Asia Pacific Topics

Pope Francis on a mission to tap booming Asian industry: Christianity

A nighttime landing at Seoul’s Gimpo Airport offers a cityscape heartening to any Christian proselytizer, with neon red crosses sprinkled across the capital marking the presence of churches. The scene in a Buddhist-majority nation that once tortured thousands of Christians to death helps explain why Pope Francis chose South Korea ...

Materialism a tough sell for Pope in South Korea

Aug 17, 2014

Materialism a tough sell for Pope in South Korea

Pope Francis’ appeal in South Korea for Catholics to combat the allure of materialism might be a hard sell in the newly rich and hypercompetitive country. Far from being considered an evil, the trappings of wealth are often linked there to the hard work, ...

Aug 15, 2014

India sets age limit for Krishna birthday pyramids

India’s top court said Thursday that children as young as 12 can climb atop towering human pyramids in a popular Hindu celebration that has seen deaths and injuries in past years. Devotees celebrate the birthday of the child god Krishna each August by forming ...

India right-wing party says rape charges now 'fashionable'

Aug 3, 2014

India right-wing party says rape charges now 'fashionable'

Indian right-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena said Saturday filing sexual assault charges has “become a fashion” in an article backing a police officer accused of rape. The hard-line Hindu nationalist outfit, based in western Maharashtra state and a key ally of Prime Minister Narendra ...

Beijing court hears gay 'conversion' case

Aug 1, 2014

Beijing court hears gay 'conversion' case

A Beijing court Thursday heard a landmark case on “gay conversion” treatment, while outside the courtroom an activist in a nurse’s uniform knelt over a patient, wielding a giant needle. “Homosexuality doesn’t need to be cured!” chanted supporters. “Haidian Court, oppose conversion therapy!” Homosexuality ...

Chinese reserve bigger parking spaces for women

Jul 20, 2014

Chinese reserve bigger parking spaces for women

The parking spaces outside a Chinese shopping mall are distinctive: marked out in pink, sign-posted “Respectfully reserved for women,” and around 30 cm wider than normal. The slots at the Dashijiedaduhui — or “World Metropolis” — center have sparked debate in China, which officially ...

Jul 12, 2014

Singapore backs call to destroy gay-themed books

A children’s book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York’s zoo has been deemed inappropriate by state-run Singapore libraries, and the conservative city-state’s information minister said he supports the decision to destroy all copies alongside ...