During his visit to the international headquarters of Catholic pastoral charity "Aid to the Church in Need“, Bishop Thomas Paulsamy of the Indian diocese of Dindigul reveals his extreme disappointment following an increase in violent attacks back home. In the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu Christians are complaining about increasing violence and discrimination by fundamentalist Hindus. Only last week, about 20,000 Christians of various denominations in at least 16 towns took to the streets to demonstrate against anti-Christian aggression. Since the start of the year, there have been reports of more than 15 cases involving violent attacks in Tamil Nadu but the suppression of the Christian minority in mostly from Hindu believers. Discrimination is also intensifying in other parts of the country.
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Father Federico Trinchero, of the Carmelite monastery of Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, speaks about the attack perpetrated last Tuesday on the church of Our Lady of Fatima, in the notorious KM 5 quarter of the capital, and replies to the questions of ACN.
LAÍS MARIA PEREIRA da Silva, 12, was born and raised in a part of Rio de Janeiro called Complexo da Maré , which comprises one of the biggest set of favelas—or shanty towns—in this Brazilian mega-city. Despite her youth, this girl is already well acquainted with violence, despair, and death. Her part of town is home to 17 separate communities with a total of 130,000 inhabitants. In addition to horrible living conditions—where a piece of bread often makes up a meal—the people live under the constant threat of violence. The favelas of Rio are controlled by various criminal factions that each run drugs through the alleys that make up the neighborhood infrastructures that serve as closely-guarded transportation networks. Complexo da Maré is among the most dangerous areas in the city because it is run by two major criminal groups, Comando Vermelho (“Red Command”) and Terceiro Comando Puro (“Pure Third Command”), with each dominating opposite sides of the area. They are engaged in a constant battle in efforts to expand their respective territory. Laĺs lives in a favela called Baixa do Sapateiro, on a street called Divisa Street, which means border—and the street got its name precisely because it marks the border between the territories controlled by the two criminal organizations. "They stay in the alleys, exchanging gun fire. We have to lay down on the floor in our homes because no room is secure. The shots come from the front and from behind,” says Viviane Pereira, another resident of Complexo da Maré.
“Bishop Romero was a student of Paul VI. It is significant that they are being canonised together,” says Cardinal Rosa Chávez In order to properly understand the miraculous significance of the canonisation of the Blessed Paul VI and the Blessed Bishop Romero, it helps to go back in time several decades. A young seminarian from El Salvador by the name of Oscar Arnulfo Romero came to Rome in 1937 to continue his theological studies in the Italian capital. He received his licentiate degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1943. He was also ordained to the priesthood in Rome. During his years in Rome, Romero met Giovanni Batista Montini, then a monsignor, who was one of his professors. One of Montini’s primary concerns was helping the poor. At the time, no one would have thought that 30 years later, Montini, then Pope Paul VI, would appoint Oscar Romero Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador and in 1977 Archbishop of the same diocese. And no one could have known that several decades later, they were destined to be united once more – and for nothing less than their inclusion in the canon of saints. Pope Francis signed the decree for both canonisations in March.
Testimony of the daughter of one of the victims of the attacks in Cairo last December. Gunmen attacked worshippers leaving a Coptic Orthodox church on the southern outskirts of Cairo on Dec. 29, 2017. Subsequently claimed by ISIS, the assault—which took place some 10 minutes after the conclusion of Mass at St. Mina Church—killed nine people. One of the victims was a young mother, Nermeen Sadiq. Her 13-year-old daughter Nesma Wael was at her side when she was shot. Nesma gave the following account of the ordeal to the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.