For more than a decade now Christmas celebrations in Indonesia have been under tight security. As the holiday approaches in 2015, police and military begin to divide tasks as to who will provide security for which church.
For the poor children and families from the Irrawaddy riverside in Mandalay, where people live in temporary tents, one good meal is a special Christmas gift. An interfaith group of woman comprised of Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus reached out to Mandalay’s poor on Dec. 20 to provide meals as a way of conveying the Christmas message of joy.
Indonesia has tightened security ahead of Christmas celebrations, by deploying thousands of security forces to guard churches across the archipelago.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will be proclaimed a saint in 2016. On Thursday afternoon, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree regarding a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa (nee Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu). The Pope’s approval for these decrees came during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
A coalition of Protestant and Catholic organisations has reached an agreement with the Italian government to provide travel and integration services for refugees from North Africa and the Middle East. The government will provide humanitarian visas to ensure the right to take up residence; the visas will not allow passage to other countries in the European Union. Christian agencies will furnish airline tickets to Italy as well as accommodation, assistance with asylum procedures, educational opportunities and Italian language courses.
The President of France, H.E. Francois Hollande, today praised the efforts of campaigners and faith leaders who personally delivered to him a collection of petitions containing over 1.8 million signatures calling for climate justice.
The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews has published today the document “The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable: a Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ‘Nostra Aetate’ (No. 4)”.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged French Muslim leaders on Sunday to develop an “enlightened Islam” to confront what he called the obscurantist views of Islamic State that lead young Muslims into violence.
At their first meeting since the Nov. 13 killings of 130 people, he told about 400 Muslim leaders, imams and activists that France would do everything it could to track criminals, but only they could win the battle of ideas within Islam.
Deal with it! People, Rights, Justice is the title of the Side Event to be presented at the Paris Climate Change Event on Monday, 7 December. Presenters include Caritas International, Friends of the Earth International and the German Catholic Bishops Development Agency. Pope Francis’ encylical Laudato Si is a foundational document for this session. One key focus of this side event is responses by faith agencies in Oceania to Climate Change.
The stamp, to be unveiled sometime in 2016, will display a powerful message of unity and equality: “Everybody equal, everybody different.”