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Asia

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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To become a ‘Muslim Singapore’.

Seven years have passed and the real reasons for the introduction of the most severe version (at least on paper) of the Islamic penal code are still unknown, at least in part. From among the various analyses of the question, we may synthesise three points of convergence.  The first is that of national identity, closely…

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Philippines. The Black Nazarene. A Question of Quiapo Faith.

Even though the grand procession of the image of the Black Nazarene has been canceled this year due to coronavirus, the devotion to the centuries-old icon of Jesus Christ is unique in the world. We trace the origins and developments of such deeply-rooted Filipino tradition. The devotion to the Black Nazarene started in a sort…

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Asia. 2021. Uncertainties and ambiguities.

How to confront the consequences of Covid-19 as they affect the countries of Asia. China will continue its domination on the various international chessboards. India joins the Security Council. Meanwhile, the Olympics are to be held in Japan. The management of the first phases of the epidemic and the ambiguity that followed it concerning the…

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India. Experiencing Silence in India’s Ashrams.

A Dominican friar shares his experience of spending his yearly vacation in an ashram in India. Under the guidance of a guru and following an exigent daily schedule, the retreatants embark on an inner pilgrimage of contemplation and self-knowledge. One of my habits, which fortunately I have been able to practice recently, is to spend…

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India. The Hair Business.

The trade in human hair in the wig-makers’ salons is becoming a business worth millions of dollars. There are many orders from India. The role of the Hindu temples. “Real hair, not artificial hair, is very much in demand –  the young barber tells us. Every woman dreams of having a full head of long…

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India. More than just tea.

The serious crisis in the tea plantations.  Alternative forms of working. Commitment to education. The role of the laity. We discuss these topics with Mons. Vincent Aind, Bishop of Bagdogra. The district of Darjeeling, in the region of Western Bengal, is one of places most famous for the quality of its tea. Traditionally, Darjeeling is…

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Advocacy

Global Warming Can be Stopped.

Climate change is disrupting our world and the temperature has risen one degree centigrade and it will not go back. We have reached a point…

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Baobab

Why the Sun Shines by Day and the Moon by…

In the beginning of the world the king called the people together to be given their tasks. He sent out messengers for them. He sent the…

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Youth & Mission

Myanmar. A New Generation fighting for democracy.

Myanmar’s democratic transition took an unexpected turn in the early morning of Monday, February 1, 2021, when Senior General Min Aung Hlaing of Myanmar’s military (known…

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