ASIA/PAKISTAN - Good relations among religions to build peace and social harmony: the Church's commitment
24/11/2017

Karachi - The Catholic Church in Pakistan strongly promotes inter-religious dialogue and good relations among believers of different communities, in the certainty that this approach contributes to harmony, social well-being and peace: as Fides learns, this is Archbishop Joseph Coutts’ approach, who is at the head of the Catholic community of Karachi.
The various and diverse dialogue initiaves take into consideration the Islamic community and other religions: for example, during the month of Ramadan's Islamic fasting, the Archbishop organized an "Iftar" meal for his Muslim friends. The Archdiocese also promoted an initiative to celebrate the 200th birthday of Hazrat Bah'u'llh, the founder of the Baha'i faith, during an evening attended by members of various religions such as Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Baha'i faith.
Kashif Javed Anthony, Coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission, commented to Fides: "This initiative strengthens ties with people of other religions. We are, first and foremost, human beings and followers of one’s respective faith". Fr. Shahzad Arshad, Catholic priest of Karachi, confirms to Fides: "We Christians in Pakistan are following the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ: the love of our neighbor. The Church brings God's love to every human being", he said, encouraging Christian communities.
Among the many present, Farhad Mashriqui, representative of the Baha'i community, thanked the Catholic Church, assuring its community's full support for promoting inter-religious harmony.
Among other examples of dialogue and fruitful friendship, several Christian leaders joined the Sikh community to celebrate the 549th birthday of Guru Nanak in a Sikh temple in Karachi. Atif Sharif, a young member of "Jesus Youth Pakistan" at the meeting, told Fides: "Being Catholic for us means cultivating unity with our brothers and sisters of other faiths".
Caritas also promotes inter-religious harmony: social work in Karachi is carried out especially by young Christians in collaboration with young people from other religions, says to Fides Mansha Noor, Caritas Karachi's Executive Secretary.
NEWS ANALYSIS/OMNIS TERRA - Zimbabwe: Farewell to the "Old Elephant", the hope is democracy
24/11/2017

Robert Mugabe, the "Old Elephant" of Zimbabwe, has left power. He ruled for 37 years and if it had been for him, he would have run for president again in 2018 and would have continued to rule. For how long? It is not known because Robert Mugabe is 93 years old, not very healthy as in the past and has many opponents. It is no coincidence that a coup by the military put an end to his long career as an unscrupulous, vain and violent politician. In the past he compared himself to Hitler, and as the Führer saw in the Jews the ancestral enemy of the Aryan race, for Mugabe, "the only white man you can trust is a dead man". A racism, born in the climate of the anti-colonial battle. «I am the Hitler of the time - he said - This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold». Mugabe leaves a country on its knees from a social, economic and political point of view. What future will Zimbabwe now have? To better understand the dynamics of the present, you have to make a step back in the past.

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ASIA/JORDAN - Caritas Jordan donates JD10,000 in support of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims
24/11/2017

Amman - In compliance with the campaign launched by Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization , in cooperation with Jordanian Professional Associations and civil society institutions, Caritas Jordan has donated a sum of JD10,000 in support of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims. The news was reported during the visited carried out on Tuesday, November 21 by Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali, Caritas Jordan Director Wael Suleiman and other Caritas Jordan officials to the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization.
AFRICA - Prayer with the Pope for South Sudan and Congo: "The hope of peace is possible"
24/11/2017

Rome - "With this initiative we want to make the South Sudanese and Congolese know that there are people outside of their two countries who care and pray for them", says Sister Yudith Pereira Rico to Agenzia Fides, of the Congregation of the Religious of Jesus-Mary, Associate Executive Director of "Solidarity with South Sudan", who explained the purpose of the prayer for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, scheduled today, November 23, at 5.30pm in St. Peter’s Basilica.
"The population of these two devastated Countries feel they have been abandoned by all. So we want to give hope and dignity to these populations. What the Pope says to them "you are important to the universal Church" is a strong message of hope and encouragement", says Sister Yudith.
Very often, discouragement prevails in public opinion, if not indifference in the face of war like that in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo that seem endemic and without solutions. We therefore ask Sister Yudith where can hope in these situations come from. "From my experience I can say I receive hope from the South Sudanese: Every time I go to South Sudan I receive their hopes on the possibility of peace. There are seeds of hope in South Sudan as in the DRC, women and youth and the various civil society realities that are engaged in pacification. There are so many movements born from the bottom that want a better future for their country. And it is to these people that we want to give voice", concludes the religious.
In conjunction with the prayer to be held in the Vatican Basilica, Cardinal Laurent Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, has invited the parishes of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo to join in prayer with the Holy Father for peace in the DRC and in South Sudan.
The Church in South Sudan will also join in prayer at the same time. "Let us pray with the Holy Father to obtain the grace of seeing every human being as the son of God, without distinction of tribe, regional belonging, race, language, or culture", writes His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio and President of the South Sudan Episcopal Conference, in a message sent to Fides. "With Pope Francis let us pray for our faith community, our dioceses, also that God may give us new Bishops into the 04 vacant diocese of Malakal, Torit, Rumbek, Wau", adds Mgr. Kussala.
Mgr. Kussala emphasizes that "during our 2017 Annual Plenary Assembly of the Sudan Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan held in Kit, Juba, we resolved to keep together as Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan. "This purposely underlines our role as Bishops in one Conference of working together to promote the church's mission, but also to support Peace-building and human development throughout our two nations and elsewhere".
In addition to today's prayer, Solidarity with South Sudan will organize a round table titled "Let us build peace" to be held on January 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm at Urbaniana University.
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