Japan
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Moving to the music

Music | In Japan, gospel music is a big hit—and an evangelistic tool
by Sophia Lee
Posted 10/25/18, 04:12 pm

Hips sway. Hands clap. Arms wave in the air, heels bounce, and faces lift up wide smiles as the choir belts out, “You are good, and Your mercy endures forever.” The audience smiles as it listens. Irresistibly, a toe starts tapping along to the beat, shoulders begin loosening, and heads begin bopping.

That’s the magic of gospel music. A synergy of vocals, facial language, and body movement, a genre of Christian music dating back to the late 19th century, when African-American churches in the U.S. South fused classic hymns with traditional African-American spirituals and beats.

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Associated Press/Photo by Ludivine Laniepce (file)

Suspected extremists kidnap priest in Niger

International | Al-Qaeda and ISIS increasingly terrorize the region
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/25/18, 05:19 pm

Extremists likely carried out last week’s kidnapping of an Italian priest from southern Niger, state and religious officials confirmed. The kidnapping is the latest in a growing number of extremism-fueled attacks in the western part of the country.

The Rev. Pierluigi Maccalli was kidnapped on Sept. 17 from the parish house in the village of Bomanga, near the Burkina Faso border, government spokesman Zakaria Abdourahmane confirmed.

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Pierre Boutier/Polaris/Newscom

Cruelly misled

Human Rights | To North Korea and back again: Kawasaki Eiko’s story
by Angela Lu Fulton
Posted 9/13/18, 02:59 pm

At age 17, Kawasaki Eiko boarded a ship from her home in Japan and headed to North Korea, a land depicted as paradise on earth with free education, healthcare, food, and ample jobs. The year was 1960, and Kawasaki and hundreds of other Zainichi Koreans—ethnically Korean residents in Japan—were desperate to leave the poverty and discrimination they faced in Japan after World War II. Propaganda by North Korea and groups representing Koreans in Japan provided a seemingly simple solution: move to North Korea.

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