＜Feeding the Hungry Forces Question of Why There Is Hunger＞
VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI says that charity groups have a role in educating society, since a work of charity speaks of God and brings people to question, when he addressed members of Italian Caritas. Noting that a work of charity announces hope, he said it is also an ‘educational’ act that helps “the poor to grow in dignity, Christian communities to follow Christ and civil society to shoulder its obligations.” [Zenit]
＜’Jesus Christ’ Banned From Text Messages in Pakistan＞
Lahore: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is taking some major criticism after sending a letter to mobile phone companies saying they should block text messages containing certain words and phrases, and among those phrases are “Jesus Christ” and “God Jesus.” Christians and Hindus together are only 5% of the population of Pakistan, which is 95% Muslim. [The Christian Post]
＜Civil War Threatening the Sudans, Warn Bishops＞
KHARTOUM, Sudan: Violence is spreading in Sudan and the newly formed South Sudan, such that a civil war is threatening if the international community doesn’t intervene, according to the countries’ bishops. The Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference released a communique titled “The Church God Wants Us to Be” in which the bishops stated, “We have constantly warned of the danger of a return to hostilities if the legitimate aspirations of the people of those areas were not met.” [Zenit]
＜Believers of Many Faiths Seek One Truth＞
ASSISI, Italy: Pilgrims of all faith traditions who gathered at Assisi for the interfaith summit agreed that it was a historic event of great importance. “We Are Accountable to God and to One Another for the Peace in Our Time” was the message that ran through the World Council of Churches Leader event at Assisi. A Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, held in Assisi, had the motto “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace.” [Zenit]
＜Coptic Christian Student Murdered By Classmates for Wearing a Cross:＞
CAIRO, Egypt: In mid-October Egyptian media published news of an altercation between Muslim and Christian students over a classroom seat at a school in Mallawi, Minya province. The altercation lead to the murder of a Christian student.
The media portrayed the incident as non-sectarian. However, Copts Without Borders, a Coptic news website, refuted this version and was first to report that the Christian student was murdered because he was wearing a crucifix. [AINA]
＜Catholic nun killed in Jharkhand, India＞
Ranchi: In the early morning of 16th November, 2011 in a remote village Jharkhand, Sr Valsa John of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary congregation was brutally murdered by a mob, in her own home. Sr John, 52 years, had led a people’s movement against the displacement of tribals in Pachuwara and nearby areas for a project of Panem Coal Ltd, since 1995.
Christians are a small minority in India (2.3%), where the vast majority of the population is Hindu (80.5%) and a larger minority is Muslim (13.4%). [UCANews]
＜Bagdad Church reopens＞
The Bagdad church in which 58 were shot dead by Al-Qaeda terrorists’ attack during the evening Mass on 31 October 2010, has reopened officially with a special liturgy attended by leading religious figures, just one year after the atrocity, writes Robert Ewan. The Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Bagdad, Ephrem Yousif Abba Mansoor, said, “We have worked sedulously to renovate the church despite obstacles”. [Tablet-October 29th]
＜South Korean Military wins converts＞
The number of Catholics in South Korea has risen significantly due to a large number of soldiers converting to faith. According to Christa Pongratz-Lippit, more than 380,000 have been baptized by military chaplains over the last 60 years. This number represents 7.4 per cent of total Korean Catholics. Pastoral care for the forces was of great importance for the whole Catholic Church in South Korea, emphasized Bishop Yu Soo-il.
Arun D Souza SJ(Jesuit Scholastic)
Murayama Hyoe SJ(Jesuit Scholastic)