We live in a world where the lives of all of us are deeply interconnected and completely dependent on each other. And we are increasingly responsible for each other, bound to a single destiny. All of us. Europe and Asia, but also Africa, the Americas, Australia and Oceania, and every corner of the earth, are our Common Home. Gladly, then, from Asianews, we take up the crucial dates in Asia in 2024.

Asia is currently home to 4.7 billion people, or 59.75% of the world’s population. And 46.3% live in urban areas, with an average age of 32. In 2050, the population of the Asian continent is estimated to reach 5.3 billion.

2024 opens in Asia with a busy calendar of extremely significant elections. In particular, within a few weeks practically all of South Asia and Taiwan will vote in highly anticipated polls:


  • January 7: General elections in Bangladesh
  • January 9: run-off in Bhutan
  • January 13: Presidential elections in Taiwan
  • February 8: General elections in Pakistan
  • February 14: presidential elections in Indonesia
  • March 1: elections in Iran for the Assembly of Experts, the body that appoints the Supreme Leader
  • March 17: Russian presidential elections
  • April 10: Parliamentary elections in South Korea
  • general elections in India (spring)
  • presidential elections in Sri Lanka (spring)


South Korea begins its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council today. As an Asian member it joins Japan whose mandate will expire on 31 December 2024.

This year, Laos is the country holding the presidency of ASEAN, the regional body that brings together the countries of South-East Asia.

In 2024, it will be Russia’s turn to host the Brics summit – the alternative bloc of countries to the G7 strongly supported by Beijing. It will be a key moment to understand the real extent of the enlargement announced at the last meeting in Johannesburg: after Argentina’s resignation, from today there should be five new members Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who will join to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

For India – alongside the elections – another symbolically significant date will be January 22nd when the Ram Mandir will be inaugurated in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, the new large temple built after the Supreme Court in 2019 awarded Hindus the disputed place where the Babri mosque stood. It will represent the apotheosis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalism and a day of mourning for the Muslim minority.

For China, the year 2024 will open with the appointment of January 22nd when the Human Rights Council in Geneva will examine the situation of the People’s Republic of China as part of the fourth Universal Periodic Review on human rights violations in the world. From the point of view of the Chinese Communist Party, 2024 will be the year of the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China which will fall on October 1st. But June 4 will also be the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre which, following the crackdown imposed by Beijing since 2020, can no longer be commemorated even in Hong Kong.


The Slim probe is scheduled to land on the Moon on January 19, which will make Japan the fifth country after the United States, the Soviet Union, China and India to have reached the Earth’s satellite with its own device.

An important international event on the topic of health will then be the Asia Summit on Global Health in Hong Kong on 16 and 17 May.

In 2024, Central Asia will host COP29, the UN Conference to fight climate change: the event will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 11 to 22 November.

The Paris Olympics – scheduled from 26 July to 11 August – will also be the most important event of the year for Asian athletes: three years after the Tokyo Games, the challenge between China and the United States will be renewed also for the summit of the medal collection. In the first part of the year, the Gangwon province in South Korea will host the Winter Youth Olympics from 19 January to 1 February.


  • February 10 Lunar New Year (the Year of the Dragon begins in the Chinese calendar)
  • March 9-April 8: Holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim world
  • April 22: the Passover celebration for the Jewish world begins at sunset
  • May 22: Buddhist holiday of Vesak
  • November 1: Hindu holiday of Diwali


From the point of view of ecclesial life in Asia, the first important event will be the delicate Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church in India, which will meet from 9 to 14 January to elect the successor of the card. George Alencherry as its major archbishop. It will also be a decisive step in the clash over the liturgy, after the video message with which Pope Francis asked the archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly to conform to the unified rite.

For the Church in China it will be the centenary year of the Council of Shanghai, held in 1924, a fundamental step in the path of inculturation of Catholicism in China. Its relevance will be discussed at an important conference scheduled in Macao from 26 to 29 June.

Among the events promoted by the FABC – the Federation of Asian Episcopal Conferences – a seminar is scheduled in Bangkok from 15 to 20 July on the topic of leadership in the synodal path of the Church. While – throughout the year – the Churches of the continent will be engaged in the last phase of the synodal path which will see its second and final final session in Rome in the month of October.

At the moment, no trips by Pope Francis to Asia are planned for 2024: given the pontiff’s health conditions, his only confirmed trip will be to Belgium to coincide with the 600th anniversary of the foundation of the Catholic Universities of Louvain. It should be remembered, however, that among the invitations received recently is that of the government of Vietnam for a visit that would be the first by a pontiff to the country.

Finally, 2024 will end all over the world with the opening of the Jubilee on Christmas night: the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the Holy Year is “Pilgrims of Hope”.