#ShortNews: Lebanese cardinal rejects US peace plan for Palestinians

The peace plan proposed by Jared Kushner and the US administration, presented as “the deal of the century” for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and throughout the Middle East, is actually “the slap of the century,” this according Maronite Patriarch Card Bechara al-Rahi.

On 25 June, Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to US President Donald Trump, presented a plan in Bahrain that provides for the distribution of US$ 50 billion in investments to help the economy in the Palestinian territories and in all the countries with a large number of refugees (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan).

According to the cardinal, the plan is an attempt at “settlement and naturalisation” of Palestinian refugees in the countries that host them, “masked with financial aid.” Palestinians have already strongly criticised the plan.

Even “if the intention to provide financial were sincere,” explained Mgr Rahi, “it is preferable in the case of Palestinians to help them build their own state and return home, and in the case of Syrians, to help return home to rebuild their homes, their entity and their institutions.”

Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Card-Rahi%3A-Kushner%27s-peace-plan-is-%22the-slap-of-the-century%22-47423.html

#ShortNews: Christians face more persecution in Modi’s India

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting his second term after leading his pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in India’s recent election, complaints of violence are growing from the country’s persecuted Christians.

Hindu groups supporting the BJP have been promoting claims that India is the land of Hindus and religious minorities should accept Hindu dominance if they want to live there. Open Doors, an international group monitoring religious freedom, ranks India as the 10th most dangerous country for Christians to live in.

Allen Brooks, a Christian leader based in Assam state in eastern India, said the denial of justice to Christians is specifically witnessed in the states ruled by the BJP. Police and civil administration, as well as laws, are used against Christians in a meticulous manner, he said. “Intimidation and threats against Christians have become the new normal. Laws, police and investigations are employed to harass Christians,” Brooks said.

India’s latest census of 2011 showed that Hindus formed 966 million or 80 percent of India’s population of 1.3 billion. Muslims accounted for 172 million or 14 percent, while Christians comprised 29 million or 2.3 percent.

Source: https://www.ucanews.com/news/christians-face-more-persecution-in-modis-india/85467

#ShortNews: In address to Irish Catholic musicians, primate emphasizes importance of silence

Silence does indeed open us up to the presence of what might otherwise go unnoticed or hidden. It is in the silence in particular that God speaks. In the quiet, we can find him whom our heart seeks.

Pope Francis puts it this way. “The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light”. (GE171)

“If music is carefully selected and beautifully offered, it can open up a space of silence which God can fill. For people who find it difficult to escape the noise both exterior and interior, your music can still the racing mind, relieve the daily stress, and invite us gently into a sacred moment where God can speak to our hearts and we can be in deeper communion with God and with one another” – Archbishop Eamon

Read full article: https://zenit.org/articles/archbishop-martin-music-opens-space-for-god-to-fill/