Concern is growing among Catholic activists in India over repeated incidents of mob lynching in the eastern state of Jharkhand, which has a sizable tribal Christian population. The latest case was reported on May 6 when Shamim Ansari, a 45-year-old Muslim man who headed a village forest protection committee in Gumla district, was killed by a group of men for trying to stop them illegally felling trees.
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When great empires collapse, and when emperors lose touch with reality, trouble tends to follow. An eminent political historian is not shocked by current events in Ukraine. The present war in Ukraine is largely rooted in a Russian nostalgia for empire and in the territorial and geopolitical conflicts that usually erupt when great empires – of which the Soviet Union was a modern variant – collapse.
How might Russia as a nation respond to the calamity of Vladimir Putin’s decision to make war? Amid the present agony of Ukraine, the question may seem insensitively beside the point. But the answer could affect the length of that agony and, in any case, will determine the future direction of this troubled and troubling country.
Catholic bishops have called for unity among politicians to save Sri Lanka from becoming a failed state. "The country is fast approaching the precipice of a failed state that will in its wake inflict irreversible injuries on the people," the prelate said in a statement on behalf of bishops.
Vladimir Putin does not want to be remembered as the president who lost Ukraine, the most important state of the old Soviet Union, considered by Russian nationalists to be the original home of the Russian nation, the so-called “Kyivan Rus.” In 2014, without firing a shot, Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula and its important Black Sea naval base, which had been transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in February 1954. This alleged “reunification” was not recognized by the international community.
A veil of silence was historically drawn over atrocities committed by Italian soldiers in Ethiopia. Now, finally, the collective amnesia is lifting – revealing the complicity of the Catholic hierarchy in Mussolini’s deadly campaign. Hidden away inside one of highland Ethiopia’s greatest canyons, remote, silent and seemingly inviolate, the thirteenth-century Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church monastery of Debre Libanos beckons the faithful who want to renounce the world.
Saint John Paul II spoke about Divine Providence leading him, a Slav who had survived Nazism and Communism, to the papacy. His message to his fellow Poles was “Do not be afraid”. I have no doubt the Spirit he cried out for in Warsaw’s Victory Square in 1979 has now descended on Kharkiv and is coursing through the brave men, women and children of Ukraine. May they prevail.
Vladimir Putin may see himself as a strong and heroic leader but in the eyes of the world he is a warmonger and dictator.To make a strong gesture of protest, for the first time in living memory, a pope went to the embassy of another country to express deep concern and protest about the invasion of another country.
Twenty years after the election of Vladimir Putin as president of Russia, the country is at a crossroads, a critical juncture due to the invasion of Ukraine. The situation prior to the conflict was essentially positive. Despite strong state monopolies, Russia basically has a capitalist economic system and can operate much more efficiently than its predecessor, the USSR.
Above all, it was a matter of rebuilding mutual respect between countries that had humiliated each other, as well as between Ukrainians who have waged war on each other. The methods used were questionable, even if they were clothed in legality. Only mutual respect can guarantee peace.
For the foreseeable future, European and American leaders and diplomats will need to find new motivation and a good dose of courage to forge a new relationship. As in the Cold War, Russian policies and those of its present-day satellites like Belarus, will be an incentive to cooperation on security matters through NATO and other institutions of collective security. In this age of networks, moreover, academics, professionals, humanitarian and human rights organizations will also need to construct a fabric of transatlantic collaboration in ways that can sustain and enhance existing ties.
“Russia needs to be frozen”: these words, which are attributed to a 19th century thinker and also to a government official, best express the current intentions of those wielding power and of conservative ideologues in Russia. During the inauguration of a monument dedicated to Czar Alexander III – who on March 13, 1881, had succeeded the reformer Alexander II, killed by leftist terrorists – Putin claimed that he himself had given Russia 13 years of peace, not by making concessions, but by his firmness.
More and more often, decisions taken by the government of one country or the outcome of its political elections have consequences not only for the citizens of that country, but also for the lives of people living in other nations. An example of this is the crisis that has erupted between Belarus and the European Union. The presidential elections in 2020 were contested in unfair circumstances by the Belarusian opposition, and the European Union also expressed serious concerns. Now a complex scenario has emerged up that is not easy to resolve.
“Nobody knows how much I owe that man,” Primo Levi said of the Italian compatriot who saved his life at Auschwitz, adding: “I could never repay him.” He was referring to Lorenzo Perrone, a bricklayer from the Piedmontese town of Fossano, not far from Levi’s native Turin. Without him, Levi could not have written If This is a Man.
A new appetite for cryptocurrencies arose last year, and it has not diminished during this course of 2021. Why? These currencies are more secure, being now better supervised by the public authorities, but they still scare political leaders who react by imposing increasingly intrusive regulations. They are also looking to launch their own cryptocurrencies, the central bank digital currencies.
As we live through the tragic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is useful to reflect on the current vaccination process and, in particular, the innovative contribution of Pope Francis’ teaching and action. Michael Rozier, a Jesuit professor of health management and policy, has reflected on the importance of commitment to health care and identified three significant areas: traditional health care practice; public health; and global health.
Finally, the crisis of the U.S. democracy results from dysfunctions in its constitutional system. Compromise is presumed to be the way democracies do business. The U.S. Constitution had its origin in a number of compromises, but over time compromises can become weak points in the political process. Two such problematic arrangements contribute to the current crisis in American democracy.
Soon after World War II, the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, a legally binding multilateral treaty, defined who is a refugee, what rights they have, and established the obligations of nations in their regard. In the broader field of migration, however, apart from a convention on migrant workers, until now there has been no comparable international agreement regarding migrants in general.
The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) takes place from October 31 to November 12, 2021, at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, UK. It was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Extreme climate events are becoming more numerous and intense and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Working Group One has just published an alarming report. This conference, organized together with Italy, marks a crucial step in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. What can we expect?
For almost 25 years, the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has continued to make headlines for the large number of civilian victims and refugees. Today, the province of North Kivu has become the powder keg of Central Africa, trapped by a regional system of conflicts that has made Congo “the rape capital of the world.”