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Asia

Philippines. Death, a celebration and continuity of life.

The Butbut people of the larger Kalinga ethnic group live in the Cordillera region in the north of the country. For them, death is a celebration and a continuity of life; it strengthens their social relations with their ancestors, perpetuates tradition, and unites the community together. Butbut elders describe death (natey) as a ‘body that…

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Kashmir. An Uncertain Future.

Tension between Pakistan and India in the disputed region of Kashmir. Against the background of the recent suspension of the autonomy of the region by the New Delhi government. But the causes go much deeper and are imbedded in the formation of Kashmir. A glance at history. When, in August 1947, ‘British India’ was divided…

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Hong Kong. To lead the Way.

Young people are taking to the streets defending democracy. Violence and arrest by the police. Beijing shows its military power. What future has Hong Kong? In this exclusive interview we talk with Martin Lee, founder of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong. You have founded the Democratic Party of Hong Kong. What is the aim…

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Philippine. Modern Day Missionaries of the World.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) take and practice their faith fervently wherever they go, wherever they are. That is why the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines appreciates the role of OFWs as modern day apostles of evangelization in the foreign countries where they work. Mary Jane Soriano, a 25-year-old college graduate Filipino domestic worker, has…

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Philippines. The Tattoo Practitioner of Kalinga.

In a remote village in Buscalan, Tinglayan Kalinga in northern Luzon, Whang-ud, a 90-year-old tattoo practitioner (manbatok) resides and continues to practice an age-old tradition of tattooing (batok). In the Butbut village, Whang-ud would sit quietly in her hut and would greet local and foreign visitors entering Buscalan. One could easily recognize Whang-ud with both…

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The Philippines. Constant Threats.

The 13 May 2019 elections in the Philippines have been correctly seen most of all as a referendum on the Duterte presidency, half way through his mandate. In this regard it was a confirmation, and not only because the opinion polls that accompanied the long-drawn-out results showed that around had 80% preferred the president. The…

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War on drugs.

The tension between the presidency and the ecclesial hierarchy has considerably affected baptised Filipinos. The general elections that brought Rodolfo Duterte to power on 30 June 2016,  and this was the choice of the majority of Catholics, have not been substantially  rejected by them; on the other hand, the contemporaneous adherence to presidential policies and…

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Afghanistan. A Tiny Seed.

A small community in an Islamic world. Witness and service to the poorest. “The contribution which the small Christian community can make to pacification and the reconstruction of this country is limited, but the signs of its presence in this land are, in their poverty, still meaningful: the service of the poorest of the poor;…

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The Duterte’s Games

But who is Rodrigo Duterte? A person with a judgemental mentality, partly due to his previous profession as a prosecutor, 74 years old and with a deserved reputation as a womaniser, despite being married with four children. For 24 years – 1998 to 2016 – Rodrigo Duterte, with firmness and almost without interruption, was mayor…

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Catholic Church Commitments.

With a Catholic population of over 80% of its 100 million inhabitants, the Philippines has a special character. With an identity that is due equally to ancient colonisation from Spain and more recent colonisation by the United States, it is, from the usual Asian viewpoint, an outpost of Westernisation in the Orient. The archipelago, in…

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Jihadism in the Indian sub-continent.

The Easter Sunday bombings in and around Sri Lanka’s capital left hundreds dead and injured. In recent years, besides becoming a base for hundreds of foreign fighters, the Indian sub-continent has also become fertile terrain for the expansion of the main Islamist terrorist groups. On 3 September 2014, Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the formation of a…

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Thailand. Caffè Bruno: A really nice cup of coffee.

Love for the people and the youth of ethnic minorities has borne fruit in the form of Caffè Bruno, a new brand of coffee now well known and available throughout Thailand. Chae Hom is a plateau surrounded by mountains and is located in the province of Lampang in the north of the country. Agriculture is…

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Advocacy

Research and Rating, a tool of Advocacy.

Advocacy is a strategy used around the world by NGOs, activists, and even policy makers themselves, to influence policies. Advocacy is about creating reform of…

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Baobab

An Unhappy Fish.

0nce upon a time there was a colony of little fishes who lived together in their own small pool, isolated from the rest of the fish…

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Youth & Mission

Peace and Climate Justice is Needed to Save the Planet.

The world is afire again, the flames heartbreakingly consume shrubs, trees and forests in Australia, Portugal, Brazil, and recently in California and Siberia and elsewhere too.…

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