#ShortNews: Grand imam condemns attacks on Coptic Christians

The Grand Imam of al-Azhar condemned recent terrorist attacks on Coptic Christians “in the strongest terms” and called upon Egypt’s Muslims to celebrate Christmas to show their solidarity with Christians.

“All Egyptian people are urged to stand firm against this evil conspiracy” and to join “their Coptic brethren in celebrating the anniversary of Christ’s birth,” said Ahmed el-Tayeb, whom some Muslims regard as the highest Sunni Muslim authority.

Read More: https://gulfnews.com/opinion/editorials/egyptians-are-united-against-terror-attacks-1.2150172

#ShortNews: VIetnam: conviction of Catholic activist confirmed

Maria Trần Thị Nga is the mother of two children of three and five years and is famous for her defence of the rights of Vietnamese migrant workers and victims of land dispossession by the government, a recurrent measure in the country. Through the social networks, the activist has repeatedly denounced liberticide policies and corruption among the leaders of the Communist Party. In May 2014 she was seriously injured by a group of thugs armed with metal tubes, leaving her with a broken leg.

Arrested January 25, 2017, Nga is found guilty of “propaganda against the state”. The sentence and trial have aroused harsh criticism. The prayers of the Vietnamese Catholics and the appeal of Human Rights Watch for her release are unheard by the government.

Read More: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Conviction-for-Catholic-activist-Maria-Tr%E1%BA%A7n-Th%E1%BB%8B-Nga-confirmed-on-appeal-42689.html

#ShortNews: Pope’s January prayer intention: religious freedom in Asia

In the vastly diversified cultural world of Asia, the Church faces many risks and her task is made more difficult by the fact of her being a minority.

These risks, these challenges are shared with other minority religious traditions, with whom we share a desire for wisdom, truth and holiness.

When we think of those who are persecuted for their religion, we go beyond differences of rite or confession : We place ourselves on the side of the men and women who fight to avoid renouncing their religious identity.

Let us pray for all of them, so that Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom.

Read More: http://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-01/pope–let-us-pray-for-religious-liberty-in-asia.html