Category: World Report

US bishops back conscience defence Bill for doctors

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has insisted that a conscience protection Bill currently before Congress is vital in protecting medical professionals from being compelled to carry out abortions. In a letter to lawmakers, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori, chair of…

India is failing to protect religious minorities – report

Religious tolerance is steadily deteriorating in India and violations of freedom of religion are rising, a new report has found. Sponsored by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), ‘Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India’ examined state laws across the nation and found that, while India’s constitution guarantees equal rights…

Filipino bishops march against ‘war on drugs’ deaths

Catholic bishops in the Philippines are to undertake a ‘walk for life’ this February 18 to demonstrate their opposition to the multitude of deaths resulting from President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs over recent months. At least 7,000 people have died in shootings linked to the police or vigilant gangs since Mr Duterte called for…

Pakistan reforms laws to protect minorities

Pakistani legislators have moved to curb lynchings and mob violence against minority communities via a bill amending a number of criminal laws. Under the reforms passed by the National Assembly, sectarian violence and forced conversions are outlawed while the deliberate use of words to hurt religious feelings, already an offence punishable by a year in…

Vatican Roundup

Pope writes preface to abuse survivor’s story Pope Francis has written the preface to a new book penned by a victim of clerical sexual abuse. The book, I Forgive you, Father, was written by Daniel Pittet, a devout Catholic who met Pope Francis in 2015, and so moved him with his childhood story that the…

A dangerous precedent for Pakistan

The blasphemy law proves politically useful, writes Paul Keenan If politics is the art of ‘spin’, a masterclass of the art was offered to the world this week from Pakistan. Amid an angry row surrounding five abducted secular human rights activists, the nation’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan intervened on the issue of Pakistan’s…

Christian leaders condemn Trump’s refugee plan

Christian leaders in the Middle East have condemned as “divisive” moves by US President Donald Trump to prioritise Christian refugees while barring others from entry to America. Responding to the president’s executive order against seven Muslim-majority nations and his signalling of preferential treatment of Christian refugees, Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo in Syria said any…