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24th February 2020

Kenya: Addressing the Pastoral Dichotomy between Faith and Life

At a conference organized to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II “Ecclesia in Africa” after 25 years of its publication, a Kenyan Bishop acknowledged the “revolutionary” nature of the document but noted the exhortation’s threefold limitations. “25 years later after the issuance of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Ecclesia in Africa’ by Pope John Paul II in 1995,” Bishop John … Read more

Pakistan: The Disturbing Story of a Blasphemy Law Convict

Convicted of committing blasphemy and sentenced to death by a court in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore in 2002 – when he was 25 – he spent almost 19 years in jail in a country where the crime of insulting Islam, its Prophet Muhammad or its holy book, the Quran, has been at the centre of alleged rights abuses for decades. The crime carries … Read more

Kenya: How can you Forgive when your Tormentor does not Confess?

The passing of retired President Daniel arap Moi temporarily halted the discussion on BBI (Building Bridges Initiative) but opened up another raging debate on how Kenya has dealt with its past and what the next generation can expect to be taught in history class. While the media heaped praise on Mr Moi those detained under his regime also had their say before he was laid … Read more

India: Acquittal of Christians Wrongly Accused of Forced Conversions

The six men and two women were freed on Feb. 18 by the criminal court in Ratlam in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.“Justice has finally been done,” said Tehmina Arora, director of the legal team of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian forum that took up the case. “But we must not forget the toll that such false cases take on families. No one … Read more

Philippines: Siffer Penalties for Child Abuse and Exploitation

Philippine lawmakers have passed a measure that would impose stiffer penalties in child abuse, exploitation and discrimination cases.The proposed Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act imposes bigger fines and longer jail terms for violators. “This is a good step to minimize or totally eradicate cases involving children,” said Father Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth.However, he said, … Read more

Cameroon: Bishops from across the Globe Call for Urgent Peace Talks

Roman Catholic bishops from around the world are calling on the Cameroon government to hold urgent peace talks with the country’s English-speaking separatists and moderates. As violence grows in the central African country, church leaders are urging President Paul Biya to enter negotiations to find a peaceful constitutional settlement that addresses the grievances of the Anglophone community. Human rights groups report that both the Cameroon … Read more

Pakistan: Constraints on Christian Outreach

In his book The Crimson Lily in our Midst, the British Mill Hill Father Tom Rafferty recounted the difficulties of evangelism in Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir and North West Frontier province (now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). “John van Eyndhoven was one of the first Mill Hill missionaries to be sent as chaplain to the British forces in North West Frontier province … he had just begun to set … Read more

South Sudan: Reduction in Number of States Significant Step in Peace Process

“After a thorough deliberation on the subject matter and in the interest of peace and stability in the country, the presidency … resolved to return the country to ten (10) States and their previous respective counties; plus three (3) administrative areas,” the statement from South Sudan Presidency dated February 14 seen by ACI Africa reads. Catholic Church leaders who spoke to ACI Africa Saturday, February … Read more

Cameroon: Bishops Comment on Low Turnout and Violence at Recent Local Elections

Meanwhile, the bishops expressed concern about the Anglophone crisis in the north-west and south-west regions of the country. “We regret that four months after the holding of the Major National Dialogue, which proposed solutions for ending the crisis in these regions, we are still not satisfied with the situation in these regions,” they said in their collective statement. The bishops added, “Insecurity persists in spite … Read more

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