Evidence planted to implicate Indian Jesuit who died in prison
An official from the National Capital Police Office’s Recovery and Wellness Program said former drug addicts are among the 76,800 drug suspects who surrendered to authorities for fear of being killed during the deadly anti-drug war unleashed by the regime of former President Rodrigo Duterte.
Father Flavie Villanueva prays with relatives of drug war victims during a ceremony to exhume their remains at the Bagbag Cemetery in Novaliches, Metro Manila on June 10. (Photo: AFP)
Under the public rehabilitation program, addicts worked with various sectors of society, including the Church, to receive spiritual and value formation. The suspects were also taught skills and given livelihood training that they can use when they are out of rehabilitation.
Rights groups say at least 12,000 people, mostly drug users and low-level drug dealers, were killed by security forces and armed vigilante groups during the “war on drugs.”
As Christmas approaches, the church in Myanmar remains wounded and displaced as thousands of people are forced to flee their homes, villages are burned and churches are destroyed amid ongoing conflict.
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon expressed his sadness during his homily at the ordination of two other salesmen held at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in the Nazareth Apostolate School in Anesakahan last Thursday. The outspoken cardinal pointed out that only love and reconciliation can bring hope to people in the midst of destruction and suffering.
Cardinal Charles Bo cuts a Christmas cake with Myanmar junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Yangon on December 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
The appeal by Cardinal Bo came just two weeks after his hometown – Mon Hla in the Sagaing region – was attacked by the military and homes were set on fire while at least three civilians were killed.
Amid escalating violence between the military, anti-coup protesters and ethnic rebels, the junta has targeted various churches and Christian institutes in Christian-majority states. Hundreds have died and thousands have been displaced and sought refuge in churches, relatives’ homes and in the jungle to escape violence.
A Jesuit-run charity in Australia has launched a Christmas fundraiser to help vulnerable families in Cambodia struggling amid poverty and hunger.
The Jesuit Mission Australia has urged Catholics to avoid traditional gifts this Christmas and instead support the Gifts for Change program to give a family in Cambodia everything they need to start a chicken farm, giving them access to sustainable food and income.
Jesuit Mission Australia is collecting Christmas gifts to help poor Cambodian families start a chicken farm to overcome poverty and hunger. (Photo: Jesuit Mission Australia)
The chicken farm is part of a community development program to help farmers in remote areas gain knowledge and skills. This year, 480 farmers from 18 different remote villages have received support from this project.
According to the World Bank, around 17.8 percent of Cambodia’s estimated 17 million people live below the poverty line. The Covid-19 pandemic and an economic meltdown have pushed around 460,000 people into poverty since 2019.
Hong Kong’s Catholic media magnate and supporter of democracy, Jimmy Lai, received a new prison sentence of five years and nine months on charges of fraud in a contract dispute.
The new sentence against 75-year-old Lai came shortly after he completed a 20-month prison sentence stemming from convictions related to his support for democracy and freedom in the former British colony. He faces a possible life sentence in his upcoming trial under the oppressive National Security Act.
This file photo taken on February 9, 2021 shows Hong Kong pro-democracy media magnate Jimmy Lai arriving at the Court of Final Appeal to hear a decision on whether he will be granted bail, in Hong Kong. (Photo: AFP)
Lai, the founder of the now-defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, is known as a close ally of Cardinal Joseph Zen, a staunch critic of China who has been convicted of failing to register a fund that supported pro-democracy protesters.
In addition to the prison sentence, Lai has also been fined around US$257,000 and banned from managing companies for eight years. He is one of dozens of pro-democracy activists, politicians and supporters who have been arrested and are facing trial in Hong Kong.
Thousands of people with physical disabilities from Vietnam’s northern provinces gathered for Christmas celebrations in a church center to experience love, solidarity and togetherness.
About 5,000 people with disabilities joined the festivities at the Divine Mercy Center in An Lac Parish in Thai Binh Province in the second week of December. Attendees were mostly non-Catholics served by about 1,000 religious students and undergraduates.
Thousands of people with physical disabilities attend a special gathering to celebrate Christmas at the Divine Mercy Center in Thai Binh Province on 10-11. December. (Photo: UCA News)
During the gathering, participants listened to lectures on a ecclesiastical church and marriage, had medical check-ups and received medication, played traditional games for gifts, watched cultural performances, enjoyed meals, received money and attended a Mass celebrated by three bishops and joined by 50 priests. They also received hundreds of wheelchairs.