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December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
13 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Ukrainians attend a funeral in Kiev on 2 February for a serviceman killed in the eastern Ukrainian conflict with Russia. (photo: CNS/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA)

New accord raises hopes for peace in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The United States and the European Union have expressed caution about a new Ukraine peace agreement reached during talks in Minsk between the Russian, Ukrainian, French and German leaders. Thursday's accord includes a ceasefire starting Sunday, followed by the withdrawal of weapons, the establishment of a demilitarized zone and the exchange of prisoners...

Ukrainian Catholic bishops in the U.S. issue appeal for prayers for peace (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference) The Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in the United States have issued an appeal to clergy, religious and faithful for meditation and fasting for Ukraine. In their letter, the bishops state “The bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine with Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk have asked their faithful to fast and to pray daily for various intentions, among them, for the President and elected officials of Ukraine, for the conversion of the aggressors, for the Ukrainian army, for those who protect citizens, for the souls of the deceased, and for unity and independence of Ukraine. Let us join them in holy prayer and fasting...

AP: High civilian death toll in Gaza strikes (AP) The Associated Press examined 247 airstrikes that — according to witness accounts and site visits — hit residential compounds, out of the some 5,000 Israeli strikes during the conflict. Its reporters compiled a detailed casualty count, determining 844 dead in those strikes. The review found that 508 of those dead — just over 60 percent — were children, women and older men, all presumed to be civilians. Hamas says it did not use women as fighters in the war, and an Israel-based research group tracking militants among the dead said it has no evidence women participated in combat...

Report: Islamic State plans to execute kidnapped Copts (Fides) The 21 Copts kidnapped in Libya in early January are in the hands of the jihadists of the Islamic State, who in an article published online foreshadow their execution by presenting it as a revenge against the alleged “violence” suffered in the past by Egyptian Muslim women on behalf of the Coptic Church...

In Armenia, towns without men as migrants leave to find work (The Washington Post) Winter is wedding season in Lichk because as soon as the snow melts, all the adult men here — and in the nine other towns served by its little church — leave to work in Russia. For years, these villages have been like countless others in former Soviet republics, where able-bodied men are lured to Russia by seasonal work and higher wages. But stiffer laws for foreign workers and Russia’s worsening economy are making many migrant laborers reconsider their annual journey. For the men of Lichk — and other Armenian workers, who as members of the Eurasian Economic Union don’t need special work permits in Russia — it has meant working abroad longer but sending less money home...



Tags: Egypt Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Armenia Copts

12 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Sister Terese Dorias is one of three sisters who helps care for the children at the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Cairo. To learn more about the remarkable work she and other sisters are doing, read ‘Egypt’s Good Samaritans’ in the Winter 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Amal Morcos)



Tags: Egypt Children Sisters Orphans/Orphanages

11 February 2015
Greg Kandra




A little boy in India is featured on the cover of the Winter edition of ONE, now available online.
(photo: John E. Kozar)


It’s here: the Winter edition of ONE is now available online and will be headed to your mailbox soon.

The cover story features an inspiring glimpse at how the church is Reaching the Unreached in India, with some stunning photographs by Msgr. John E. Kozar, CNEWA’s president.

Check out the rest online. Meantime, Msgr. Kozar offers a fuller preview of the Winter edition in the video below.



10 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Priests celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Sts. James in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. To learn more about Jerusalem’s Armenians, and their efforts to maintain their identity, read “Living Here Is Complicated” in the Winter edition of ONE.
(photo: Ilene Perlman)




10 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Ukrainians walk past symbolic crosses set up by protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on 1 February (photo: CNS/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA)

Holy See “following attentively” situation in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The head of the Holy See Press Office, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, on Tuesday spoke about the situation in the Ukraine. “The See is following attentively the situations of crisis in various parts of the world, including the eastern regions of Ukraine. In the presence of an escalation of the conflict that has claimed many innocent victims, the Holy Father Francis has renewed his appeal for peace on several occasions,” Father Lombardi said...

Catholic, Orthodox leaders urge “unity against aggression” in Ukraine (CNS) Catholic and Orthodox archbishops in Ukraine appealed for national unity against pro-Russia separatists as calls mounted for the United States to help arm Ukrainian forces. Citing constant danger to Ukraine, the church leaders called the war “a crime against life” that brings “suffering and death, grief and injustice” in a 4 February statement...

Jordan deploys thousands of troops at border with Iraq (NBC News) Jordan has deployed “thousands” of troops at its border with Iraq as it ramps up a campaign against ISIS militants who set a pilot ablaze, two Jordanian government officials told NBC News on Tuesday. The troops were sent to prevent the infiltration of ISIS fighters into Jordan and as a show of force, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity...

Suicides on the rise in Gaza (Al-Monitor) Committing suicide by hanging, poisoning or setting oneself on fire is now more common for those who have completely lost hope. For them, it is the easiest way to find eternal rest and to escape from the political, economic and social injustice they are subject to. The Gaza Strip, besieged for the past eight years and suffering the misfortunes of isolation, is witnessing the new phenomenon of suicide that is plaguing its streets, just like Tunisia and Egypt...

Mumbai Christians protest attacks on churches in Delhi (Times of India) Several hundred Christians led by community NGOs gathered at Azad Maidan Monday afternoon to protest the recent attacks on churches in New Delhi. The speakers held up US president Barack Obama’s recent comments about “growing religious intolerance” in India to express their concerns about the saffron brigade’s ‘ghar wapsi’ programme. However, they denounced the Anti-Conversion Bill which seeks to ban religious conversions by all groups...



Tags: Iraq India Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Jordan

5 February 2015
Greg Kandra




A monk studies scripture at Debra Damo Monastery in Ethiopia. To learn more about the enduring monastic traditions in that corner of Africa, read “Relevant or Relic?” in the November 2010 edition of ONE. (photo: Sean Sprague)



5 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Jordanians line the streets between Amman and Queen Alia airport waiting to greet King Abdullah II upon his arrival at the airport near Amman on 4 February, in Amman, Jordan.
(photo by Jordan Pix/Getty Images)


Jordan king vows “relentless” war against ISIS (Voice of America) Jordan’s King Abdullah has vowed to take tough action against Islamic State militants following the group’s gruesome killing of a Jordanian pilot captured after his plane went down during a mission targeting the militants in Syria. The murder of pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh triggered international condemnation and prompted Jordanian authorities to execute two Iraqi prisoners, failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and al-Qaida operative Ziad al-Karbouly. King Abdullah stressed that Jordan would be “relentless” in the war against Islamic State...

Secretary of State Kerry says peace in Ukraine is up to Russia (CNN) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put the ball squarely in Russia’s court Thursday for finding a peaceful end to the devastating conflict in eastern Ukraine, saying the biggest threat Ukraine faces is “Russia’s continued aggression” there. Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Kerry called on Russia to take three steps he said would enable a diplomatic solution “that is staring everyone in the face.” Those are pulling back heavy weapons beyond the range of civilian populations, removing foreign troops and heavy equipment from Ukraine, and closing the Russia-Ukraine border...

Patriarch Kirill praises Vatican’s balanced view on Ukraine crisis (Interfax) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the policies pursued by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and has thanked the Vatican for its balanced approach toward the Ukrainian crisis. “Today, fresh conflicts in Ukraine in light of the latest political events in the country are causing concern in our relations with the Roman Catholic Church,” the patriarch said in Moscow. “At the same time, I would like to note with satisfaction that the Holy See itself has always pursued a balanced stance toward the situation in Ukraine and has avoided any lop-sided assessments, but has called for peace talks and an end to armed clashes,” he said...

Vatican officials reportedly denied visas for India visit (Vatican Radio) The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) alleged that two key Vatican officials who were to address the 27th National Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in Bengaluru which began on 3 February had been denied visas. Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, President of Pontifical Mission Societies and Adjunct Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, were key resource persons for the week-long conference...



Tags: India Ukraine Jordan Russian Orthodox

4 February 2015
Greg Kandra




An elderly Ukrainian woman reacts as her acquaintances board a bus to flee due to a military conflict in Debaltseve on 4 February. The pope spoke of the conflict in today’s General Audience. He called for prayers that “this horrible fratricidal violence” would end and added that dialogue was “the only way possible to bring peace and harmony to that martyred land.”
(photo: CNS/Sergey Polezhaka, Reuters)




4 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Saif al-Kasasbeh, second from left, father of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, Jordanian pilot, prays in Jordan on February 4 with other mourners during an event commemorating the Islamic State murder of the pilot. (photo: CNS/Jasmal Nasrallah, EPA)

Jordan’s Christian churches condemn pilot’s murder (CNS) Christian churches in Jordan condemned the Islamic State militants’ killing of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot who had been held in captivity by the jihadist group. Special Masses and prayers were planned as churches sent condolences conveying their “deep sorrow” to his Muslim family and tribe, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman reported on 4 February. “Christian churches in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan convey their deep sorrow and sadness over the martyrdom of pilot Muath Kasasbeh,” read a statement issued by Father Rifat Bader, the center’s director...

Jordan executes Al Qaeda prisoners (Vatican Radio) Jordan executed two Al Qaeda prisoners before dawn Wednesday, after the so-called Islamic State released a video of militants burning captured Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh to death in a cage...

Iraq’s Christians take up arms to fight ISIS (Wall Street Journal) Hundreds of Christian men are picking up rifles for the first time at a former U.S. military facility in the hills of northeast Iraq and training to reclaim their towns from Islamic State militants who stormed the country last year. Fresh recruits to a new Iraqi Christian militia said their families were abandoned to militants by government forces last summer and they seek to create a force that will keep their towns and villages safe even after Islamic State is defeated. “I want to defend our own lands, with our own force,” said Nasser Abdullah, 26 years old, who is helping lead younger recruits in training...

Pope decries “fratricide” in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has decried the ‘fratricide’ conflict in Ukraine and issued an urgent appeal for dialogue, “the only possible path to peace”. Speaking at the end of the weekly General Audience, the Pope said his thoughts go to the beloved Ukrainian people. “Unfortunately the situation is worsening” as is the clash between the parties he said...

UN condemns rising civilian deaths in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The United Nations says a fresh surge in violence in east Ukraine is proving “catastrophic” as at least 5,358 people have been killed since last April, including 224 civilians killed in three-week period leading up to 1 February...

Coming to mourn Tahir Square’s dead, and joining them instead (The New York Times) Her friends wanted to lay a wreath in Tahrir Square as a memorial, but Shaimaa el-Sabbagh urged them to reconsider. She feared that the police might attack, mistaking them for supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said her cousin, Sami Mohamed Ibrahim. But how, her friends asked, could the police attack civilians who were armed only with flowers?...



Tags: Egypt Ukraine Jordan Muslim

3 February 2015
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2013, children in India gather to pray. To learn more about the enduring faith of the Thomas Christians, read “2,000 Years and Counting” from the
Winter 2013 edition of ONE. (photo: John E. Kozar)








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