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The tomb of prophets Daniel and Habbakuk is located in Iran.

Around Asia – Jan 7, 2020

We will be bringing you weekly round-up of events around Asia that involve Catholics. These are news that are too big to ignore and little nuggets found in the local media that we feel may be of interest to you.

Iran

US President’s plan to destroy 52 sites in Iran should Iran retaliate includes sites regarded as biblical. They include tombs of biblically significant Persian kings and the tombs of prophets Daniel and Habbakuk. The US retaliation is over the killing of Iranian top military official Major Gen Qassem Soleimani.

China

The government will introduce new regulations starting next month that require all religious activities – from formation, gathering to annual and daily projects – to be subjected to approval from the government.

Vietnam

The government has listed a convent and church as heritage sites but there are bigger problems now. Parishioners are worried that they now cannot build on the land.

Bangladesh

A biopic on a famous Italian-Bangladesh Xaverian missionary priest will be starting soon in Italy and then in Bangladesh. Fr Marino Rigon who was born in Italy and moved to Bangladesh in 1953 when he was 28, died in his native country in 2017 and was buried, upon his request, in Bangladesh. He was called “friend of the Bengalis” and the movie is called The Father: An Untold Story.

India

She was a gynaecologist who left her profession to be a nun to combat child morality and he is an archbishop who is known as a peacekeeper in a tumultuous Assam ravaged by ethnic clashes.  They were both recently rewarded for their contribution to peace and support for human rights in India.

Indonesia

Franciscan Father Sam Nasada was ordained last December, making him the ninth known Indonesian priest to be ordained and serving in the US. He went to US in 1997 to study and got involved in parish life.

Philippines

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has reiterated its dismissal of a petition to redefine marriage in the country to include same-sex couples.The petition had been filed in 2015 by 33-year-old lawyer and radio show host Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III and the LGBTS Christian Church Inc.

Taiwan

Fr Joy Tajonera, who is a Filipino-American priest from the Catholic society Maryknoll, has been reaching out to migrant workers in Taiwan’s Taichung City for the last 16 years. He created a shelter which now has 1,000 beds.

Sri Lanka

The national Catholic weekly The Messenger celebrated its 150th anniversary last December. It is now the oldest English daily in the country. The Messenger was printed and circulated in 1869.

Pakistan

The Pakistani army restores the St Thomas’s Church and the adjacent school to show that they value peace and harmony.