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Current Issue
July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
  
17 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Martina Isaac stands in front of her home in the Zabbaleen quarter of Manshiyat Naser, Cairo. For more about the life of this Coptic enclave, and the sisters who serve their community, read Reclaiming Lives, from the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Hanaa Habib)



Tags: Egypt Sisters Copts Catholic education Coptic

17 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syriac Catholic Rev. Youssef Sakat reads documents of an Iraqi family seeking help from inside the chapel at the Holy Family Syriac Catholic center in Beirut on 8 July 2019. (photo: CNS/Dalia Khamissy)

When Islamic State came, the monks had just finished hiding the manuscripts (Catholic Herald) Already, the four monks at the ancient Syriac Catholic Mar Behnam Monastery in Khidr, Iraq, had felt they were under siege. Ten days earlier, on June 10, 2014, five carloads of militants roared through the peaceful road leading to Mar Behnam, announcing through megaphones that the Islamic State was in control. Not long before that, the Iraqi army had withdrawn from a checkpoint near the monastery, located southeast of Mosul. All the while, Father Youssef Sakat was deeply concerned about how to safeguard the monastery’s extensive collection of religious manuscripts from inevitable destruction by the militants. The 630 manuscripts, dating from the 12th to 18th centuries, were written in a range of languages, including Syriac, Greek, French and Latin…

Archbishop of Basra: The pope’s visit, an opportunity for rebirth for Christians and Iraq (AsiaNews) Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq, scheduled for next year, represents a world stage for the Baghdad government to show itself close to Christians and active in defending the freedoms and rights of the entire population. “[I]t is necessary to prevent the formation of a second class citizenship, especially for Christians and other minorities that are affected and relegated to the margins by the Constitution and a sectarian culture,” says the Chaldean Archbishop Alnaufali Habib Jajou of Basra, according to whom the nation “is in pieces” because of a “widespread and visible corruption”…

Turkish diplomat shot dead in Iraqi city, officials say (The Guardian) Gunmen have killed at least one Turkish diplomat in Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in an attack on consulate staff gathered in a restaurant, Turkey’s foreign ministry said. The state-run Iraqi news agency identified the dead man as the deputy consul general, the Associated Press reported…

Can Israel’s courts deliver justice for Palestinians? (Al Jazeera) The demolition of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is a routine occurrence. But in Sur Baher, a neighbourhood southeast of Jerusalem, an unprecedented mass demolition is looming — with the approval of Israel’s top court…



Tags: Iraq Palestine Turkey

10 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Children attend English class at the Fratelli School in Saida, Lebanon. To learn more about how this school helps to bring education to a “lost generation’ of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, read Fratelli, Where Education Is Alive in the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Tamara Abdul Hadi)



Tags: Lebanon Refugees Children Education Catholic education

10 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




An Israeli settler stands beside fences surrounding an Israeli settlement located on the roof in the Arab section of the Old City of Jerusalem on 26 March. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)

Israeli settlers take over east Jerusalem home after court battle (Al Monitor) A Palestinian family was evicted from a home in east Jerusalem near the Old City on Wednesday after Israeli settlers won a court battle that stretched more than two decades, activists said. The apartment in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan was home to a 53-year-old woman and her four children, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now, which opposes Israeli settlement expansion…

Britain is hoarding a treasure no one is allowed to see (The Atlantic) In a storeroom of the British Museum here sits a collection of 11 wood and stone tablets that nobody is allowed to see. They are Christian plaques, or tabots, that represent the Ark of the Covenant, and they belong — though belong in this case is a contested term — to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which believes only its priests should view them. The tabots were seized, along with hundreds of other precious items — processional crosses, gold and silver jewelry, illustrated manuscripts — by the British army in 1868, after it defeated Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II at the battle of Maqdala. There is hardly a clearer case of officially sanctioned plunder: When Tewodros committed suicide, soldiers ransacked his treasury, then auctioned off their finds among their entourage to pay for the expedition…

Chennai city battles long drought (UCAN India) Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state with a population of nine million, is in the grip of a drought and resulting water crisis. Public water taps are now dry. Most of the city’s middle class and poor wait each day in long queues for tankers to arrive so that they can fill a few plastic buckets with barely enough water for drinking let alone cooking and bathing.

New institutes of Coptic studies founded in Egyptian public universities (Fides) In an unprecedented initiative, Egyptian political institutions have decided to invest resources to support the opening of institutes, centers and departments in public universities dedicated to the study and enhancement of the Coptic language and cultural heritage. The first institute of Coptic Studies was already inaugurated at the University of Alexandria, in collaboration with the Coptic Orthodox Church…



Tags: India Palestine Ethiopian Orthodox Church Coptic Christians Drought

8 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Pope Francis greets a woman and child during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 8 July 2019, commemorating the sixth anniversary of his visit to the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. (photo: CNS/Vatican Media)

On Lampedusa anniversary, pope prays for suffering migrants (Crux) At a time when the immigration issue is becoming more contentious across the globe — especially in Europe — Pope Francis offered a Mass on Monday commemorating his visit to Lampedusa six years ago, praying for all migrants who have either died or been abused along their route…

Migrant-rescuing sea captain discusses challenges (Der Spiegel) Carola Rackete saved 53 migrants adrift at sea. In an interview, she discusses the hardships on board, her arrest in Italy and the failure of European immigration policy…

Project helps young Christians in the Gaza Strip find jobs (Fides) Nine months ago, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in cooperation of the Holy Family Parish, launched a job-creation and capacity-building program in the Gaza Strip. Today, the 20 Christian youth benefiting from the program are reaping the fruits of their work and seeing new career prospects from this project…

Jobs don’t come easy for India’s poor Christians (UCAN India) Among all religious groupings, Christian males have the highest unemployment rates in India, according to the Periodic Labor Force Survey 2017-18…

127 churches in Egypt receive legal status (Christian Today) Egypt has authorized the legalization of 127 congregations that were previously operating without a government permit in the latest wave of church approvals…



Tags: India Egypt Gaza Strip/West Bank Migrants Employment

21 June 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




An Israeli border policeman stands guard near Ramallah, West Bank, on 17 May 2019, as Palestinians make their way to attend Friday prayer at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. (photo: CNS/Raneen Sawafta, Reuters)

Jerusalem’s Old City: How Palestine’s past is being slowly erased (Middle East Eye) The Old City has huge historic, economic, religious and now national symbolism for both Palestinians and Israelis, particularly because of the Al-Aqsa compound, known as Haram al-Sharif to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews. This is the most explosive issue in an already incendiary conflict…

Iraqi envoy to Vatican urges international help for Christians to return home (Crux) Speaking outside the program at an event in Rome on migration, the newly arrived ambassador from Iraq to the Vatican said Wednesday that the country’s Christian community is at risk after violence perpetrated by ISIS, but people who fled now want to go back…



Tags: Iraq Jerusalem Palestine Iraqi Christians

18 June 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Muhammad Morsi announces his victory at a press conference on 18 June 2012, following the second round of Egypt’s presidential elections. (photo: Jonathan Rashad via Wikimedia Commons)

Egypt’s ex-President Muhammad Morsi buried in Cairo (Al Jazeera) Egypt’s former President Muhammad Morsi was buried on Tuesday in eastern Cairo, his son said. Mr. Morsi had collapsed in court on Monday and died shortly after. He was buried at dawn alongside other senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood, his son, Ahmed Morsi, said on his Facebook page…

Five years later, Mosul’s Christians slowly rebuild (Christian Today) Yesterday, 17 June marked the fifth anniversary of one of the darkest moments for Mosul’s Christians — the day they were told by ISIS to “convert, pay or die.” The ultimatum for Christians to convert to Islam, pay a “protection tax” or face death triggered a mass exodus out of the city. Up to half a million residents, including around 3,000 Christian families, made the painful decision to leave their homes and their livelihoods in search of safety elsewhere. Many of them went to the city of Erbil in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq…

Syria clashes kill 45 fighters (Daily Star Lebanon) Clashes between pro-government forces and extremist-led groups that control Syria’s northwest killed at least 45 combatants Tuesday, a war monitor said. The fighting flared on the edge of the Hama province when extremist group Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (formerly Al Nusra Front) launched a dawn attack on government positions, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said…

Free chickens for Syria’s struggling farmers (Al Monitor) The Syrian government will distribute free chickens and feed to farmers to support rural areas ravaged by years of conflict, an agriculture ministry official told AFP on Tuesday. A cabinet statement said 1 billion Syrian pounds ($2.3 million) has been allocated to the initiative, which aims to provide 15 egg-laying chickens and 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of feed to each family…

Iran will not wage war against any nation, says Hassan Rouhani (The Guardian) Iran has declared it “will not wage war against any nation” after the U.S. announced that a further 1,000 troops are to be sent to the Middle East amid rising tensions…



Tags: Syria Iraq Egypt Iran

16 May 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




An Iraqi Airways Airbus rolls along a runway in Estonia, in January 2018. (photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons)

Iraqi Airways to resume flights to Syria after eight-year break (France24) Iraq’s national carrier is to resume flights to the capital of neighbouring Syria for the first time since the war there erupted in 2011, a spokesman said Thursday. Iraqi Airways will operate a weekly service from Baghdad to Damascus starting Saturday, spokesman Layth al Rubaie told AFP…

U.N. agency: Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency (U.N. News) According to UNRWA, it must secure an additional $60 million by June to continue providing food to more than one million Palestine refugees in Gaza, including some 620,000 “abject poor” who cannot cover their basic food needs and are surviving on $1.6 per day. The funds are also needed to cover the severely challenged 390,000 “absolute poor”, who survive on about $3.5 per day…

Rocket strike on Syria refugee camp kills ten civilians (Daily Star Lebanon) At least ten civilians were killed and 30 wounded in Syria by a rocket strike on the Neirab camp for Palestinian refugees close to the city of Aleppo Tuesday night, the United Nations said in a statement Thursday…

ISIS claims India foothold (UCAN India) Global terror group ISIS claims to have created a “province” in India as well as inflicting causalities on the Indian army while aiding local Muslim insurgents in the northern Kashmir region…

In Ethiopia, women and faith drive effort to restore biodiversity (Urban Faith) In Addis Ababa, approximately 35 percent of the household fuel wood — mainly eucalyptus — is systematically gathered from the Entoto Mountains just outside the city. Ethiopia historically planted large areas with fast-growing eucalyptus, a non-native species, to meet the demand for fuel wood. But the trees’ water-hogging nature has had a destructive impact on the land. There are efforts to reforest areas with native species, supported by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which has a tradition of maintaining tree gardens throughout the country…



Tags: Syria India Iraq Ethiopia Gaza Strip/West Bank

2 May 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 2013 photo, people take an evening stroll down a street in Jerusalem’s Armenian quarter. You can read more about Armenian Christians in Jerusalem in ONE magazine’s Winter 2014 feature, ‘Living Here Is Complicated’ (photo: Ilene Perlman)



Tags: Jerusalem Cultural Identity Armenian Apostolic Church Armenian Catholic Church

2 May 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Cyclone Fani, at peak intensity, looms over the central western Bay of Bengal, near the eastern coast of India, on 2 May 2019. (photo: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ‘Aqua’ satellite, via Wikimedia)

India evacuates nearly 1 million as powerful Cyclone Fani bears down (AccuWeather) Officials in India mobilized a massive evacuation effort on Thursday as the country braced for landfall from a potentially devastating Cyclone Fani. Nearly a million people are being evacuated ahead of the cyclone’s looming strike on the eastern India coastline as the week ends. One government official said the evacuation effort is the largest in the nation’s history…

Indian Christians seek better security at churches (UCAN India) Christian leaders in India have intensified their call to make churches safer after police arrested a man and accused him of having links to Islamic terror groups and planning to attack religious places in Kerala state…

India turning to midwives to reduce maternal mortality (Der Spiegel) In India, the second-most populous country in the world, giving birth isn’t just a fight for new life; it can also be a struggle for dignity and self-determination. For a country that has been striving to improve its maternal health indicators, India has greatly underestimated midwifery, lagging behind countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, both of which have invested in creating a professional cadre of midwives. That, though, is now changing…

Qatar brings Gaza beaches back to life (Al Monitor) The Gaza Electricity Distribution Co., in cooperation with Gaza Strip municipalities, completed on 18 April a Qatar-funded project designed to connect wastewater treatment plants to new power lines with the objective of supplying the plants with uninterrupted power around the clock…

What to expect from Pope Francis’ trip to Bulgaria and North Macedonia (America magazine) Pope Francis will visit Bulgaria and North Macedonia from 5-7 May — two majority Orthodox countries with very small Catholic populations that are facing high unemployment, poverty and tensions over immigration. He goes as a messenger of peace to support these emerging countries on a visit that has a strong ecumenical dimension…



Tags: India Pope Francis Gaza Strip/West Bank Bulgaria





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