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Asia

Asia 2020. A continent where uncertainty reigns.

Eight countries, in all, are due to go to the polls to elect presidents or just parliaments. The trade war between the United States and China will determine how the year unfolds. Uncertainty will continue in Hong Kong. All eyes are on Japan as it prepares to host the next Olympics. The year 2020 promises…

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India. The dark side of the tea plantations.

Black Assam tea is famous worldwide but the plantations of the north-east do not deal only in tea. Traffickers in human beings take advantage of the poverty of many families to carry away their children. A sea of green, luxuriant bushes borders the road through the tea plantation. Outside in some small mud houses with…

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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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Advocacy

Homelessness, an Unexpected Advocacy.

Advocacy is about defending a noble cause and denouncing oppression and injustice. However, it should be also a source of inspiration for alternative solutions to…

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Baobab

How the hare lost his tail.

One day in the long, long ago the hare was walking through the forest. He was a good farmer and was on his way to inspect…

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Youth & Mission

Our Right to Speak for Climate Justice.

Hundreds of thousands of young people have taken to the streets from Johannesburg to London to demand radical action on the unfolding ecological emergency. It is a…

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