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
Muslim leaders warn on Valentine's Day
Church counters claim Christianity to blame for day's 'vices'
- ucanews.com reporter, Penang & Bangkok
- February 11, 2011
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) today issued a statement saying ‚ÄúChristians in Malaysia vehemently deplore and are hurt by public statements made recently which link Valentine‚Äôs Day to sin and Christianity.‚ÄĚ
Yesterday the youth wing of the Council of Churches Malaysia issued a statement expressing ‚Äúdeep disappointment‚ÄĚ with Islamic motivational speaker Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood in her ‚Äúderogatory and irresponsible remarks that were aired on national television and subsequently circulated on Youtube.‚ÄĚ
In a talk show entitled ‚ÄúValentine‚Äôs Day: Forbidden in Islam,‚ÄĚ Siti warned Muslim youths not to celebrate Valentine‚Äôs Day, February 14.
But the CFM said: ‚ÄúStatements which have a tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility against any particular religious community cannot and should not be tolerated... It is not a Christian festival celebrated by the church today.‚ÄĚ
Father Michael Chua, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, explained Valentine's Day's ‚Äúcelebration by the public is very much within the domain of secular (Westernised) culture and has nothing to do with the Christian faith.‚ÄĚ
The CFM statement also says ‚Äú we do not believe in nor practise the moral policing of individuals and groups in our society. The Church in Malaysia has always advocated that we should educate and teach the beliefs and tenets of our faith .‚ÄĚ
Earlier, the youth wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said it will crack down on sinful and immoral activities on Valentine‚Äôs Day.
Not all Muslims support this action. Akmal Arrifin, a Muslim musician in his 40s, consider the issue trivial. A crackdown will not look good on ‚Äúmodern‚ÄĚ Muslims, he said.
Valentine‚Äôs Day branded un-Islamic in protest
Youth groups tackle Valentine‚Äôs Day woes