In Pakistan, ‘living the faith is a new challenge every day’

Faisalabad, Pakistan, Dec 28, 2014 / 06:03 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- The brutality of the act can hardly be surpassed: in early November, a Christian couple was beaten and burned to death in the Pakistani province of Punjab. Both were in their early 30s, the wife was pregnant. The charge: desecration of the Quran. The background: Article 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, the blasphemy law, which does more to promote than prevent the arbitrary use of power against persons of different … [Read more...]

Thai bishops declare Holy Year of prayer for a New Pentecost

Bangkok, Thailand, Dec 27, 2014 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Thai Catholic bishops have declared a “Holy Year” aimed at restoring the fervor of a New Evangelization and commemorating the 350th anniversary of the first Synod of Ayutthaya in Thailand. The great jubilee will also mark the opening of the first Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Thailand under the theme, “The Disciples of Christ Live the New Evangelization,” slated from April 20-25, 2015. The … [Read more...]

Australians celebrate episcopal consecration of two Melbourne bishops

Melbourne, Australia, Dec 23, 2014 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Jubilation marked the episcopal concration of Terence Curtin and Mark Edwards as auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, which took place last Wednesday. The two had been appointed auxiliary bishops of Melbourne by Pope Francis on Nov. 7, and were consecrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Dec. 17. Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne was principal consecrator, joined by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio … [Read more...]

Typhoon can’t budge faith of Catholics in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Dec 22, 2014 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Church in the Philippines has stepped up round the clock rehabilitation and relief measures for the  population affected by the country's most recent typhoon, Hagupit, which struck earlier this month. Hagupit, locally known as “Ruby”, ripped through the archipelago’s central belt Dec. 7 with heavy rains and wind that left 21 dead and over 900 injured, besides leaving thousands of people displaced on … [Read more...]

Papuan bishop makes emergency appeal amid severe food shortage

Alotau, Papua New Guinea, Dec 21, 2014 / 01:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic bishop of Alotau, Papua New Guinea, has launched an appeal during a severe food shortage following a cyclone engulfing the Catholic diocese. The Papua New Guinean islands located in the deep South Pacific region north of Australia are a hub for constant typhoons while also sitting on the seismic belt of the infamous “Ring of Fire” plates that cause series of volcanic eruptions and tsunamis that sweep … [Read more...]

Concern mounts in India over persecution of religious minorities

New Delhi, India, Dec 19, 2014 / 04:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The rise in attacks by Hindu radicals against members of minority religions in India, primarily Christians and Muslims, is drawing concern across the country, with many calling for more concrete government action. Since May, there have been a “recorded 34 cases of physical and structural violence against the Christian community (among a) total of about 600 cases reported by the media, most of them against Muslims,” Dr. … [Read more...]

New app takes Pope Francis’ Philippines visit mobile

Manila, Philippines, Dec 17, 2014 / 03:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The new official app for the Pope’s January visit to the Philippines will help people follow the Pope’s activities and find the latest news, while letting them offer their prayers on a special prayer wall. “It is a good way to bring information on the papal visit closer to the people, particularly the youth,” said Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, chairman of the bishops of the Philippines’ Episcopal … [Read more...]