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Catholic village in Sagar diocese threatened

(Vatican Radio) A tiny Christian community in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state is being threatened by a right-wing Hindu nationalist group to flee the village or face dire consequences, the local bishop told Vatican Radio.   Bishop Anthony Chirayath of the Syro-Malabar diocese of Sagar, who was visiting his Catholics in Mohanpur village in Guna district on Wednesday told Vatican Radio that the situation there was “very serious”. 

On 11th September night a group of RSS followers came and threatened Fr. Siljo Kidangan the priest in charge and the inmates of a hostel run for tribal boys.   On the following day a group comprising of the Tehsildar, Naib Tehsildar, RI, Sarpanch, Patwari and 2 policemen came and threatened the priest and afterwards forcefully confiscated the hostel he said. The case regarding the ownership of the land is pending in civil and high court the bishop added. The priest has taken refuge in the nearby mission.

Bishop Anthony Chirayath was on his way to the village to show solidarity with the priest and the villagers when the Vatican Radio contacted him.

Mohanpur Mission was started in 1997 to reach out to the poor tribal villagers who are mostly farm labourers. It is situated 30 KM north of district headquarters of Guna. There are around 30 Catholics only in this village. Catholic mission has a hostel for poor tribal boys who attend the local government school. Various social work projects are undertaken in and around 40 villages by the diocesan social work department, the ‘Manav Vikas’ to help the poor.

AMECEA Secretary General Advises Sudan and South Sudan to Embrace Dialogue

The people of Sudan and South Sudan have been urged to resolve all their differences through dialogue and to respect one another.

Speaking to Catholic Radio Network (CRN) in Juba in mid-Sept. after attending a two-day meeting in preparation for the 19th plenary Assembly of Association for Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) to be held in July 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, AMECEA Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo called on the political leaders in the two countries to embrace the spirit of reconciliation with sincerity because revenge cannot resolve the conflicts.

Fr. Lugonzo urged Sudan and South Sudanese political leaders to follow the process of discussion to alleviate the citizens from suffering.

General Secretaries from Episcopal Conferences in their meeting also discussed how members of AMECEA can organize the synod for the youth to discuss on how the Church in Africa can celebrate it to promote faith and vocation.

∽End∽

Source: CRN 

 

Indonesian Church backs government drive against human trafficking ‎

Indonesia’s Catholic Church officials have welcomed a government move to tackle human trafficking by making it easier for migrant workers to be legal with necessary documents. 

The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration has launched a one-stop service to issue official documentation to migrant workers in Kupang, capital of Catholic majority East Nusa Tenggara province, which has the highest number of human trafficking cases

Obtaining permits used to be a very long process and could take months, said Samuel Adu, an official at the ministry.  "This was exploited by brokers who passed on workers illegally along a human trafficking chain,” he said.  With the new system, the process of obtaining permits is much quicker, less than a week.

Corruption-free system

Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, secretary of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Pastoral for Migrant-Itinerant People of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia (KWI) welcomed the move, but asked the government to ensure the new system is corruption free.  "Corruption,” he said, “is commonly practiced in issuing permits."

Father Yohanes Kristoforus Tara, coordinator of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Franciscans in Timor also welcomed the move but also called on the government to provide would-be migrants with skills training.  He said this would make the government effort against  trafficking more effective.

Reyna Usman, another official at the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration said the new service in East Nusa Tenggara will also help the families of migrant workers stay in touch with them as every information will be logged.

According to the East Nusa Tenggara Regional Police more than 1,600 people were trafficked over the last two years, many of them were children.

Aplonia Sara Mali Bere, a former migrant worker from Atambua in Belu district who twice went to Malaysia to work illegally was optimistic about the new system.  She said hat with better protection, a lot of migrant workers will now go through official channels.  (Source: UCANEWS)

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