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World news in brief

20 August 2021


Security and police forces stand on guard outside St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade, in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, where dozens of people were killed in one of a series of explosions in churches and hotels, on Easter Day in 2019

Security and police forces stand on guard outside St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade, in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, where dozens of people...

Cardinal criticises Sri Lanka bomb inquiry

THE RC Archbishop of Colombo, the Most Revd Malcolm Ranjith, has criticised the Sri Lankan government’s investigation of the bomb attacks that killed 269 people on Easter Day in 2019 (News, 26 April 2019), Vatican News reports. “It is clear from this procedure that, after such a long time, the government has no interest in finding out the truth about the attack, and they are going to cover it up and wash their hands,” he said. Last week, the Attorney General filed 23,270 charges against 25 people in connection with the attacks. Cardinal Ranjith suggested that this could be “an attempt to net the smaller fish and let the sharks go”. Last month, he sent a letter to the President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, about allegations that officials in the intelligence agencies knew and had met the attackers. He urged the country’s Catholics to raise a black flag on Saturday “as a strong symbol of the silent protest”.

Pope thanks author for highlighting exploitation

AN ITALIAN romance author, Maurizio Maggiani, who discovered that his books were printed by exploiting workers in Pakistan, has prompted Pope Francis to warn that “even literature — bread of souls and expression of the human spirit — is wounded by the voracity of exploitation which takes place in the shadows, wiping out faces and names.” Vatican News reports that Pope Francis was responding to a letter from Mr Maggiani published on the news site Il Secolo XIX that asked: “Is it worth producing beauty thanks to the work of slaves?” In his reply, the Pope wrote: “Publishing

Charity tells of discrimination against Christians in Vietnam

SIX Christian families in north Vietnam have said that they were refused water tanks in a government initiative to help villagers store rainwater, Open Doors reported this month. In a press release from the charity, a pastor reported that local officials had said: “You are Christians, we have no responsibility for you. Go, ask your church to help you. If you want to receive the aid, return to our culture, and worship our ancestors again. If you won’t, then do not expect to receive anything.” Rainwater is the main source of water for residents. Vietnam is designated a Country of Particular Concern by the US Secretary of State as a country guilty of severe violations of religious freedom.

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