China defends pandemic travel curbs after Indian envoy hits out at ‘unscientific approach’
China defends pandemic travel curbs after Indian envoy hits out at ‘unscientific approach’
Beijing has defended its

travel curbs as scientific and proportional after India’s ambassador to China called for a more “balanced and sensitive approach” on issuing visas to Indians.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Monday also said the rules were to protect people and applied not just to Indians but to all, including Chinese citizens.
“China has no other way but to adopt a series of management measures that have been evolving according to the development of the pandemic to ensure the safe and orderly flow of both Chinese and foreigners,” she said. “China has adopted a scientific, professional and proportional pandemic control approach.”
Hua was responding to Thursday’s remarks by Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri, who said some .

some

went beyond politics, pointing to the thousands of Indian nationals who are stranded and unable to return to China because of its tough visa rules.

He called for a separation of politics and trade, amid strained relations over an

and geopolitical tensions.

“Far less complex issues, which have a purely humanitarian context and are not connected to bilateral diplomatic stances, such as facilitating the movement of students, businesspersons and stranded family members from India to China for over a year and a half now, await a more balanced and sensitive approach,” Misri said during a virtual dialogue on bilateral relations organised by Sichuan University.
“I might add here that India has also attempted to keep our trade and commercial relationship insulated from current differences, for instance by continuing to issue visas to Chinese businesspersons to visit India,” he said.
“However, we are disappointed to see an unscientific approach with regard to several problems currently being faced by Indian students, businessmen, marine crew and exporters, to name a few.”
New Delhi is not alone in pressing Beijing to ease its stringent border restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, with other countries also urging China to reciprocate on visa policy as the rest of the world slowly reopens.
Sun Weidong, China’s ambassador to India, urged New Delhi to maintain its “strategic autonomy”. Photo: Twitter

Sun Weidong, China’s ambassador to India, urged New Delhi to maintain its “strategic autonomy”. Photo: Twitter

On the Himalayan border dispute, Misri said talks had seen “significant progress on the ground” in terms of disengagement, and expressed hope that further disengagement would enable the two sides “to reach a point where we can pick up the threads of bilateral cooperation”.
Relations have been tense since Chinese and Indian troops engaged in deadly hand-to-hand fighting on their border in the western Himalayas in June last year. At least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers died in the clashes – the deadliest in decades. It developed into a military stand-off and while soldiers have retreated from some sections of the frontier, the negotiations continue.
India later banned more than 200 Chinese apps for security reasons and there were calls for a consumer boycott of Chinese goods.
Also speaking on Thursday, China’s ambassador to India Sun Weidong agreed that bilateral relations should develop regardless of the border tensions, but urged India to maintain its “strategic autonomy”.
“Some countries have formed small, isolated groups to contain others out of ideological biases and a Cold War mentality … in fact, forming these groups won’t make one safer, and once one is on board someone else’s ship, control of the helm will be lost,” Sun said.
He added that he hoped India would not join “alliances” and that it be cautious on issues like Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea, all sensitive issues for Beijing.
China is concerned by India’s involvement in the Quad security grouping with the US, Japan and Australia, which Beijing sees as an attempt by Washington to counter its influence in the region.
Despite the tensions, two-way trade between India and China expanded by more than 5 per cent in 2020-21, according to the latest Indian commerce ministry data. China has also replaced the US as India’s largest trade partner. Trade between the two Asian economies hit US$86.4 billion in 2020-21, up from US$81.9 billion the year before, compared to US$80.5 billion between India and the US. This was largely driven by India importing medical goods from China, according to analysts.
sourced – scmp
Ven. Bhikku Sanghasena Honored with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award
Ven. Bhikku Sanghasena Honored with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award
By Shyamal Sinha

Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena. From religionworld.inThe famend religious chief and socially engaged Buddhist monk Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena has acquired the Seventh Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021 in recognition of his lifelong efforts to advertise peace and to foster the values of integrity, compassionate care, and social duty. The honour was conferred throughout the eleventh Worldwide Peace Convention in Ladakh on Tuesday, held in observance of the United Nations Worldwide Day of Peace.
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena is the spiritual director of the non-profit Mahabodhi International Meditation Center (MIMC) in Ladakh, northern India, the founder of the Mahakaruna Foundation, the Save the Himalayas Foundation, and spiritual advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).*

In a statement for the occasion shared with Buddhistdoor Global, Dr. Anthony Raju, chairman of the awarding organization, noted: “After perusing your credentials, most objectively and impartially, it remains our considered opinion that you have worked tirelessly and selflessly to put the Buddha’s teachings on loving-kindness and compassion into action through multifarious charitable humanitarian services and ancient Buddhist traditions. You have believed in peacefulness, humility, and innocence as the natural way of life, and your worthy example does inspire others especially the young generation toward certain remarkable achievements.

“Therefore, the National Governing Council, Board of Patrons & Board of Ambassadors has decided to honor you with our most coveted institutional and prestigious ‘Seventh Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021’ for your outstanding contributions to peace, harmony, protecting and promoting human rights, and services to humanity.”

Dr. Anthony Raju, advocate for the Supreme Court of Indi, chairman of the All-Indian Council of Human Rights, liberties and Social Justice, and member of the International Human Rights Advisory Council, with Dr. June Ann-Passanah, human rights and peace activist and social worker, visit the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre to discuss the 11th International Peace Conference and conferring the 7th Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021. Image courtesy of MIMCDr. Anthony Raju, advocate for the Supreme Court of Indi, chairman of the All-Indian Council of Human Rights, liberties and Social Justice, and member of the International Human Rights Advisory Council, with Dr. June Ann-Passanah, human rights and peace activist and social worker, visit the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre to discuss the 11th International Peace Conference and conferring the 7th Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021. Image courtesy of MIMC
Named after Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (1931–2015), an aerospace scientist and 11th president of India from 2002–07, the award is presented by the All-India Council of Human Rights, Liberties and Social Justice (AICHLS).

Previous recipients of the Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award are: His Holiness Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj (2020); Dr. Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2019); Most Rev. Dadi JankiJi, Chief of Brahmakumaris (2018); His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias (2017); His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj (2016, posthumous); and His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2015).

The 11th International Peace Conference was held at Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, the joint capital and largest city of the union territory of Ladakh, on 21 September. The conference was jointly organized by the AICHLS and the MIMC, in collaboration with the Ladakh Buddhist Association, the All Ladakh Gompa Association, Anjuman Imamia, Anjuman Moin-ul-Islam, Christian Community, Hindu Mahasabha and Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.

Dignitaries and guest speakers at the conference expressed agreement with the urgent need to work toward peace and harmony at the global level, and stressed the importance of overcoming narrow and rigid ideologies that lead to communal discord. They urged the development of a new vision for the world as a single interconnected family in which all religions and communities are respected equally.

Perched high on the Tibetan Plateau, Ladakh, which translates as the Land of High Passes, became the largest union territory in India in 2019 after the government reconstituted the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. Spread across some 59,146 mountainous square kilometers, much of which is desiccated and inhospitable, the culture and history of Ladakh is closely interwoven with that of Tibet—so much so that Ladakh is sometimes known as “Little Tibet.”

Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Center (MIMC) in Leh in 1986. He has since become an exemplar of socially engaged Buddhism, launching numerous projects, events, and initiatives, among them providing educational opportunities and refuge for underprivileged children, empowerment and literacy programs for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, healthcare for the sick and needy, and a care home for the aged and destitute. The MIMC has evolved into an expanding campus that has become a hub for a multitude of socio-cultural and community programs.

A WAVE OF ARSTERS AND DECLINATIONS OF CHURCHES RUN IN CANADA
A WAVE OF ARSTERS AND DECLINATIONS OF CHURCHES RUN IN CANADA

Over the past several weeks, more than 20 churches of various denominations in different provinces of Canada have been burned or vandalized, media reported.

On June 21, two Catholic churches (St. Gregory and the Sacred Heart of Jesus) burned down in the province of British Columbia: then the country celebrated National Day of Indigenous Peoples. Less than a week later, two Catholic churches (St. Anne and Our Lady of Lourdes) burned down at one hour intervals in the same province. All of them were located in the Indian communities living in western Canada. According to firefighters, the incidents were suspicious. At the site of one of the churches, traces of a flammable liquid were found. According to the priest who served in this church, it was an obvious arson. In his opinion, it was committed by provocateurs, and not by the Indians themselves.

On June 26, the porch of St. Paul in British Columbia on land owned by the Indians, but the fire was quickly extinguished. However, on the night of July 1, as a result of repeated arson, the church burned to the ground, and at the same time another Anglican church (St. Columba) in the same province, which was only slightly damaged, was set on fire.

It was also reported that since the beginning of June, at least three churches have been looted and desecrated in the western city of Vancouver. There was a video of how unknown persons in masks paint the buildings of the temples with orange and white colors.

Also on July 1, Canada Day, in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, a group of opponents of the former colonial policy, among whom, presumably, could be Indians, doused with paint and then knocked down from the pedestal statues of Queen Elizabeth II and Victoria, installed in front of the provincial legislature.

On the night of July 1 alone, attacks were carried out on 10 churches in the city with a population of one million Calgary in the province of Alberta in the south of the country. A day earlier, on June 30, a Catholic church near Edmonton, Alberta was completely burned down in an arson attack, CBC reported.

One of the affected churches in Calgary belonged to the African community, according to Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny. He noticed that only refugees prayed in this evangelical church, in whose homeland churches are constantly burned down and subjected to acts of vandalism. “These people came to Canada hoping to practice their faith freely here … For some of them, these attacks are a real trauma.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned church burning and vandalism in the country.

Police do not rule out the spike in violence could be linked to the recent discovery of the remains of hundreds of children – believed to be Indian children – near three former boarding schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, which were largely run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the state. Over the past two months, more than 1,100 remains of teenagers, including three-year-old children, have been found in unmarked graves (in the city of Kamloops, near the city of Cranbrook and in the village of Marival).

Indigenous children (more than 150,000 in total) were forcibly taken to such boarding schools for training and assimilation into Canadian society from the mid-19th century to the 1990s. These institutions were poorly funded, the buildings were dilapidated, unsanitary conditions reigned in them, and children were sometimes mistreated: according to some reports, there were cases of physical, psychological and sexual abuse, they were forbidden to speak their native language, and medical experiments could be carried out on them. As a result, children died of exhaustion, beatings, hunger and infectious diseases, never returning home. In 2008, a commission was formed to investigate incidents in boarding schools, and after its completion, the country’s authorities recognized the policy of forced assimilation and the activities of these schools as “cultural genocide” and officially asked for forgiveness from the indigenous people, promising them monetary compensation. This news shocked the country’s public, which demanded that excavations be carried out on the territory of the rest of the boarding schools.

According to the police, the desecrators of churches often leave the inscription “215” on their walls – this is how many unmarked graves were found on the site of the former boarding school in Kamloops. As of the end of June, no one had been arrested and no one had been charged. The investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the leader of one of the Indian communities told reporters that he was very angry and upset when he learned about the fires, adding that many in his community are members of the Catholic Church.

Some traditionalists blame the series of church pogroms on “ultra-left radicals and liberals” (of whom there are many in the media and government), who hate the Church and sow division in Canadian society. In their opinion, one should not rush to explain the arson by the anger of the Indians, and the recent discovery of the graves liberals could have chosen as a pretext for starting an anti-church campaign.

“This is a clear wave of hate crimes against the Church! Justin Trudeau, who usually reacts to everything first, was silent for a whole week and said only something like this: “It’s not good to do this.” The problem is that there is either silence from above or tacit support, ”said Ezra Levant, a right-wing political observer, writer, TV presenter and founder of Rebel News.

“Among the parishioners of the temples there are often representatives of indigenous peoples. They themselves ask: “Do not burn our temples.” This is the Canadian equivalent of Black Lives Matter supporters burning down African American businesses in their neighborhoods. I think these are dark days for religious freedom in Canada, ”he said.

On July 3, South Asian activist, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association executive director Harsha Walia, who works with feminist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist movements, tweeted “burn them all down,” referring to churches.

DECR CHAIRMAN SPEAKED IN WASHINGTON AT THE INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
DECR CHAIRMAN SPEAKED IN WASHINGTON AT THE INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

On July 14, 2021, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, made a report at the meeting of the International Summit on Religious Freedom, held in Washington (USA), Patriarchy.ru reports.

The meeting was attended by political, public and religious figures from all over the world, including representatives of Local Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, Ancient Eastern Churches and various Protestant denominations.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk was introduced to the event by David Currie, President of the human rights Christian organization The Open Doors USA, noting the numerous efforts made by the DECR chairman in the field of protecting Christians.

Expressing gratitude to the organizers of the summit and the leadership of the Open Doors organization for the invitation, Metropolitan Hilarion noted: “Today, in many countries, freedom of religion is being violated to one degree or another. In some regions of the world, Christians are killed, driven out of their homes, and their temples and shrines are desecrated. We are extremely worried about this situation. “

In his speech, the DECR chairman touched upon, in particular, the situation in the Middle East: “The rapid decline in the Christian population is noticeable even in those Middle Eastern countries where Christians and Muslims have lived together for centuries, such as in Lebanon. In Syria, in those regions that were captured by extremists, Christians were subjected to the most severe persecution. Similar processes are taking place in Iraq, where over the past 18 years the number of Christians has dropped from one and a half million to less than one hundred and fifty thousand. The Christian population has almost completely disappeared in Libya as well, ”the archpastor stated.

Metropolitan Hilarion noted that a similar situation is typical for those countries of the Middle East where the centuries-old balance between religious communities had been disturbed. “In some of these states, the existing regimes were overthrown with the use of external forces, after which the establishment of democracy was promised. However, there is still no democracy in either Iraq or Libya. This situation is extremely difficult for Christians, since they were the first victims of political cataclysms organized from outside, ”the archpastor said.

In his speech, Vladyka Hilarion stated that the center of persecution against Christians is gradually shifting to some African countries, in particular, Nigeria and Ethiopia, where adherents of the Christian religion are being killed and churches destroyed. “I would like to express the hope that the religious and human rights organizations represented here today will be able to form a united front to provide protection and assistance to persecuted Christians in the Middle East and North Africa,” the hierarch said.

Continuing his speech, the DECR chairman told the summit participants about the situation in Ukraine, where two religious groups with similar names call themselves Orthodox at once: Ukrainian Orthodox Church and “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”. Metropolitan Hilarion told those present that the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko tried to unite these two structures into one, but for a number of canonical and internal church reasons this turned out to be impossible. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk stated, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the largest Christian community in Ukraine.

“Having a canonical and spiritual connection with the Russian Orthodox Church, it is an autonomous and self-governing structure – both administratively and financially. Now this Church is effectively deprived of its rights. In particular, its churches are forcibly seized and transferred to another jurisdiction: more than 500 churches were seized or illegally re-registered. This is often done violently. In some localities, church communities are forced to pray in the open, sometimes knee-deep in snow, while the churches that rightfully belong to them remain under lock and key. These communities go to courts. The courts make decisions in their favor, but these decisions are not implemented, ”the archpastor said.

The DECR chairman focused on the laws that were adopted under President Poroshenko: “A law was passed according to which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be renamed the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, as if it were some kind of foreign organization representing the Russian Federation, while the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is the largest confession of Ukraine, includes millions believers, more than 12 thousand parishes and more than 250 monasteries. It also includes the largest monastic cloisters, such as the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. This Church consists of Ukrainians: its episcopate, clergy and parishioners were born in Ukraine and have Ukrainian citizenship. They are patriots of their country. “

Vladyka Hilarion also spoke about another law, which provides for the re-registration of religious communities from one jurisdiction to another, noting that Orthodox communities have no registered membership, therefore, in practice, any group can come to any city or village to demand that the jurisdiction of the church located there be changed. …

In conclusion of his speech, the DECR chairman called for the creation of a common front to defend the rights of believers in all countries of the world where these rights are violated.

How Adam died: the opinion of Muslims
How Adam died: the opinion of Muslims

In Islam, as in Christianity, Adam is considered the first person. How did he die, according to Muslims?

Muslim sources say that Adam lived for about a thousand years. Adam was the first man, so he had a strong connection with God. Adam lived righteously and knew when he would die: the date of his departure to another world was told to him by God himself.

Before his death, Adam made a will, according to which his son Shisu received the staff and the seal of his father. In addition, Adam gave his son the sacred texts on the scrolls. And Adam also asked his son to punish Kabil, as the Muslims call Cain.

When Adam died, and this happened without illness and suffering, angels flew in to show Shisu how to wrap his body in a shroud. This was the first funeral rite on Earth, according to Muslims. After the death of Adam, everyone was buried according to the ritual approved by the angels.

Power of Prayer and Positive Intention – For the Animals
Power of Prayer and Positive Intention – For the Animals

As we nurture the spirit of URI, let us renew the power of prayer and positive intention that unites our global community and awakens our hearts and souls. See the full series of posts here.

This beautiful prayer, written by Kiran Bali, United Religions Initiative Global Council Chair, calls our attention to honor and care for animals.

Kiran writes, “This prayer is important to me in recognizing the divine in all beings and spreading peace.” 

For the Animals

Dear Lord, as we look into these beautiful eyes,

So innocent, so longing, so very wise,

Help us relate to the ongoing injustice pain and fear,

That these unique, beautiful souls have to endear

Dear Lord, please extract our inner compassion,

Before we watch them slaughtered or skinned for fashion.

For the voiceless souls may we become a mouthpiece,      

To ensure violence against animals begins to cease.

Dear Lord, we are your instruments, through whom you work to

Ensure love and peace for all beings is applied and seen through; 

To experience the range of emotions in these beautiful animals

caring, giving, ever protecting, love which is infallible

Dear Lord, open our hearts and actions to their cries,

And strengthen our inner ability, empower us to empathize

When we see animals being mistreated, abused or hit,

It is indeed high time to call it out and swiftly report it.

Dear Lord, may we take action together and become more alert,  

No longer being mere spectators to their exploitation and hurt,

But ensuring animal care and protection is one of our goals, 

Joining hands to reduce the plight of these deep souls.

Dear Lord, may we see the divine in all living beings,

Transforming this blankness and glaring unseeing

Through actively becoming cruelty-free when shopping,

Leading the way as prime examples of plant-based living.

Dear Lord, as our love-filled action for animals begins to increase,

May their dignity and rightful presence be restored in our definition of peace.