrant. The problem is…

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Brunei. Under the shadow of Sharia Law.

Far from the reflectors of global strategies and tensions, the small South-East Asian island country seems to be suspended in a reality of wellbeing and peace. But it is really living through profound contradictions and in danger of drifting into fundamentalism as has happened in other nations of southern and South-East Asia provoked, if not…

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India. The apostle of the lepers.

Fifty years in India alongside the lepers. Curing their wounds but also rejoicing with each one for new found life. This is the story of Sister Bertilla Capra, 82, an Italian Consolata Missionary.  It was in June 1970 that she arrived in Andhra Pradesh, her first appointment. “Before leaving – she recounts – I went…

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Catholic Church: ‘the Periphery within the Periphery’.

A small Catholic population. The seven pastoral priorities. Living under Sharia Law. Cardinal Cornelius Sim, apostolic vicar of Brunei talks about his community.  Last November, Pope Francis made mons. Cornelius Sim apostolic vicar of Brunei, a cardinal. “For me, it was a bit of a shock and unexpected”, said mons. Sim. “I think this appointment’s…

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Philippines. 500 years of Christianity. Looking forward to the future.

In 2021 the Church in the Philippines marks half a millennium of Christianity.  “We are all ‘gifted to give.’  This is a challenge to both celebrate the Christian faith and be vigorously motivated to go and share this precious gift with others.” The latest statistics show that the Philippine population has reached nearly 110 million. …

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China. The Dragon over Antarctica.

Antarctica enjoys an apparent calm, beyond the logic of power that involves the rest of the world. The ambiguous Chinese interest in the continent and the latest Peking decisions seem to have disturbed the Western powers. The Antarctic is one of the few places in the world where all human activity is regulated by treaty.…

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Advocacy

On defense of water and the right to live well.

On August 23, 2021, at the Tacagua’ camp of Challapata, Oruro (Bolivia), thanks to the support of the CASA Collective, about 150 members of the…

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Baobab

The Ungrateful Cobra.

One day a cobra fell down a deep crack in the ground and couldn't get out. A man passed by, and heard a strangled voice calling: “Help!…

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Youth & Mission

Pope Francis. “To proclaim and share what we have seen”.

This year World Mission Sunday will be celebrated on 24 October. The theme the Holy Father has chosen this year is: ‘We cannot but speak about…

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