Posted by Kendall Harmon

As priests chanted and smeared vermilion on Narendra Modi’s forehead, the opposition leader prayed that India would make him its next prime minister.

Modi came to this Hindu holy city late last year to worship at a site that has been contested by Hindus and Muslims for centuries. Just yards from where he stood, a two-story wall of metal bars separated the historic temple from a mosque.

Modi has been a polarizing figure in India for years. Now his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has surged in the polls as a discontented electorate has embraced his message of economic growth and corruption-free government. Voters have begun to cast their ballots in national elections, which will continue in stages until May 12.

Read it all from the Washington Post.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduismIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The Drop Box" - Documentary Trailer from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.



Worth every second of the three minutes of your time it takes to watch--touching, heart-rending, and encouraging--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth Korea* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The oldest Anglican church in Malaysia recently held a special service to pray for the families and victims of flight MH 370, the Malaysian government and other governments involved in the search and rescue efforts.

The Special Service of Praying for MH 370 was held on Sunday, 6th April in Christ Church, Melaka to allow worshippers to identify themselves, and stand in solidarity with those affected by the tragedy.

The Rt Revd Jason Selvaraj, Assistant Bishop of West Malaysia, said, "We wanted to tell the families that we are concerned and we stand with you at this painful time. We wanted to tell our Malaysian government and its people that our leaders are very much in our prayers as they work on the search and rescue mission.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryAsiaMalaysia

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Posted April 12, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1803, in a house overlooking Plymouth harbor, a 14-year-old boy lay dangerously ill. Before this time, he'd never given much time to serious thought about the course his life would take. But during his year-long convalescence, he began to reflect on the possibility of future fame. Would he be a statesman, an orator, or a poet? An eminent minister of a large, wealthy church? Where did true greatness lie? He was shocked out of his reverie—and very nearly out of his bed—by a mysterious voice that uttered the words "Not unto us, not unto us, but to Thy name be the glory."

Adoniram Judson would remember that startling revelation for the rest of his life. With his strong academic training, keen intellect, and linguistic abilities, he might well have become a prominent theologian, scholar, or politician in 19th-century America. But his profound desire to do the will of God led him down a very different path.

"The motto for every missionary, whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster, ought to be 'Devoted for Life.'"
Adoniram Judson

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissions* International News & CommentaryAsiaMyanmar/Burma* TheologyChristologySoteriology

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Posted April 12, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eternal God, we offer thanks for the ministry of Adoniram Judson, who out of love for thee and thy people translated the Scriptures into Burmese. Move us, inspired by his example, to support the presentation of thy Good News in every language, for the glory of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaMyanmar/Burma

0 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Afghanistan's Mitra Hemmat: Retail entrepreneur

Mitra Hemmat has occupied rarefied air since returning from Iran to Afghanistan in 2005, where she quickly achieved status as the nation’s top student, and won a scholarship to study in India.

A doctor who wears a black headscarf with a faux diamond broach, at 28 she accepts few limits, and dreams of giving back to her country “to help my people.” She plans to serve through medicine and one day win election to parliament.

“We just want peace; we don’t want to have to think about who is the president,” says Ms. Hemmat. “If it is bad, if things change [for the worse], I will go to another country,” says Hemmat. “My passport is always in my pocket. I would not stay.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistan

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Posted April 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Afghans flocked to polling stations nationwide tod ay, defying a threat of violence by the Taliban, to cast their votes in what promises to be the nation's first democratic transfer of power.

The turnout was so high that some polling centres ran out of ballot papers.

The excitement over choosing a new leader for the first time appeared to overwhelm the fear of bloodshed in many areas, as Afghans embarked on a major transition nearly 13 years after the US-led invasion toppled the rule of the Taliban.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistan

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China may exempt electric-car buyers from paying purchase taxes as part of expanded state measures to bolster sales of such vehicles after past incentives failed to spur demand, Vice Premier Ma Kai said.

The government may cut or waive the 10 percent auto-purchase tax for new-energy vehicles -- China’s term for electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles -- and slow down the reduction of government subsidies beyond 2015, according to comments from Vice Premier Ma Kai posted on the Chinaev.org website. Ma also urged local governments to help companies develop electric-car rental services.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationScience & TechnologyTravel* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural ResourcesPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:13 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Dr. Kim Seok-Kwun begins surgery to create a functioning penis for a Buddhist monk who was born female, he is well aware of the unease his work creates in this deeply conservative country. The devout Protestant known as the "father of South Korean transgender people" once wrestled with similar feelings.

"I've decided to defy God's will," Kim, 61, said in an interview before the monk's recent successful surgery to become a man. "At first, I agonized over whether I should do these operations because I wondered if I was defying God. I was overcome with a sense of shame. But my patients desperately wanted these surgeries. Without them, they'd kill themselves."

Kim is a pioneer in slowly changing views on sexuality and gender in South Korea, where many have long considered even discussions of sexuality a taboo. He has conducted about 320 sex change operations over the past 28 years, widely believed to be the most by any single doctor in the country.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMenPsychologySexualityWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth Korea* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted April 1, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the row over the use of the word Allah still simmering, Anglican Christians in Sarawak said they will go all out to defend their right to use the word in worship.

Datuk Bolly Lapok, Anglican Archbishop for Southeast Asia, said they were willing to abandon their calling to be peacemakers and reconcilers, if “turning the other cheek to the provocateurs and extremists in political Islam that are relentlessly stoking the fire of hatred and bigotry is tantamount to sending a wrong message to them”.

He said this in a statement after a mass gathering of its Iban speaking congregation in Sri Aman today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaMalaysia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Pakistani Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, in a case which sparked fierce rioting in the eastern city of Lahore last March.

Sawan Masih was convicted of using derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed in a row with a Muslim friend.

Hundreds of Muslims attacked the city's Christian Joseph colony, torching homes, when the allegations surfaced.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

4 Comments
Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The saga of MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight missing for more than two weeks, seems to be entering its final chapter. Earlier this week, engineers developed a method to estimate the plane’s trajectory, and debris appear to have been spotted in satellite images.

While the technique used to track the flight path has been called “groundbreaking,” it actually rests on some fairly old-fashioned physics. In fact, the basic method has been used to conduct satellite search and rescue operations for more than 30 years, predating our always-connected, GPS-enabled world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & TechnologyTravel* International News & CommentaryAsiaMalaysia

0 Comments
Posted March 27, 2014 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the earthquake also had quieter consequences that didn't make headlines. In the London Review of Books, Richard Lloyd Parry investigates a peculiar phenomenon revealed in the aftermath of the storm. His piece is called "Ghosts of the Tsunami."

RICHARD LLOYD PARRY: People reported neighbors - neighbors who died in the tsunami - appearing at their houses and coming and sitting down in puddles of water.

MARTIN: Parry has lived in Japan for 18 years and has known it to be a mostly secular culture. In global polls, Japan ranks as one of the least religious countries in the world.

PARRY: But there's a bit more to it than that. I mean I'd got used to seeing, in the homes of friends, these little altars you find to the family ancestors. And I'd always assumed they were nothing much more than a quaint piece of interior decoration. But I realized in following this story and returning to the tsunami zone, that actually the religion of the ancestors is alive and well and very strong.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

0 Comments
Posted March 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 623rd and final burial plot was filled following a funeral in the Christian Cemetery in Salmabad at the weekend as church and community leaders wait anxiously on a promised donation of new land to come to fruition.

There is little room left to squeeze in any more deceased believers and digging up the footpaths may be the only choice. Otherwise, expats may have no alternative but to pay thousands of dinars to have the bodies of their loved ones repatriated to their home countries in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaBahrain

1 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A devoted Chinese father who carries his disabled son 18 miles to school every day will be provided with government-funded accommodation nearby.

Yu Xukang walks the huge distance with his son, Xiao Qiang, strapped to his back in a specially constructed basket.

The 40-year-old, from Fengyi township in Yibin county in southwest China’s Sichuan province - 2,000 miles west of Shanghai - refused to give up on the boy now aged 12, despite the fact that both his arms and legs are twisted and his back is hunched.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyTravel* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have been called several times in the last few days, including by journalists, for opinions on our involvement in Afghanistan. The most often asked question is rather simplistic – understandable when a story has to fit into the bookends of other news events, but revealing in that Canadians desire that 12 years should be summarized into a thumbs-up or thumbs-down question. It is also indicative of the collective national withdrawal symptom and its accompanying amnesia.

To that simple question – “Was it worth it?” – the answer is yes. Afghanistan is far better off than what it was in 2001 by almost every possible metric. Certainly, many have died and continue to do so through insurgent actions and improvised explosive devices. Undeniably governance is weak and corruption embedded, but there are no longer public amputations and executions, there is no longer ethnic repression on the scale there once was, health care has improved and there remains a sense of hope. Hope that women won’t just be chattel once again and girls can continue to be schooled, hope that governance will improve, and hope that the roots of democracy and of an improving economic condition can continue to grow.

The Canadian Forces, our police and our diplomats did what they were asked and aside from the broader legacy it can be said that Canada’s presence in Kandahar prevented a Taliban takeover and that Canada set the conditions for the subsequent U.S. surge.

Read it all from the Globe and Mail.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistanCanada

0 Comments
Posted March 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China is likely to see a series of bond and financial product defaults as the government accelerates financial deregulation and allows more private ownership in the state-dominated sector, Li Keqiang, Chinese premier, said on Thursday.

Future defaults of financial products in China are “unavoidable” but the government will take steps to ensure they do not pose a threat to the wider financial system, Mr Li told journalists at his annual media conference.

China saw its first domestic bond default in recent history a week ago when Chaori Solar, a small Shanghai-based solar panel producer, failed to pay interest on Rmb1bn ($162m) worth of bonds it sold two years ago.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeThe Banking System/SectorPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet there are larger issues behind the electoral spectacle that must not be overlooked. India’s elections have, over the years, deepened and broadened the composition of the political establishment. Sociologists have analyzed the class composition of India’s legislatures and traced the change from a post-independence Parliament dominated by highly educated professionals to one populated by today’s motley crew of MPs, who are more truly representative of India’s rural heartland.

But the fact that, particularly in India’s northern states, voters elect people referred to openly in the press as “mafia dons,” “dacoit leaders,” and “anti-social elements” is a troubling reflection on the way the electoral process has served Indian democracy. In the last four parliaments, at least a hundred members have had criminal cases pending against them. The resulting alienation of the educated middle class means that fewer and fewer of them go to the polls on Election Day.

The poor, however, do. Whereas psephological studies in the United States have demonstrated that the poor do not vote in significant numbers (presidential-election turnout in Harlem averaged 23% before Barack Obama’s two candidacies), the opposite is true in India.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"God is here, God is here," croons Singapore church official Sun Ho as she struts across a neon-lit stage and thousands of people in the congregation pump their hands and sing along.

Kong Hee, the church's founding pastor and Sun Ho's husband, then takes the stage. In keeping with the electrifying mood, he invites his followers to speak "in tongues" and a pulsing murmur echoes through the auditorium of 8,000 people.

During the service, ushers hand out envelopes for donations, which consume at least a tenth of the salaries of most church members, going to fund different ministries, mission trips and special events.

Welcome to one of Asia's most profitable churches: Singapore's City Harvest.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaSingapore* Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 8, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A disgraced composer once hailed as Japan's Beethoven apologized Friday for lying about his career but stood by his claim that he was partly deaf.

In his first public appearance since the scandal broke in early February, Mamoru Samuragochi said at a packed news conference in Tokyo that "I am truly sorry for the trouble I caused with my lies."

The 50-year-old had been known for penning highly acclaimed symphonies, and the story of a composer who remained dedicated to his art even after losing his hearing had captivated media.

But his elaborate facade came tumbling down after another man came forward in early February to say that he had actually composed most of Mr. Samuragochi's works. The ghostwriter, Takashi Niigaki, also claimed that in their meetings over an 18-year period, Mr. Samuragochi appeared to have no problems with his hearing.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 7, 2014 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The REALITY at All Saints’ Church, Peshawar, on Sunday, 22 September 2013

This cataclysmic act committed by two suicide bombers shook the very foundations of our people and changed the very course of not only their lives but of the whole Christian community in Pakistan. It happened after the morning worship of Holy Communion while they were sharing an agape fellowship in the small compound of this historic church. The church was built in 1883 as the first church building of its kind, being designed like a mosque and especially for the use of the native Christians of the local area. Even at that time its foundations were filled with the blood of nine local Christian martyrs. It is located in the heart of the ancient historic city of Peshawar and in the neighbourhood of the famous Qissa Khawani (story tellers) bazaar, which was the hub of the travellers of ancient times when entering from Khyber Pass onto the Silk Route.

My relationship with this ‘gharana’ (family) goes back almost quarter of a century. I have shared their joys and sorrows during these years. I have been their friend and father-figure. Many of them I had Baptized, Confirmed and Married. It has been one of the two largest parishes in the Diocese of Peshawar and a bastion of indigenous Christianity in this famous border area of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Most of the families can claim their lineage in this area for well over a century. One of the most celebrated aspects of their Christian witness has always been their Easter procession, very often numbering up to five thousand young and old, women and children, singing and praying through the winding and narrow streets of the neighbourhood. Almost all of them speak and communicate in the local Pakhtun language and are also well versed in Pakhtun culture. So they have never felt themselves to be either outsiders or unfamiliar with the local customs and traditions. For this reason they were always open and at ease with their Muslim neighbours.

This horrendous tragedy claimed nearly 300 victims of all ages, with 117 passing away and 162 receiving very serious and other injuries...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther Faiths* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...Father Luke is still planning to run this year — along with hundreds of other service members — as part of a “shadow” Boston Marathon in Afghanistan. “After I qualified for 2014, I knew I couldn’t run in Boston this year,” he said. “But I could bring Boston to Afghanistan.”

On Friday, in a telephone interview from Afghanistan, Father Luke said registration for “Boston Marathon/Afghanistan” had opened on Thursday. “And the response has been overwhelming,” with members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines signing up from throughout Afghanistan, he said.

He said military commanders and Boston Athletic Association officials embraced the idea when he proposed it. (Bagram also hosted a “shadow” Boston Marathon a couple of years ago). So when service members cross the finish line in Afghanistan, they’ll receive the same medals handed out on Boylston Street.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistan* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted March 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a surprise move Monday, North Korean officials freed a Christian missionary from Australia who was arrested for handing out Bibles in Pyongyang.

John Short, 75, allegedly apologized for his behavior and begged for his freedom.

“I now realize the seriousness of my insult to the Korean people on Feb. 16 because I made the Korean people angry, and for this I truly apologize,” Short said, according to a report on the state news agency. “I am willing to bow down on my knees to request this tolerance of (North Korea) and the Korean people.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaNorth KoreaAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Unfortunately, in the eyes of many Central Asians, America’s interest does not extend beyond gas and oil. Washington’s decision to pull back from Afghanistan in 2014 will likely erode American influence at the very moment when it could do the most good — especially as rising prosperity increases pressure for governments to loosen their grip. Greater freedom presents great dangers, as the disillusions of the Arab Spring have so sadly demonstrated.

Yet it may be in Central Asia, rather than the Middle East, Pakistan or Indonesia, where the ideals that both Presidents Bush and Obama have espoused will be most actively pursued in coming years. This is not to suggest that Washington pay less attention to the Arab world, but perhaps it is time for us to listen to our own lectures on the possibilities of a peaceful and intellectually open version of Islam, and to back those societies that are trying most successfully to advance it today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brunei's all-powerful sultan, stung by rare criticism, has ordered social media users to stop attacking his plans to introduce harsh Islamic criminal punishments in the placid oil-rich kingdom.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah -- one of the world's wealthiest men -- announced last October that Brunei would phase in sharia law punishments such as flogging, severing limbs and death by stoning beginning April 1.

The move has sparked a growing outcry on social media, the only outlet for public criticism of authorities in the Muslim country where questioning the 67-year-old sultan is taboo.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaBrunei* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I found this very powerful--take a look.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A bus full of South Korean Christians who saved money for years in order to visit biblical sites in Egypt and Israel were attacked Sunday by a suicide bomber.

Four people were killed in the bombing, including the Egyptian driver, a church member, and two South Korean guides. At least 14 others were injured, the Associated Press reports.

This is not the first time South Korean Christians have been the target of violence in a foreign country. In 2007, after a 43-day hostage situation left two South Korean missionaries dead in Afghanistan, South Korea subsequently banned citizens from traveling to certain majority-Muslim countries—which proved to be a blessing in disguise for Korean Christians.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth KoreaMiddle EastEgyptIsrael* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

1 Comments
Posted February 18, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U.S. military has revised plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan to allow the White House to wait until President Hamid Karzai leaves office before completing a security pact and settling on a post-2014 U.S. troop presence, officials said.

The option for waiting reflects a growing belief in Washington that there is little chance of repairing relations with Mr. Karzai and getting him to sign the bilateral security agreement before elections scheduled for the spring.

"If he's not going to be part of the solution, we have to have a way to get past him," said a senior U.S. official. "It's a pragmatic recognition that clearly Karzai may not sign the BSA and that he doesn't represent the voice of the Afghan people."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God our Father, who art the source of strength to all thy saints, and who didst bring the holy martyrs of Japan through the suffering of the cross to the joys of life eternal: Grant that we, being encouraged by their example, may hold fast the faith that we profess, even unto death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 2,000 Christians gathered in Colombo on Sunday (January 26) to protest against a perceived lack of religious freedom in Sri Lanka, following recent attacks on Christian places of worship by Buddhist extremists.

Two churches and a Christian prayer centre were attacked on Jan. 12 by Buddhist mobs claiming they were illegal and aiming to take Buddhists away from their religion.

The prayer centre, belonging to the Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Pitipana, near Colombo, was set alight on the same day as attacks on the Assemblies of God Church and Calvary Free Church in the southern coastal town of Hikkaduwa.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaSri Lanka* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsBuddhism

0 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to the late Roberto Goizueta, a former boss of The Coca-Cola Company, April 15th 1981 was “one of the most important days…in the history of the world.” That date marked the opening of the first Coke bottling plant to be built in China since the Communist revolution.

The claim was over the top, but not absurd. Mao Zedong’s disastrous policies had left the economy in tatters. The height of popular aspiration was the “four things that go round”: bicycles, sewing machines, fans and watches. The welcome that Deng Xiaoping, China’s then leader, gave to foreign firms was part of a series of changes that turned China into one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets in the world.

For the past three decades, multinationals have poured in. After the financial crisis, many companies looked to China for salvation. Now it looks as though the gold rush may be over.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An American missionary who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year appeared before reporters Monday and appealed to the U.S. government to do its best to secure his release.

The missionary, Kenneth Bae, made the comments at what he called a press conference held at his own request. He was under guard during the appearance. It is not unusual for prisoners in North Korea to say after their release that they spoke in similar situations under duress.

Wearing a gray cap and inmate's uniform with the number 103 on his chest, Bae spoke in Korean during the brief appearance, which was attended by The Associated Press and a few other foreign media in Pyongyang.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPrison/Prison MinistryPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaNorth Korea

0 Comments
Posted January 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beijing's skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season's first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with the concentration of toxic small particles registering more than two dozen times the level considered safe.

The air took on an acrid odor, and many of the city's commuters wore industrial strength face masks as they hurried to work.

"I couldn't see the tall buildings across the street this morning," said a traffic coordinator at a busy Beijing intersection who gave only his surname, Zhang. "The smog has gotten worse in the last two to three years. I often cough, and my nose is always irritated. But what can you do? I drink more water to help my body discharge the toxins."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & TechnologyTravelUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Netherlands nudged past France and Switzerland as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food, while the United States and Japan failed to make it into the top 20, a new ranking released by Oxfam showed.

Chad came in last on the list of 125 nations, behind Ethiopia and Angola, in the food index released on Tuesday by the international development organisation.

"The Netherlands have created a good market that enables people to get enough to eat. Prices are relatively low and stable and the type of food people are eating is balanced," said Deborah Hardoon, a senior researcher at Oxfam who compiled the results.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAfricaAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaEngland / UKEurope

1 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Everyone knows that Indian Partition was a very bloody affair, but how many of us can name the man given the responsibility of laying the groundwork for it? In July 1947 Prime Minister Clement Attlee appointed Cyril Radcliffe, a barrister, to the task of drawing the boundary lines between the two new sovereign states of India and Pakistan. There had been riots in the country and the British were looking for as orderly an exit from empire as possible.

The guiding principle, crudely, was that as many Hindus and Sikhs as possible should remain within India’s redrawn borders, while the newly created Pakistan would be home to the majority of Muslims. There was the additional problem of populous Calcutta and Bengal in the East. Radcliffe, absurdly, had five weeks to accomplish this: Independence was set for August 15.

Howard Brenton’s new play Drawing the Line, which has been playing to full houses at the Hampstead Theatre (the curtain comes down with a live-stream performance this Saturday, available on a certain newspaper’s website), focuses on Radcliffe as he struggles with an impossible assignment in a country he has never until now visited, pulled in different directions by representatives from Jawaharlal Nehru’s Congress Party and Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureTheatre/Drama/Plays* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistanEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Amid conflicting news reports over changes to the one-child family planning policy in China, disturbing reports continue to arrive about serious abuses of human rights.

On Dec. 31 the BBC reported that a Chinese obstetrician is on trial, accused of stealing newborn babies and selling them to child traffickers.

Zhang Shuxia was accused of selling seven babies, according to the BBC. Apparently she told the parents their infants were sick, and persuaded them to give the children to her.

Just the day before, Radio Free Asia reported that four Uyghur women in China's north-western region of Xinjiang have been forced by authorities to undergo abortions—one of them nine months into her pregnancy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Months after super typhoon Hayaan destroyed large parts of the Philippines, many survivors say prayer got them through the storm and the difficult times afterwards. “The comment that I have heard is that God can send the cyclone here because the Filipino people are so strong that we can overcome even a storm this strong,” says Catholic Relief Services emergency coordinator Elizabeth Tromans.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In much of the world this is a time of new beginnings. In Afghanistan, it is time to mark the beginning of an end: A dozen year commitment of foreign troops to fight the Taliban will wind down this year, meaning 51,000 American soldiers are poised to take their leave from a conflict that appears to be stumbling towards a stalemate, or worse.

The Afghanistan mission has been the longest military engagement in American history. For Canada, which saw 30,000 of its soldiers pass through the country over nine and a half years, it is the largest military operation since the Second World War. One hundred and fifty-eight Canadian soldiers and four civilians died, and by the end of 2010, a total of 1,859 military members had been wounded.

Those grim figures are just part of the reason why Afghanistan’s future should still matter – to Canada and its allies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistanCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Emmanuel, God with us, who didst make thy home in every culture and community on earth: We offer thanks for the raising up of thy servant Samuel Azariah as the first indigenous bishop in India. Grant that we may be strengthened by his witness to thy love without concern for class or caste, and by his labors for the unity of the Church in India, that people of many languages and cultures might with one voice give thee glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted January 2, 2014 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India’s one-year-old Aam Aadmi party, formed by a former tax official turned crusading anti-corruption activist, announced on Monday that it will form the local government in New Delhi, after a stunning electoral debut that tapped into public anger against India’s incumbent political elites.

Like Italy’s Five Star Movement led by comedian come politician Beppe Grillo, the AAP is an electoral insurgency, which has tapped into deep Indian disgruntlement – especially among its urban educated voters – at the lack of accountability of established politicians, many of whom seem to treat electoral victories as blank cheques.

The strong wave of support for the party, which has managed to capture 30 per cent of the city’s vote, has shocked and dismayed the political establishment, and triggered near euphoria among disillusioned urban voters hoping for radical change.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Asian continent has two majority-Christian nations. One, obviously, is the Philippines. Few nonspecialists would know the other example: East Timor. Lying between Australia and Indonesia, it is one of the world’s newest countries—in fact the first new nation of the present century. East Timor is also definitively Christian, with a reported Catholic population of 97 percent. Those bare-bones facts, though, conceal a heroic and often dreadful history, recalling one of the world’s worst atrocities of the late 20th century.

For centuries, East Timor was a Portuguese colony. (The word Timor simply means “east.”) In 1974, a leftist-led revolution in Portugal precipitated a global crisis at the height of the cold war. The Soviet Union and Cuba staged a massive move into Portugal’s African colonies, and the West feared that Timorese liberation forces might create a communist haven in the South Pacific. To prevent that disaster, the United States and its allies supported an Indonesian invasion of East Timor in late 1975.

Political takeovers can take many forms, but this was no simple case of a change of occupiers, with a set of new flags. During their occupation, from 1975 through 1999, the Indonesians ruled with hideous brutality.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAsiaEast Timor

1 Comments
Posted December 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some more active persecutors tell similar stories. “We harassed them and destroyed their houses. But they have no hatred or anger against us,” said Junos Digal, a member of the mob that attacked Christian targets. Squatting on a mat, with a Bible in front of him, he continued: “They are still suffering. But they have no complaints and they are living happily. There is certainly something special about how their faith enables them to overcome difficulties. This has brought me here. If Jesus could influence people’s lives to such an extent, I would prefer to be a part of that faith,” Digal said.

Asked whether he was worried that other Hindu fundamentalists would not turn their ire toward him for betraying their cause, Digal gave an interesting reply: “Many of us were misled. Now they will accept the reality. I am not worried about that.” Junos's wife, Sailama, embraced Christian faith before he did. She said simply: “My conscience made me take this decision.” She too is unworried about a possible angry reaction from militant Hindus. “ God will protect us,” she says. “If we live, we live for Christ and if we die, we die for Christ.”

The entry of more than a dozen such new converts to their congregation brought joy and comfort to the Christians who had held to their faith amid persecution. “In our suffering, our faith has been strengthened,” said Jayanti Digal. “Even when we were suffering, our faith kept us going. Now we are glad that even those who attacked us have started embracing our faith,” she said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesOther FaithsHinduism

0 Comments
Posted December 16, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Delhi police...[Wednesday] cane-charged and water cannoned Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, several other bishops, nuns, pastors as they led a rally in Parliament Street demanding to end the discrimination against dalit Christians.

Several priests and nuns and lay leaders were injured badly in the police action. Christian leaders then courted arrest and were taken to parliament street police station as they mached on defying police orders.

This is the first time after in1997, that Bishops and Church leaders have been arrested while protesting for dalit cause.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 14, 2013 at 7:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brian Pellot: Let’s start with some of your general impressions of North Korea. Very few foreign journalists have reported from there in recent years. Why did you go?

John Sweeney: North Korea is the darkest place on earth, both literally and metaphorically. You can actually see how dark the country is from space. It’s almost as if it isn’t even there. It’s also the darkest place I’ve ever been to in terms of information. I used to be a war reporter. I went to Ceaușescu’s Romania, Saddam’s Iraq, Gadhafi’s Libya. I’ve been to about a dozen tyrannies. In Iraq and Libya, I’d meet people who would let you know their government is full of ####. That didn’t happen in North Korea. It feels like bad science fiction there. It’s like walking inside the “The Matrix.” It’s really weird and creepy. I wanted to shed some light on this dark state to show how North Korea is using nuclear blackmail against the West. Behind the mask of this, there is an immense human rights tragedy unfolding.
- See more at: http://brianpellot.religionnews.com/2013/12/10/bbcs-john-sweeney-north-koreas-zombie-gods/#sthash.Woi7GkV8.dpuf

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaNorth Korea

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Persecution is growing because Christianity is growing in the places where people are persecuted,” said Todd Johnson of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Speaking during a Dec. 5 media call, he characterized anti-Christian persecution as “growing fast.” His research estimates that one in five Christians, 500 million people, currently live in countries where Christians are likely to be persecuted. By 2020, their numbers are expected to rise to 600 million, 25% of the Christian population.

Johnson noted that the Christian population has significantly shifted from Europe and North America to the “Global South”: Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaAsiaSouth America

0 Comments
Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shanghai warned children and the elderly to stay indoors for at least a seventh day out of the first nine this month, intensifying pressure on local authorities to control the worst smog since government monitoring began last year.

The city’s air quality index was at 238, or “heavily polluted” at 5 p.m., according to the local monitoring center. A warning to stay indoors is triggered any time the index exceeds 200. The index surged to a record 482 on Dec. 6 into the “severe” level, the highest of a six-tier rating system, according to the China Daily. That prompted the government to order cars off the road and factories to cut production.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

2 Comments
Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China’s yuan overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in 2013, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

The currency had an 8.66 percent share of letters of credit and collections in October, compared with 6.64 percent for the euro, Swift said in a statement today. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and Australia were the top users of yuan in trade finance, according to the Belgium-based financial-messaging platform. The yuan’s share of global trade finance was 1.89 percent in January 2012, while the euro’s was 7.87 percent, Swift said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCurrency Markets* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A World Medical Mission team prays over medical kits as they are assembled and shipped to the Philippines. Take a look.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Police in the central province of Henan arrested the pastor Zhang Shaojie, leader of the Church of Nanle County , and more than 20 Christian staff and faithful. The authorities have not stated the reason for detention, but some sources speaking to ChinaAid argue that the pastor has "angered" the authorities for the defense of his faithful against the abuses committed by Communist officials.

Zhang is part of the Three-Self Movement, the "official" Protestant Church built by Mao Zedong in the early years of his government.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Four years later, of course, Jeremy Lin is a brand name and a phenomenon, having burst into fame with the Knicks last year and gone on to a lucrative free-agent contract with the Houston Rockets. Just the other night, he put up 21 points at Madison Square Garden in a victory over his former team.

As for the documentary, “Linsanity” has been shown on the festival circuit and in art houses, and is now moving into the download and DVD part of its cinematic life. At one level, the film is a quintessential saga of sporting triumph, with Lin as the perpetual underdog who defies every doubter and conquers every challenge to achieve his dream.

In a deeper way, though, “Linsanity” brings to a mass audience not just an Asian-American sports star, but an Asian-American Christian. The film shows Lin not only tossing in three-pointers and piercing down the lane, but also repeatedly speaking of divine direction, divine intercession, divine will.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & CultureSports* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Asia* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan flocked to ruined churches on Sunday, kneeling in prayer under torn roofs as the Philippines faced an enormous rebuilding task from the storm that killed at least 3,681 people and displaced 4 million.

At Santo Niño Church, near the waterfront in the flattened city of Tacloban, birds flitted between the rafters overhead as women moved through the pews with collection plates. At the end of mass, the Roman Catholic congregation broke into applause.

Rosario Capidos, 55, sat crying in one row, hugging her nine-year-old grandson, Cyrich.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All Girls Allowed (AGA), a leading faith-based organization pushing for an end to the one-child policy, previously stated on Nov. 5 that "all previous speculations about a possible relaxation of China's One-Child Policy have now been put to an end, as the Ministry of Health and Family Planning announced on October 29th that the policy will remain unchanged."

Today, AGA released a new statement:

All Girls Allowed welcomes the news of the policy's relaxation, but expresses disappointment that the Chinese government has not gone the logical and compassionate route—abolishing the policy altogether. ... [T]he greatest indictment against the One-Child Policy is the use of coercion in its enforcement. Untold numbers of forced abortions and sterilizations continue to take place to this day, making it the greatest violence against women and children in the world today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted November 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bible is "the most dangerous book on Earth," George Bernard Shaw famously warned a century ago. Today, Shaw's words ring true—literally—for the 24 million people of North Korea. Possession of a Bible is a one-way ticket to the gulag or worse.

The worst came true this month for a handful of North Koreans who were caught with Bibles, which are outlawed by the communist regime. The Christians were among a group of 80 North Koreans who were executed by firing squad on Sunday, Nov. 3, according to a report in the South Korean daily, JoongAng Ilbo. Those put to death also included North Koreans accused of watching South Korean DVDs that had been smuggled into the North, or of distributing pornography. The ruling Kim family regime controls every aspect of citizens' lives, including what information reaches them from the world outside North Korea's borders. Bibles, foreign DVDs, the Internet, cellphones that can make international calls—all are banned.

The executions were public and took place in seven cities across the country, according to the JoongAng Ilbo.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaNorth Korea* TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted November 15, 2013 at 10:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China will loosen its decades-old one-child policy by allowing two children for families with one parent who was an only child and will abolish a much-criticized labor camp system, its ruling Communist Party said Friday.

The changes were part of a key policy document released by the official Xinhua News Agency following a four-day meeting of party leaders through Tuesday in Beijing. The document also seeks to map out China's economic policy for coming years.

The labor camp — or "re-education through labor" — system was established to punish early critics of the Communist Party but now is used by local officials to deal with people challenging their authority on issues including land rights and corruption.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPrison/Prison Ministry* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

1 Comments
Posted November 15, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The mission agency Us is the latest in a series of Anglican agencies raising funds to help people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

In a statement issued today, the UK-based agency appealed for donations to help them provide food, water, sleeping bags and blankets, plastic sheeting and materials for housing.

"Donations will also fund a long-term rehabilitation programme that will include helping farmers to start growing crops again.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

0 Comments
Posted November 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent a message of prayer and solidarity to all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

'We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of thousands of lives and of the suffering of millions' caused by the storm, Archbishop Justin Welby said today.

'Our prayers are with all those who are traumatised by the disaster and in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical attention.'

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

0 Comments
Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As authorities in this typhoon-ravaged nation struggled Tuesday with a mammoth relief effort, survivors were becoming increasingly desperate, short on food and supplies and terrified about waiting longer for help.

A few residents of hard-hit areas scrawled signs with a simple message: “Help us.”

About five days after the once-in-a-century winds of Typhoon Haiyan gashed the central Philippines, some aid workers said progress has been too slow. Many who want to help are waiting at airports and air bases, hoping to catch rides from the short-handed Philippine military.

Read it all.


Filed under: * General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

2 Comments
Posted November 13, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The head of the Red Cross in the Philippines has described the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan as "absolute bedlam".

Officials estimate up to 10,000 people have died in Tacloban city and elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

Rescue efforts are being hindered by damage to roads and airports.

Read it all.

Filed under: * General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first day of the British royals' visit to Mumbai was marked by gaiety, the second by solemnity. On Sunday, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attended Remembrance Day service for martyred soldiers at the Anglican Afghan Church in Colaba.

The prince's mother Queen Elizabeth is the supreme governor of the Church of England which is Anglican.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted November 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Consider giving to local church organizations in the Philippines that are capable of handling donations and capable of empowering local churches, such as the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches or Philippine Relief and Development Services.

Affiliating with international aid organizations that have established relationships and resources (such as the Micah Network, Integral Alliance, World Relief, World Vision, and Samaritan's Purse) is another way you can ensure you will help rather than hurt.

Overall, our research has found that one of the most effective ways to help after a disaster is to make financial contributions to recognized aid organizations. Financial contributions make sure that the right assistance is available at the right time.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit Organizations* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines

0 Comments
Posted November 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The dean of St John's Cathedral must curb plagiarism by its preachers by setting up strict guidelines and a committee to investigate the practice, a Baptist University academic says.

The call from Chan Sze-chi, a senior lecturer in the school's religion and philosophy department, comes amid new evidence of plagiarism by several senior priests at the Anglican cathedral and its affiliate, Emmanuel Church, in Pok Fu Lam.

Reverend John Chynchen delivered a sermon at St John's Cathedral in August that was written by an American pastor in 2004 and published on a website called Sermons That Work.

Read it all and for those interested the website for the Cathedral in Hong Kong is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted November 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Justin Welby hailed the church’s ‘pioneering’ work with refugees and migrants, which he said offered ‘leadership to the whole Anglican Communion’.

He was spending two days in Hong Kong at the start of a 10-day visit to Anglican Primates in the region, which will also include Japan and Korea.

The Archbishop is visiting every Primate in the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office, so that he can get to know each of them in their local context, personally and professionally, in order to foster friendship and mutual understanding.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* International News & CommentaryAsia

0 Comments
Posted October 29, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. and Afghan politicians are in the middle of a heated debate over whether a small American and NATO force will remain in Afghanistan at the end of next year.

But what's a political and strategic question at the negotiating table is an emotional question at bases around Afghanistan, where soldiers watch the discussions with one eye on their sacrifices over the past 12 years and the other on the American withdrawal from Vietnam four decades ago.

In short, they don't want to go home without the win.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorismWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistanPakistan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 28, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ai Aoyama is a sex and relationship counsellor who works out of her narrow three-story home on a Tokyo back street. Aoyama, 52, is trying to cure what Japan's media calls sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome". Japan's under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren't even dating, and increasing numbers can't be bothered with sex.

Japan's under-40s won't go forth and multiply out of duty, as postwar generations did. The country is undergoing major social transition after 20 years of economic stagnation. It is also battling against the effects on its already nuclear-destruction-scarred psyche of 2011's earthquake, tsunami and radioactive meltdown. There is no going back. "Both men and women say to me they don't see the point of love. They don't believe it can lead anywhere," says Aoyama. "Relationships have become too hard."

Japan's punishing corporate world makes it almost impossible for women to combine a career and family, while children are unaffordable unless both parents work. Cohabiting or unmarried parenthood is still unusual, dogged by bureaucratic disapproval.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologySexualityYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissionsSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted October 19, 2013 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On 22nd of September 2013, around 500 persons gathered for Divine Sunday Service including another 64 children who were present in the Sunday School Center in the Church compound. Two suicide bombers entered in the compound and exploded themselves while the worshipers were coming out at the end of the Service at All Saints Church, Kohati Gate in Peshawar.

This city is the Provincial head and a main town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which has borne the brunt of a bloody Islamist insurgency in recent years.

This bloody blast took almost 130 lives and injured 169 persons. 120 People are still in the different hospitals. 12 women become widows, 24 children become orphan and amongst them 18 children lost both parents.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Long queues of people waiting to go to church, sermons broadcast on loudspeakers in a busy public place…these are two of the many extraordinary things that I witnessed on a recent visit to China.

I travelled there with Bible Society colleagues from 7 different countries at the invitation of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). It was an important official visit to cement our already good relationship with SARA, which has enabled us to work closely with the Church in China to print more than 100 million Bibles at the Amity Printing Press in Nanjing since 1987.

From Beijing to Nanjing and then onto Shanghai we spent time talking to officials from SARA and meeting key Chinese Church leaders from the Three Self Patriotic Movement/China Christian Council (China’s Protestant Church) and the Catholic Church. It was fascinating to hear about the incredible growth of Christianity in China, in part fuelled by the wider availability of Bibles.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

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Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia's appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah - as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaMalaysia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

1 Comments
Posted October 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A senior Chinese official has warned that the "clock is ticking" to avoid a US default that could hurt China's interests and the global economy.

China, the US's largest creditor, is "naturally concerned about developments in the US fiscal cliff", vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said.

Washington must agree a deal to raise its borrowing limit by 17 October, or risk being unable to pay its bills.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 Stock MarketThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetThe National DeficitForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

2 Comments
Posted October 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Christian nun who became the first woman bishop of South Asia’s Anglican community said that so far her appointment has silenced critics who believe only men can play leadership roles in the church.

Speaking on the phone from the Nandyal diocese in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, the Revd Eggoni Pushpalalitha, who was appointed a bishop of the Church of South India on Monday, said she faced bias against women in leadership roles “but only until my consecration.”

“Those who used to talk about it are now touching my feet,” said the 57-year-old bishop, who holds degrees in economics and divinity, referring to an Indian custom of showing respect.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Having young Anglicans arrange and run their own camps could be the answer to an ageing Church population, according to a Japanese bishop.

Bishop of Kobe The Rt Revd Andrew Yatuka Nakamura, told ACNS that his diocese is seeing more young people going on to ordained ministry, which goes against the general trend in Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Communion in Japan).

“We’re likely facing the same problem as other provinces of the Anglican Communion; an age problem,” he said, “and a lack of young people and children in the church. The congregation is generally 60 to 70 years of age.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

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Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We may not like it, but Christians are not God's 'favourites'; and we may like even less the fact that God loves terrorists as much as he loves well-behaved little me. This is not to suggest turning a glib, blind eye to evil or injustice, far from it; but it is to suggest that any Christianity worth preserving, defending or celebrating is (if at times with gritted teeth or a broken heart) to strive to forgive to the last breath.

"The last will be first and the first will be last", said Christ. A strident demand for Christianity to be pushed to the front of the queue in our present age may well turn out to be counterproductive. In the West Christendom had over a thousand years to make its point, its mouth close to the only microphone in town. In our global, post-Christian times a gentler, kinder voice will need to be used, and we may even thereby find a way of changing Terror itself into hope and reconciliation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted October 1, 2013 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that he reciprocated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sentiments on forging a new beginning but reiterated that the epicentre of terrorism was located in Pakistan.

Addressing the audience during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations, Singh said that state sponsored cross border terrorism was of particular concern to India.

“It is important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistan

0 Comments
Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Twin blasts in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar killed 33 people and wounded 70 on Sunday, a week after bombings at a church there killed scores, police and hospital authorities said.

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan

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Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a historic decision, the Church of South India appointed its first woman Bishop, who hails from a small village in Kurnool.

With her appointment Rev E Pushpalalitha becomes the first woman bishop of the Anglican family churches in South Asia, top CSI officials said.

"I am glad that the supreme authorities of the church chose me but more than that i am glad that the lord chose me," Rev Pushpalalitha told ...[the Times of India].

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted September 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has drawn attention to the fact that Christians in Peshawar were talking of forgiveness immediately after suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church on Sunday.
But he added that Christians in Peshawar are also ‘crying out vigorously’ for justice and protection following the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history.
The attack, which was launched as people were leaving Sunday Mass, killed 85 people and injured more than 120.
Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One today, the Archbishop described the bombing as ‘an absolutely appalling attack’ and called on Pakistan’s government to ensure that minority citizens are given proper protection and that all people are treated equally under its law.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of South India has today appointed its first woman bishop.

The Revd Eggoni Pushpalalitha was ordained in 1983 and has most recently been a priest in the Diocese of Nadyal in Andhra Pradesh.

Her appointment comes only days after the Church of Ireland elected its first woman bishop, the Revd Pat (Patricia) Storey as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With its Muslim-style minarets topped by a large black cross, the All Saints Church in Peshawar has for more than a century offered a daring architectural expression of Muslim-Christian harmony and cohabitation....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 25, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has asked for Communion-wide prayer following the suicide attack on a church in Pakistan that left than 78 dead and more than 100 injured.

In a letter to the Anglican Communion's Primates--its most senior bishops--Canon Kenneth Kearon wrote, "Messages of condolences have been coming in from around the Communion, and I write to ask you to consider requesting your parishes and dioceses to remember in prayer those who died or were bereaved and those who were injured or live in fear because of the tragedy."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations

0 Comments
Posted September 25, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has become an all too familiar narrative: Muslim militants in some majority Islamic country going out of their way to kill and intimidate the local Christian populace.

What happened this past Sunday in Pakistan, however, has shocked even the most jaded and cynical observers.

Peshawar’s All Saints Church is an Anglican parish that has existed since 1893. Around noon, after services this past Sunday, two suicide bombers, each wearing 13 pounds of explosives, forced their way past two police guards and detonated their devices. At least 83 people have died from the blast, including 34 women and seven children, with more than 175 people injured. The attack decimated entire families.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis Other FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Writing to the Church of Pakistan last night, the Archbishop said his heart 'goes out to all those bereaved and injured by this terrible attack....'I pray for the peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ's people. With the people of Peshawar I join in calling for the Pakistan Government and all people of good will to ensure that communities may go about their daily lives in safety, and that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Please be assured of my prayers and fullest support as you provide leadership and care for your people at this difficult time.'

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan

0 Comments
Posted September 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Burials have been taking place in the Pakistani city of Peshawar after a double suicide bombing killed at least 80 people at a church on Sunday.

It is thought to be the deadliest ever attack on Pakistan's Christians.

Two militant groups with links to the Taliban said they ordered the attack to retaliate against US drone strikes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

1 Comments
Posted September 23, 2013 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fighting between security forces and rogue Muslim rebels seeking to declare an independent state escalated in a southern Philippine city on Thursday and spread to a second island, officials said.

U.S.-trained commandos exchanged gunfire with a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) holding dozens of hostages in Zamboanga City, on the southernmost island of Mindanao, army spokesman Domingo Tutaan said.

The violence illustrates the security challenge potential investors face in the impoverished south of the majority Roman Catholic country despite a strong nationwide economic performance in the second quarter.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaPhilippines* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

0 Comments
Posted September 12, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An Indonesian pastor remains in a tortured psychological state as a legal case against him lingers on.

Palti Panjaitan, who runs the HKBP Filadelfia church in the village of Jejalen Jaya, east of Bekasi, was accused by an Islamic leader of assaulting him on Christmas Eve of last year.

The pastor has always maintained that he did not assault Abdul Aziz Bin Naimun and was in fact the subject of intimidation and death threats by his accuser.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndonesia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

0 Comments
Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mother Teresa is a profound example of someone who chose to follow Jesus’ example of love and concern by caring for the needs of people living in poverty in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa’s birthday today reminds us of her profound efforts of love, mercy, and kindness during her many years of service among the poorest of the poor.

Where did Mother Teresa find the strength and the ability to continue to serve in such a life-giving way for so many years? How did she develop her heart and love for the poor? And where did her strength of character and passion for service come from?....

The answers are found in the actions of her daily life, particularly in her regular devotion to prayer and entering into the presence of God by practices of the faith, most remarkably silence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPovertyWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Singapore’s government has ordered a prominent church to pay compensation to a former employee who was fired for alleged adultery, officials said last week.

The Faith Community Baptist Church has reportedly said it will abide by the order and pay the woman about $5,500 in salary and maternity benefits, but it insisted it was correct to dismiss her.

The woman, who handled administrative responsibilities for the church, filed a complaint to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower after she was fired last September.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAsiaSingapore* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 25, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On a sweltering Saturday night in Bangkok's Patpong entertainment district, a group of men spill out of a neon-lit bar blasting dance music. Among them is Aashif Hassan and his long-term partner, both visitors from Malaysia.

"We're celebrating tonight. Where we're from, it's illegal to be gay. Here we feel liberated," said Hassan.

Known for its laissez-faire attitude, Thailand has positioned itself as a holiday destination for gay couples and could soon be cashing in on another niche market if a proposed law makes it the first Asian country to legalise gay marriage.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaThailand* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 23, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he was concerned by growing religious intolerance in the country with world's largest Muslim population, which many analysts say his administration has failed to contain.

Indonesia has recently seen a series of increasingly violent attacks on religious minorities like Christians, Shia Muslims and members of Ahmadiyah, a small Islamic sect which is considered heretical by mainstream Muslims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndonesia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

0 Comments
Posted August 19, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For more than two years, [Shusaku Tani]... has come to a small room, taken a seat and then passed the time reading newspapers, browsing the Web and poring over engineering textbooks from his college days. He files a report on his activities at the end of each day.

Sony, Mr. Tani’s employer of 32 years, consigned him to this room because they can’t get rid of him. Sony had eliminated his position at the Sony Sendai Technology Center, which in better times produced magnetic tapes for videos and cassettes. But Mr. Tani, 51, refused to take an early retirement offer from Sony in late 2010 — his prerogative under Japanese labor law.

So there he sits in what is called the “chasing-out room.” He spends his days there, with about 40 other holdouts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 19, 2013 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all (For those not following this, the original blog post may be found there).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaSouth Korea

0 Comments
Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Malaysia is clamping down on Shi'ism, the second branch of Islamic orthodoxy, in a move that appears to have both religious and political overtones.

The nationwide crackdown began last month with the ban of local Shi'ite group Pertubuhan Syiah Malaysia. The same month, state governments gazetted a 1996 fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council that declared Shi'ism deviant and therefore haram or impermissible.

There is also a witch hunt that has been going on for Shi'ite believers in four universities in Selangor and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, as well as in the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaMalaysia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted August 10, 2013 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...few sites are noting that IBT has significant ties to David Jang, the Korean pastor hailed by some of his followers as a messianic figure, a "Second Coming Christ."

Christianity Today published two major articles on Jang last year, quoting multiple sources who described an international network with Jang as its spiritual—and sometimes even operational—leader.

Jang has been a controversial figure in Asia since 2008, when a committee of Hong Kong theologians and church leaders "unanimously expressed its serious apprehensions and concerns." His views and influence continue to be debated in South Korea and in the U.S. And last year, the National Association of Evangelicals appointed a committee to determine "theological compatibility" between the Jang-founded Olivet University and the Southern Baptist Convention's LifeWay Christian Resources. The findings of that committee have not been publicly released, but after reviewing the committee's report LifeWay officials withdrew from plans to sell a 2,100-acre New Mexico conference center to the school.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth Korea

1 Comments
Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country's private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills—and he is in high demand.

Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students' online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).

"The harder I work, the more I make," he says matter of factly. "I like that."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth Korea

0 Comments
Posted August 3, 2013 at 9:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition scored a decisive victory in an election on Sunday -- so big that there are suspicions he will lose interest in difficult economic reforms and pursue his nationalist agenda instead.

The victory in the vote for parliament's upper house gives Abe a stronger mandate for his prescription for reviving the stagnant economy. Ironically perhaps, it could also give lawmakers in his own party, some of whom have little appetite for painful but vital reforms, more clout to resist change.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

0 Comments
Posted July 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last month I boarded a train with my wife, Tsering Woeser, a Tibetan poet and activist, to travel from Beijing to Lhasa, Tibet, where her mother lives. Plainclothes police were waiting for us at the platform in Lhasa. They ushered us to a nearby police station, where they spent an hour going through our belongings. They were thrilled to find in my backpack a “probe hound,” as we call it in Chinese — a little electronic device that can detect wireless eavesdropping. They asked me why I, a writer, was carrying it. I told them I needed to know whether my home in Lhasa was being monitored.

They confiscated the device.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted July 20, 2013 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

People around the globe believe that China will inevitably replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower, but that doesn’t mean they like the prospect, according to a new study on global attitudes.

The survey that the Pew Research Center conducted in 39 countries confirms much of the conventional wisdom in Washington about the shifting balance of power between the United States and China.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In many ways, the war in Afghanistan is one of ideas, of narrative, of whose story is credible, says U.S. Army Major Dawud Agbere.

If that’s true, Agbere could be the most dangerous U.S. soldier that the Taliban face.

And he doesn’t even carry a gun.

Agbere, 45, is the only active-duty Muslim U.S. Army chaplain in Afghanistan and one of just four in the Army.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistan* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New protesters arrive every couple of minutes at the unmarked gates of the Ministry of Health in Beijing, coming in the faint hope that the national authorities will be able to help where their local hospitals and clinics have failed.

One young mother carries a tattered notebook full of medical records, baby ultrasounds and official letters. She says she is trying to get treatment for her son, now aged eight, who has organ damage after drinking toxic infant formula as a baby. Another young woman unfurls graphic pictures of her injuries after a violent beating by police, and says she is here to protest against a local hospital that refused to treat her.

Extreme underfunding and overcrowding mark the Chinese medical system. Its dysfunctions also spawn rampant abuses and corruption that can make it a treacherous place for drug companies. As pressures rise on the Chinese government to act over poor healthcare quality and rising healthcare costs, officials have embarked on round after round of crackdowns and investigations into hospitals, doctors and drug companies.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

These photos might cause a double-take. Look closely: These white balls of fur aren't puppies, or lambs, they're lion cubs. And they're adorable. The rare white color is due to a recessive gene.

Seven of the cubs were born in captivity to three South African mama lions since last month.

Read it all and look at all twelve pictures.

Filed under: * General InterestAnimals* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2013 at 5:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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