St. Louis, July 1.– On a blistering June 27 in St. Louis, Mo. forces of good and evil clashed at the feet of a majestic statue of the city’s patron. Fueled by emotion over substance, around 150 Black Lives Matters (BLM) proponents cried obscene slogans to a tribal drumbeat demanding that the statue be torn down, despite its iconic status. Indeed, the statue is formally named: “The Apotheosis of Saint Louis.”
In the face of this, around 50 faithful Catholics arrived at noontime, to pray the rosary in unison, beseeching heaven to maintain the statue and thus, defend St. Louis’ Catholic heritage. Six or seven priests were among the faithful. The contrast between the two groups was razor-sharp.
El juez Promiscuo Penal Municipal de Pueblo Rico, municipio donde ocurrieron los hechos, decidió enviar a prisión a los soldados involucrados.
Bogotá, Jun.26 (EFE).– Los siete soldados acusados de violar a una niña indígena del pueblo embera-chamí en el departamento de Risaralda (centro) aceptaron cargos por el delito de acceso carnal abusivo, seis de ellos en calidad de autores y uno más como cómplice, informó este jueves el fiscal general, Francisco Barbosa.
«El día de hoy la Fiscalía General de la Nación le imputó cargos a siete soldados regulares que presentaban su servicio militar obligatorio (...) se les solicitó también medida de aseguramiento en establecimiento carcelario como presuntos responsables del delito de acceso carnal abusivo con menor de 14 años agravado», dijo Barbosa en una rueda de prensa en Cali (suroeste).
From South Africa to Rwanda to Guatemala, nations have confronted their ugly pasts with government commissions and panels that unearthed secrets and meted out judgment.
Pretoria, June 15.– In the 1990s, trauma came uninvited alongside the triumphant entry of democracy into parts of Africa, Latin America and elsewhere, along with the Soviet Union’s collapse. The oppressive machinery that eccentric dictators fine-tuned through human rights abuses continue to wreak havoc today.
South Africa, fresh from its abhorrent past as a haven of segregation regulated by the white-minority government, was the first to boldly confront that trauma headlong. Nelson Mandela, who served a 27-year jail sentence on his way to becoming the first president in the post-apartheid era, established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1994. Guatemala, Nigeria, Rwanda and other countries followed suit. Those countries’ experiences show that commissions are hardly a cure-all, but it’s a path worth considering as the United States encounters its own demons amid nationwide protests.
Xingjiang, June 7 (Reuters).– The fathers of Ershat Alimu and Yashar Hemdulla, who worked at the Ethnic Languages Committee, are among the 1.5 million internees in a "re-education" camp.
←photo: Huocheng (Xingjiang) "re-education" camp
Two examples of a repression of the Muslim minority that targets intellectuals, defenders of a cultural identity that the Chinese authorities want to see disappear.
Almost two years without news. Two years of uncertainty and worry. The last time Ershat Alimu was able to exchange a few words with his father, Alimu Hashani (1), dates back to July 30, 2018. That day, via WeChat (the Chinese WhatsApp), the father tells his son, who lives and works in France, why he made the trip from Urumqi, the capital of the Uighur autonomous region of Xinjiang (west), to Beijing.
This is a reality for more than 245 million Christians today. They often face physical violence towards themselves or loved ones or lose homes and jobs because of their faith in Jesus. But their burdens are not meant to be carried alone if we are able to show enough compassion and solidarity.
Christian persecution is intransigent and cruel in many parts of the world in this XXI Century. North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Mali, Somalia, are just a few among many places where Christians are persecuted, tortured and killed.
In many other places, such as Cuba or Vietnam, Christians are treated as second-class citizens, marginalized and discriminated against. Even in democratic countries where a rule of law prevails, campaigns are being carried out aimed at eradicating the idea of God from all aspects of public life, especially in his Christian concept, disregarding the inalienable right to religious freedom.
North Korea is among the worst cases of Christian persecution. The country has been No. 1 on Open Doors’ World Watch List —the annual list of the places in the world where it’s hardest to follow Jesus— for more than a decade. There are tens of thousands of Christians who are imprisoned or under arrest for their faith.
In spite of this cruel policy of repression, to “prove” they value freedom of religion, North Korea built four churches in the capital city of Pyongyang. But most observers say these “show churches” are in fact empty expressions of faith, and only exist to try to disguise North Korea’s brutal treatment of Christians. In one of them, the church leaders were comprised of North Korean intelligence officers who were baptized quickly and without any real knowledge of the Christian faith, and suddenly elevated to church leadership. On the other hand, materialistic indoctrination has carved itself so deeply into the minds of Koreans oppressed by a ruthless communist dictatorship that their views of reality have been cast into a purely materialistic mold, so the idea of an unseen God is incomprehensible for them.
However, when they have an encounter with Christian ideas, there is often a process of astonishment at facing a doctrine of peace, harmony and brotherly love that leads to conversion, but at the same time subjects them to the fear of being discovered and condemned to ruin, torture and death, a fate their unconverted relatives will also suffer.