Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Myanmar Muslim gets 26 years in jail
Attack on Buddhist woman sparked days of violence
A soldier cleans up a market gutted by fire after rioting in Lashio (Ye Aung Thu / AFP)
- AFP, Myanmar
- June 12, 2013
A Muslim man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for an attack on a Buddhist woman that sparked a fresh outbreak of religious violence last month in the former army-ruled nation, police said today.
The man, who has been described by state media as a 48-year-old drug addict, was convicted of intent to kill, assault and drug use by a court in Lashio in eastern Shan State yesterday, Police Major Moe Zaw Linn said.
The 24-year-old victim, a petrol vendor, suffered burns in the attack, which triggered Buddhist-Muslim riots in the town that left at least one person dead and saw a mosque and orphanage burned.
"We have arrested about 60 people found by security forces with sticks and knives during the violence," Moe Zaw Linn said, adding that the Muslim man was the first person to be convicted.
Several episodes of religious unrest -- mostly targeting Muslims -- have exposed deep rifts in the Buddhist-majority country and cast a shadow over widely praised political reforms since military rule ended two years ago.
In March dozens of people were killed in sectarian strife in central Myanmar, and thousands of homes were set ablaze.
Ten Muslims have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 28 years in connection with the March violence in the central town of Meiktila, where no Buddhists are yet known to have been convicted.
Communal unrest last year in the western state of Rakhine left about 200 people dead and 140,000 displaced, mainly Rohingya Muslims. AFP