Current Issue
December, 2018
Volume 44, Number 4
14 June 2017
Greg Kandra

Eucharist and study are central in the lives of Coptic Catholic seminarians at St. Leo the Great, located in a Cairo suburb. To learn more about the Coptic Catholic Church, check out this profile in the September 2007 edition of ONE. (photo: Mohamed El-Dakhakhny)

Tags: Egypt Coptic Catholic Church Egypt's Christians

14 June 2017
Greg Kandra

One of the young residents who fled Raqqa, Syria, arrives in Jarablus on 26 May. Thousands of residents remain trapped in the city as the battle to retake Raqqa from ISIS rages. (photo: Huseyin Nasir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S.-backed forces battle ISIS outside Raqqa (The Washington Post) As U.S.-backed forces press farther into Raqqa, the Islamic State’s stronghold in ­Syria, human rights groups pleaded Tuesday for the safety of thousands of residents still trapped in the city…

For Christians in Egypt, building a new church can set off violence (NPR) Christians in Minya province have faced long-running tensions with their Muslim neighbors over an issue central to their survival as a community — whether they can build churches…

Caritas Jordan providing iftar meals for Syrian refugees (Vatican Radio) Most of the 657,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan are Muslim. That’s why the local Caritas campaign, especially launched for the holy month of Ramadan, aims both to support those in need and to live the spirit of the month in mercy and fraternity. This year, the campaign is rooted in Caritas’ aptly named Mercy Restaurant, which prepares iftar, or evening meals for its fasting brothers and sisters…

Turkey opens Syrian border crossings for Ramadan (AP) Thousands of Syrian refugees are returning home for a visit during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, after Turkey temporarily opened two border crossings with its war-torn neighbor…

India commits to pacts on eradicating child slavery (Vatican Radio) India on Tuesday ratified two key global agreements on eradicating child slavery, committing the country to adopting international labor standards on the employment of minors and allowing it to be subjected to scrutiny by other nations. India’s census found there were more than four million laborers aged between 5 and 14 in 2011 out of 168 million globally, but activists say millions more are at risk due to poverty…

United Nations: Ukraine conflict enters fourth year with ‘no end in sight’ ( Warring parties in eastern Ukraine have repeatedly failed to implement ceasefire agreements, allowing hostilities to escalate and the cumulative death toll to exceed 10,000 as the conflict entered its fourth year, a new United Nations report reveals…

Tags: Syria India Egypt Ukraine

13 June 2017
CNEWA staff

Chaldean-American Lavrena Kenawa cries during a 12 June rally outside the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield, Michigan. Her uncle was among dozens of Chaldean Christians who were arrested by federal immigration officials over the weekend in the Detroit metropolitan area, which members of the local church community said left them sad and frustrated. (photo: CNS/Rebecca Cook, Reuters)

It happened over the weekend. Details, from Catholic News Agency:

Dozens of Chaldean Christians were arrested by federal immigration officials over the weekend in the Detroit metropolitan area, leaving the local Church community with sadness and frustration.

“Yesterday was a very strange and painful day for our community in America,” Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit stated Monday in a Facebook post.

“With the many Chaldeans that were awakened by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and consequently picked up for deportation, there is a lot of confusion and anger,” he added.

The Rev. Anthony Kathawa of St. Thomas Chaldean Church in West Bloomfield, Mich., told CNA 12 June that “As a community, we’re all suffering seeing the loss of our loved ones.”

The Detroit Free Press noted:

Martin Manna, an Iraqi-American Christian advocate who is president of the Chaldean Community Foundation based in Sterling Heights, said he’s getting information from family members of those arrested, many of who live in Macomb and Oakland counties.

“Most of the arrests of the 40 or so were all done today,” Manna said, adding people on a final order of removal were targeted, most of whom have a criminal record.

Sending them back to Iraq, he said, “is like a death sentence.”

A spokesman for ICE declined to comment on any specifics.

“ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending removable aliens,” spokesman Khaalid Walls said in a statement Sunday evening.

Catholic News Service added some context from Bishop Kalabat:

A bill passed by the U.S. House 6 June “to protect Christians,” Bishop Kalabat said, “goes against this very thing.” He was referring to the bipartisan Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act that would provide humanitarian assistance to Christian and other religious minorities suffering genocide at the hands of Islamic State militants.

The bishop acknowledged it “will take a lot of effort” to work on behalf of those who have been taken into custody, “but acting in disrespectful ways in front of the federal building (will) only bring harm and not good.”

“We understand the pain that many members of our community are going through but emotional outbursts will not bring change,” he said, and urged them to get official statements from the eparchy about efforts being made on behalf of the detainees. He added: “Let’s pray for God’s blessings to rain down on us.”

Read more here, here and here.

Tags: Iraq Catholic Chaldeans

13 June 2017
Greg Kandra

Pilgrims scale the cliff to enter Ethiopia’s Debra Damo Monastery. To learn more about Ethiopian monasticism, check out Relevant or Relic? In the November 2010 edition of ONE.
(photo: Sean Sprague)

13 June 2017
Greg Kandra

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, speaks at the Vatican 13 June about the theme of the first World Day of the Poor, to be celebrated on 19 November. He said Pope Francis envisioned the day as a way for the whole church to reflect on the Gospel meaning of poverty. (photo: CNS/Robert Duncan)

Vatican announces first World Day for the Poor (CNS) People cannot sit back and be indifferent or unresponsive to growing poverty in the world as a privileged minority accumulates “ostentatious wealth,” Pope Francis said. “God created the heavens and the earth for all; yet sadly some have erected barriers, walls and fences, betraying the original gift meant for all humanity, with none excluded,” the pope said in a message for the first World Day of the Poor...

Displaced Iraqis hit by food poisoning (BBC) Hundreds of people have fallen ill and a child has died of suspected food poisoning at a camp for displaced people near the Iraqi city of Mosul. People were said to be vomiting and suffering dehydration after an iftar meal, to break the daily Ramadan fast...

Israel agrees to reduce Gaza electricity (Al Jazeera) The Israeli government has agreed to cut down its electricity supply in the Gaza Strip, at the behest of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), Israeli officials said. According to Yoav Mordechai, the Israeli head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), President Mahmoud Abbas requested Israel to stop supplying electricity to Gaza back in April...

Muslims and Christians in Goa join hands to protest against cattle sale ban ( To protest against the Centre’s notification banning the sale of cattle for purpose of slaughter, Muslims and the Roman Catholic Church in Goa have come together to back a civil society collective called Goa for Beef — Beef for Goa...

Dozens of news sites blocked in Egypt (Amnesty International) The Egyptian authorities have shifted their onslaught against media freedom to the digital sphere, blocking access to more than 40 news sites without justification in recent weeks, in an attempt to eliminate the country’s last remaining spaces for criticism and free expression, said Amnesty International...

Armenia: where natural beauty and brandy trump a troubled past and volatile present (Economic Times) Bucolic locations, monasteries set in tumbling landscapes, gurgling streams, lapis lazuli lakes — Armenia is picture-postcard turf. One of the cradles of civilisation, the pint-sized country was also the first in the world to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion in AD 301. With doughty neighbors (Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran) hemming it in, the nation is also at a geopolitical and cultural crossroads...

Tags: India Iraq Egypt Gaza Strip/West Bank Vatican

12 June 2017
CNEWA staff

A woman holds an image of Ukrainian Cardinal Lubomyr Husar during his 5 June funeral Mass at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kiev. Cardinal Husar died 31 May at the age of 84. (photo: CNS/Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters)

Following the recent death of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, we received this week a note from Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church:

Dear Msgr. John Kozar:

I would like to express my sincere words of gratitude for your letter of condolences on the occasion of the passing into eternity of His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop emeritus of Kiev-Halych.

We comprehend your kind words, which are full of admiration for the life and service of the deceased, as a sign of sincere gratitude to the good Lord for the gift of life of our venerable predecessor.

It is indeed a great loss for our church and nation, but we nourish hope that now we have a great intercessor who prays for all of us at the heavenly altar.

May the memory of His Beatitude Lubomyr be eternal and may his spiritual testament expressed in the words “pray and work” become the program of life of each one of us.

With gratitude and prayer,
+ Sviatoslav

12 June 2017
Greg Kandra

Tamara Chitova, 88, enjoys a rare meal in her own home in Georgia. Read about how a Human Touch Offers Pensioners Respite in the July-August 2003 edition of our magazine.
(photo: Dima Chikvaidze)

12 June 2017
Greg Kandra

Pope Francis greets Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as he meets with members, consultors and guests of the council 9 June at the Vatican. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

Pope urges Council for Interreligious Dialogue to uphold women’s dignity (CNS) The more women are involved in and contribute to communities, politics, economics and the church, the more positive changes will come about, Pope Francis said. “Women are fully entitled to actively take part in all settings, and their rights must be affirmed and protected, including through legal instruments wherever it may prove necessary,” he said 9 June. The pope was speaking to members, consultors and guests of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which was holding its plenary assembly in Rome 7-9 June. Participants had discussed the role of women in teaching universal fraternity. “We cannot truly call on God, the father of all, if we refuse to treat (others) in a brotherly way,” Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran told the pope, quoting from “Nostra Aetate,” the Vatican II declaration that addressed the Catholic Church’s relations with other religions...

Holy See denounces retention of migrant children (Vatican Radio) The Holy See has called on the international community to protect the rights of unaccompanied migrant children and condemned their detention as a “grave error.” The Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, made the remarks to the Human Rights Council panel discussion on the rights of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents…

Refugee families in Lebanon return to Syria (Latin American Herald Tribune) Some 50 Syrian families who had found refuge in Lebanon have returned to their homes in a village located near the border, escorted by military units and members of the Lebanese intelligence services, according to the Lebanese Armed Forces on Saturday. The armed forces said that the families were transferred to Assal al-Ward village in civilian vehicles through Arsal Mountains in northeastern Lebanon to the border with Syria...

Family rejoices over returned of Christian girl kidnapped in Iraq (Fides) Christina Kader Ebada is the name of a Christian girl from Qaraqosh who has been returned to her family after being abducted three years ago by militia of the Islamic State group. The girl, now six years old, was united with her parents last Friday 9 June...

Mosul woman, 84, survives under rubble for a week ( After seven days of entrapment under the rubble of a house destroyed by coalition warplanes in west Mosul, an elderly woman, whose family had held her funeral, was miraculously found alive. Niama Mohammed, 84, had been caught along with another 34 people by ISIS as they tried to escape. They were used as human shield in a house. The house was one day bombed when a group of the militants had fought against the advancing Iraqi troops on the rooftop. The house was bombed by the coalition warplanes. Of the 35, only Niama survived both the bombing and hunger and thirst for a week...

Indian priest fights to end discrimination against children whose parents have HIV (CNS) A priest in the north Indian state of Rajasthan is fighting to end discrimination against children whose parents live with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Father Jerish Antony is funding the education of 218 children whose parents have HIV as part of a program run by the Diocese of Ajmer...

Syrian refugee builds life as a surfer in Lebanon (AFP) Ali Kassem had never seen the sea before he fled his home in Syria for Lebanon, but now he’s a regular in the waves and dreams of his own surf school. Dressed in a purple wet suit, the 17-year-old confidently coats his board with wax and smears sunscreen on his face before dashing into the sea...

9 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro

Sister Femily Jose of the Sisters of the Destitute leads a self-help group in a village in eastern Kerala. To learn about some of the efforts of the church to provide social support in this region, read Breaking the Cycle in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Don Duncan)

Tags: India Sisters Village life

9 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro

Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Minya region, south of Cairo, on 27 May. (photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian minister warns Christians of church security risks (Fides) Egyptian Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar said, in an 8 June meeting, that Egypt is under attack by forces wishing to destabilize the country, and advises Christians to reduce visits and celebrations in churches and monasteries, stating that conspicuous crowds at places of worship could be targeted. In his speech, reported by the Egyptian media, Mr. Ghaffar confirmed that churches and monasteries will be at the center of appropriate security measures currently managed in coordination with local communities and ecclesial authorities…

Pope Francis sends condolences to Tehran attack victims (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday sent his condolences for the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Tehran, Iran, saying he “laments this senseless and grave act of violence.” The Holy Father’s words were conveyed in a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin…

Ecumenical patriarch discusses importance of environmentalism (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) “For more than twenty-five years, the exacerbation of the ecological crisis, along with its attendant social and financial inequalities, have created unusual concern and vigilance for the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, adding that environmental destruction is always “accompanied by social and economic decline, unemployment and diminished quality of life…”

Iraq’s Kurds say ‘no turning back’ on independence vote (Daily Star Lebanon) Iraq’s Kurds said on Friday a referendum on independence will go ahead despite warnings internationally that a vote in favor of secession could trigger conflict with Baghdad at a time when the fight against ISIS is not yet won…

Kerala challenges Modi: No to beef ban (AsiaNews) Kerala is the first state in India to rebuke to the ban on cow meat imposed by central government of Narendra Modi. With a resolution adopted yesterday, the state’s legislators have rejected the measure…

Tags: India Iraq Egypt Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Iran

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