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HR defenders from Sri Lanka, Mr. Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen Mahesan, OMI, are currently in a situation of “house-arrest” by the court order since March 20, 2014.
+ To escape war and political persecution,
+ to escape hunger, caused by climate change and uneffective food production,
+ because they hope to find a job, in order to support the own family or family clan,
+ because they have a high fertility rate without a chance for many young people to get a job,
+ the media show an economic paradise in western countries.
Pope Francis is seeking to build a "new way of being church" for Roman Catholics in a similar way to how St. Francis of Assisi reported being told by God to repair the church during the 13th century, a cardinal who is one of the pontiff's closest advisers said.
"There is a new concept of church here" in how the pope is governing the Vatican, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, speaking April 8 in St. Petersburg, Fla. "There is a new way of thinking, including the way of governing in the church, here."
However, Rodríguez said, while Francis is popular among people around the world, he is facing opposition in the Roman Curia. "We have to be prepared, since this beautiful but strange popularity is beginning to strengthen adherences, but equally to awaken deaf opposition not only in the old Curia, but in some who are sorry to lose privileges in treatment and in comforts," Rodríguez said.
During the Passion of Christ, Veronica steps out from the crowd and runs forth to Jesus to wipe the blood and sweat off His face as He carries the cross to His own crucifixion. At the 6th station in the way of the cross, we reflect on Veronica’s actions, how she did the little she could to help Jesus during these last hours. We reflect on the courage she had to go forth and help someone who is struggling and we are called to reflect on our own actions, when we do not have the courage to help others because their pain too great for us to face.
13th April- The meeting began with a prayer of thanksgiving for human rights workers and peace builders. This kind of discussion was new to many and thus introduction to encyclicals, church documents and importance of such documents was shared. Significance of Pacem in Terris was read and a quick comment was taken to set the base for discussion. The structure of the encyclical Pacem in Terris was screened to get a gist of all the headings in the encyclical. Participants then picked up points for reflection from the encyclical to discuss the relevance of Pacem in Terris in the world today. Reflections on being a responsible citizen, political structure and current political scenario of India and Economic Rights were reflected on a strong note. This further helped in understanding inter-religious conflicts and lack of trust among each other in India. Issues of other countries like Ukrain, Pakistan, Africa were discussed. It was evident that we all wanted peace, but on reflection it was clear that it happened only once we take concrete actions towards human welfare and standing up for human rights, not only for ourselves but also for others.
World Day of Prayer, Thanksgiving and Action for Human Rights Defenders and Peace Builders was organized by YDF - ICMICA Pakistan on April 11, 2014 in collaboration with Organization for Community Development a local host organization based in the biggest catholic village Khushpur (Rome of Pakistan) Faisalabad. The introduction and purpose of this day was shared by Mr. Karamat Jameel (President YDF- Pakistan) with the audience. The mass was celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Anjum Nazir, parish priest of Khushpur. Special Prayers were offered by Nazim Ghani, Zafer Iqbal Bhatti, Shahid Rehmat and other community members and youth groups.
Participants gave thanks to God for all human right defenders and peace builders, who are struggling hard for making this world a peaceful and right based co-existence for all its inhabitants.
During the mass special gratitude paid to Marty Shahbaz Bhatti and Bishop John Joseph Shaheed, who gave their lives for justice, interfaith harmony, peace building and minorities rights in Pakistan.
Organised by the Pestalozzi Programme of the Council of Europe and the Education and Culture Commission of the Conference of INGOs, the Conference will highlight the importance of education for preparing our youth for a life as democratic citizens in diverse democratic societies, for their future world of work and for the development of their personality. It will focus in particular on the implications this has for the image and ethos of teaching profession, the competences of teachers and their day-to-day practices.
(more information on the Conference and how to register …)
PACE: the illegal annexation of Crimea has no legal effect and is not recognised by the Council of Europe
Strasbourg, 09.04.2014 – “The so-called referendum” in Crimea was unconstitutional. Its outcome and “the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation therefore have no legal effect and are not recognised by the Council of Europe”, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) stated today in an resolution adopted at the end of an urgent debate.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), declaring that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was “in clear contradiction with the Statute of the Council of Europe” and the commitments Russia made when it joined the organisation in 1996, has decided to suspend the voting rights of the Russian delegation, as well as its right to be represented in the Assembly’s leading bodies, and its right to participate in election observation missions, effective until the end of the 2014 session (26 January 2015).
The 3rd Africa Europe Youth Leaders’ Summit was organized by the Joint Africa-European Union Strategy (JAES) and Support Mechanism and held at Renaissance Brussels Hotel in Belgium from the 31st March 2014 to the 1st April 2014. The JAES was adopted in Lisbon in 2007 to create a new partnership strategy between Africa and Europe to strengthen cooperation and development. Participants to this event come from Africa and Europe Youth Organizations which comprises; Network of International Youth Organizations in Africa (NIYOA)- Pax Romana ICMICA, IMCS Pax Romana, YCS, FIMCAP, Pan Africa Youth Union (PYU) European Youth Forum (YFJ), Africa and Diaspora Youth Network in Europe (ADYNE)
During the two days we were together, our discussions dwelt on the following important themes:
We committed Christians in the European Miamsi movements (International Movement of Apostolate in Independent Social Milieus) met in Brussels on 4 - 6 April 2014 to exchange views on the topics “Living together” and “The Common Good” in Europe.
After two days of discussions, we are convinced that despite growing scepticism about the European project, Europe is taken as an example to be followed for its characteristic gains, while being aware that it is not the only reference.
Nevertheless, we think that far from being over, this project is advancing, requiring everyone to take responsibility as an innovative player for it to succeed.
In order to help this project to develop and with future generations in mind, we propose that:
- society and politics become Europe’s priorities, not just the economy and finance. We ask our elected representatives to be innovative, with a European vision that considers the individual as a whole.
The International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs-Pax Romana invites all members, friends and people of good will to pray for, celebrate, and stand up for those in our community who defend human rights and build peace.
April 11th marks the anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963), which outlines a strong commitment to human rights as the foundation for peace in the world today. Sadly, many people who take a stand in favor of human rights often face persecution and lack the support necessary for their work.
Take part in the worldwide Google Hangout April 11th
New York:11.00am /Sao Paulo:12.00pm / London:3.00pm/ Paris:5.00pm/ Nairobi:6.00pm/ Lahore: 8.00pm/ Kuala Lumpur:11.00pm/ Australia:1.00am
LINK for Hangout: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7su7fvi19b1u08b0392eb3lcqo
Growing up as a member of the Christian minority in Pakistan, I have often observed how the laws provide inadequate protection for our community, and those inadequacies have dramatically increased. Another incident of vandalism and madness against Christians over allegations of blasphemy has resulted in the burning of houses and more injured innocents. The list of persecutions against minorities in Pakistan is endless and horrible, as I have often witnessed first hand.
One such ruthless incident happened in Joseph Colony, a Christian enclave southwest of Lahore, where a mob set fire to hundreds of homes and two churches on March 9 last year after rumors spread that a young Christian had insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Police officer Multan Khan said the incident started on a Friday when a young Muslim man accused Sawan Masih of committing blasphemy.
The third World Forum for Democracy “From participation to influence: can youth revitalise democracy?” will be held in Strasbourg (France) from 3-5 November 2014.
MUMBAI, 22 March 2014. Don Bosco Youth Services organized a forum entitled “Youth For Human Rights – Knowing it, Living it” for students and young professionals, with the support of Pax Romana ICMICA. Fr. Cedric Prakash, a Jesuit priest and human rights activist from Gujarat was the resource person. The aim of the event was to awaken youth to issues on Human Rights and to capacitate them to know their rights, and at the same time stand up for the rights of others, especially the marginalized.
The event began with a moment of prayer, followed by an introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through videos on some articles. Fr. Cedric then spoke about specific human rights issues in India and narrated real experiences including those of the abuse of the personal dignity and land rights of women, dalits, adivasis and other vulnerable groups, often with the collusion of powerful persons coupled with inhuman disinterest on the part of the authorities. Placing human rights in the context of the Bible, he showed how Jesus stood up for the rights of people. He mentioned that the Church’s teachings support the implementation of human rights, justice and peace for all.
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland is paying a working visit to Brussels on 31 March and 1 April.
On Monday 31 March, the Secretary General is meeting the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, primarily to discuss the situation in Ukraine.
Strasbourg, 28/03/2014 – In an online statement, the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) expressed grave concern at serious allegations of intimidation and discrimination against Ukrainian speakers and Tatars in the Crimean region, now under the de facto control of the Russian Federation
Spring Session update: Ukrainian prime minister to address the Assembly
Strasbourg, 31.03.2014 – Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk is to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the second day of its spring session in Strasbourg (7-11 April 2014).
In conjunction with the International Day of Action for Rivers on March 14, SALT Malaysia have collaborated with different groups to celebrate the world's rivers and those who struggle to protect them. In West Malaysia, SALT team collaborated with Save Rivers, BaramKini, JKOASM and TaskForce against Kaiduan Dam to organised a film screening on three films namely Save Tasik Chini, The Sunken Grave and Stop Baram Dam, which represents the issues from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. After the film screening, they proceed to a public place for a ballon-giving event to give awareness to the public about importance of rivers.
While in Sabah, a coalition called Sabah Save Rivers which SALT Malaysia is part of, celebrate Action for Rivers by launching 'Rivers Are In Our Hands' campaign. The objective of this campaign is to create awareness among the public to protect rivers from pollution due to development projects, to raise public awareness about the need to appreciate the water and use it wisely and to celebrate the river that has sustained us.
For more info about our movement, like SALT Malaysia.