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December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
22 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Embed from Getty Images
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an official welcome ceremony at the Prime Minister’s office. (photo:Getty Images/Israeli Press Office)

Vice President Pence: U.S. embassy will open in Jerusalem next year (The New York Times) Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that a new United States Embassy to Israel would open in Jerusalem before the end of 2019. Mr. Pence’s statement, made to the Israeli Parliament during a trip to the Holy Land, follows President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month, a move that overturned decades of American policy and international consensus on the status of the holy city...

Jordan’s King: Jerusalem is the key to peace (The Jordan Times) His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday held talks with US Vice President Mike Pence at Al Husseiniya Palace which focused on Jerusalem and the strategic partnership between Jordan and the US, according to a Royal Court statement. The meeting, which continued over a lunch banquet, was attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, US second lady Karen Pence, and senior officials from both countries. The King voiced his appreciation of the US for its “historical friendship and support to Jordan throughout the years”...

Rebuilding Aleppo (BBC) Syrians now mend what they care about most, bit by bit. That’s how this painstaking and painful process of rebuilding a celebrated city goes. No one, including the government, has the eye-watering sums it will take to renovate old Aleppo’s storied heritage, and restore the basic services that make a modern city run. Estimates put the cost at tens of billions of dollars...

Syrian refugees found frozen to death in Lebanon (Andalou) The number of Syrian refugees who froze to death due to a snowstorm in eastern Lebanon rose to 17 in three days, according to the Lebanese Civil Defense source. Two more bodies were found late Sunday, the source said. Lebanese soldiers found the bodies, identified as a 30-year-old woman and a three-year-old child, on the mountainous area bordering Syria, it added...

Expert warns 97 percent of Gaza drinking water contaminated (Haaretz) Almost all of the drinking water in the Gaza Strip is importable because of sewage pollution or high salinity levels, according to data presented last week by a hydrologist who advises the Palestinian Water Authority. Ahmed al-Yaqoubi said most Gazans don’t drink the water from their taps because of its poor quality. Instead, they buy expensive water from private enterprises that operate small desalination plants...

Holy city of sterile streets (The New York Times) If there’s an endpoint to the terrible logic of an occupation driven in part by a fanatical settler movement abetted by the state of Israel, that place is the historic center of Hebron. Once home to the souk and jewelry market, a bustling maze of commerce, it is now a stretch of apocalyptic real estate. Wires trail down crumbling walls. Garbage accumulates. Mingling is obliterated. Security demands separation...



Tags: Syria Lebanon Israel Jerusalem Jordan

19 January 2018
Greg Kandra




In the video above, Russians — including President Vladimir Putin — observe Epiphany on
Friday 19 January. (video: Euronews/YouTube)


Israel unveils plan for underground tunnel around Gaza (The Telegraph) Israel unveiled its plans for a vast underground wall around Gaza on Thursday, which military officials said would once and for all stop Hamas burrowing attack tunnels into Israeli territory. The subterranean concrete barrier will run for 40 miles along the entire Israeli-Gaza border and is the first underground border wall of its kind in the world...

U.S. presses to relocate embassy to Jerusalem by 2019 (The New York Times) The Trump administration is moving faster than expected to transfer the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by 2019, senior officials said Thursday, despite insisting last month that the move would not happen until the end of President Trump’s term. The administration’s plans, following Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, suggest it no longer cares about cushioning the blow of the new policy, which has drawn angry protests from Palestinians and other Arabs and cast Mr. Trump’s peacemaking ambitions into doubt...

Putin takes icy plunge for Epiphany (Newsweek) In a show of both religious piety and bare-chested machismo, Russian President Vladimir Putin stripped down to a bathing suit and stepped into a frigid lake on Friday, surrounded by monks and television cameras. The Russian leader followed a custom observed by many Orthodox Christians on the feast of Epiphany — a half-naked submersion in cold water that mirrors the baptism of Jesus of Nazareth in the river Jordan. In Russia and other Orthodox countries, the 12th day after Christmas marks the Biblical revelation of Jesus as the son of God to the three wise men...

Ethiopians celebrate Epiphany (XinhuaNet) Ethiopian Christians across the East African country on Thursday started a three-day Ethiopian epiphany celebration with religious and cultural activities...



18 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chats with an elderly Palestinian woman on 17 January in the Beit Emmaus Home for the elderly and disabled in Qubeibeh, West Bank.
(photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)


President Trump denies U.S. embassy will move to Jerusalem by year’s end (Reuters) President Donald Trump denied on Wednesday that the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take place within a year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the controversial move to happen by then. Reversing decades of U.S. policy, Trump in early December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike...

Bishops hear range of feelings from Palestinians, Israelis (CNS) The entrance into this small Palestinian village encircled by the Israeli security barrier and settlements is through a series of bleak and darkened underpasses. But bishops from three continents said their 17 January meeting with students from the Bethlehem University nursing department satellite campus gave them a sense of hope...

Indian police guard Christian schools following threats (UCANews.com) Hundreds of policemen were deployed to guard two Catholic educational institutions in India’s Madhya Pradesh state this week amid alleged threats from Hindu hardliners. The move came as the Madhya Pradesh Catholic Diocesan Schools’ Association sought protection from the state high court for all its educational institutions following threats against them by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student body of the ruling pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party. Church officials say the group is trying to whip up hostility against the Christian institutions for not allowing its members onto their campuses to perform Hindu rites and other activities...

Warnings of fallout after U.S. freezes funding for Palestinian refugees (The Jordan Times) The UN agency for Palestinian refugees warned Wednesday it faced its worst funding crisis ever after the White House froze tens of millions of dollars in contributions, a move Palestinian leaders decried as cruel and blatantly biased...

ISIS continues to pose a threat in Iraq (AFP) Barely a month after Baghdad declared victory over the Islamic State group, the jihadists could still recapture areas of Iraq, especially near the border with Syria, experts and officials say...

U.S. plans open-ended military presence in Syria (BBC) The US will maintain an open-ended military presence in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of the jihadist group Islamic State, counter Iranian influence, and help end the civil war. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said President Donald Trump did not want to “make the same mistakes” that were made in 2011, when US forces left Iraq...

Egypt’s president expresses ‘extreme concern’ with Ethiopia over Nile dam (AP) Egypt’s president on Thursday expressed his “extreme concern” to Ethiopia’s visiting prime minister over the lack of progress in talks on the impact of a massive upstream dam that Egypt fears could cut into its vital share of the Nile...

Armenians mark Christmas in Jerusalem (Public Radio of Armenia) The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nourhan Manougian, arrived on Thursday at Manager Square in Bethlehem heading a procession of Armenian clergy and notables ushering in the start of Armenian Christmas celebrations and the Feast of the Epiphany, WAFA reported. Roman Catholic Christians and other western denominations mark the feast using the Gregorian calendar, Orthodox Christians and most Armenian denominations celebrate the feast using the Julian calendar, while the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem marks Christmas and Epiphany together on 19 January...



17 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is pictured in a 2016 photo at the Vatican. In an essay just published, the cardinal called on all Christian churches to undergo a conversion to a commitment to Christian unity. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Cardinal: Christians must convert to ecumenism (CNS) To be effective evangelizers, the Catholic Church and other Christian churches must constantly undergo their own conversion to a stronger commitment to Christian unity, said Cardinal Kurt Koch, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist. “So that the evangelizing task can be carried out in a credible way, the church itself continually needs a self-evangelization that includes conversion to the ecumenical search for Christian unity,” the Swiss cardinal wrote in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano...

Russian Orthodox official calls for return to Julian calendar (Radio Free Europe) A senior Russian Orthodox Church official is calling for Russia to return back to its traditional Julian calendar that was used until February 1918. In a televised interview with church-affliliated Spas TV on 16 January, Aleksandr Shchipkov said the shift to the Gregorian calendar by the Bolsheviks a century ago was a bad idea...

Mediterranean leaders seek help with refugees (AP) The leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Jordan pledged a new partnership Tuesday with tighter cooperation on fighting terrorism, and rallied international support for countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the war in Syria...

India asked to establish universities for Christians (UCANews.com) India’s federal commission tasked with safeguarding religious minorities has called for the establishment of government-funded universities primarily for Christians. But not all Christians support the proposal. The National Commission for Minorities in its 13 January annual report said such an initiative would be in keeping with the already existing state-funded Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia University...

Ethiopia: where living treasures thrive among ancient attractions (Business Day) Legends and mythology are as important as hard facts in Ethiopia, and the story goes that these churches were carved in mere days because the angels carried on the work at night after tired mortals put down their axes and chisels. Also on the pilgrim and tourist circuit is Aksum, another world heritage site where historians agree a great civilization was trading as early as 400BC. This is where the Queen of Sheba lived in the 10th century BC and is the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, which contains the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses...

Orthodox charities prepare for ‘Souper Bowl Sunday’ (OCA.org) Sunday, 4 February 2018, has been designated “Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday” by International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC]. This year’s 20th annual Souper Bowl Sunday — it’s name reflects the anticipated Super Bowl on the same day — aims at rallying parish youth to champion feeding the poor and caring for those in need around the world...



16 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Iraqi boys from the Shabak community clear the rubble from around their home east of Mosul on 10 January. Read more about Shabaks here. (photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Minorities in northern Iraq look to future (AINA) Now that victory has been declared against the jihadists, Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities — such as Christians, Yazidis and Shabaks — are taking the future into their own hands…

Caritas Lebanon: The refugee crisis is increasing, citizens increasingly poor (AsiaNews) The Syrian refugee emergency in Lebanon is “becoming increasingly serious” because it involves not only those who have fled the conflict, but “the same local population that is becoming increasingly impoverished,” the Rev. Paul Karam tells AsiaNews. The priest, who is also director of Caritas Lebanon, has been at the forefront of welcoming Syrian families fleeing the war for more than six years, and he is now warning of the danger of a “serious economic, political and social crisis” for the country. “The problem is increasingly widespread, and today we know that at least 28 percent of the Lebanese population lives below the poverty line…”

Palestinian leaders reconsider recognition of Israel (Al Jazeera) The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council, the second-highest Palestinian decision-making body, has recommended revoking recognition of Israel until the latter recognizes the State of Palestine in its 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital…

Islamists vow to ‘kill more Copts’ in Egypt (Christian Today) Islamist militants in Egypt have vowed to ‘kill more Copts’ after shooting dead a 27-year-old Christian because he had a cross on his wrist. Bassem Herz Attalhah, also known as Haythem Shehata, was on his way home from work in El Arish, capital of North Sinai governorate, on Saturday evening when he was attacked by three armed militants, according to World Watch Monitor…

U.N. condemns twin suicide attacks in Baghdad (U.N. News Center) Strongly condemning two terrorist attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has underscored the organization’s support for the country in its fight against terrorism…

Meeting with the representative of Al Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Damascus (Syriac Patriarchate) His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Sayyed Abu’l Fadl Tabtabaei, representative of Al Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Damascus, at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma, Damascus. His Excellency offered Christmas greetings to His Holiness, and the two discussed the historical role of Christians in Syria, Iran and throughout the Middle East…

Armenian parliament recognizes Yazidi genocide (Rudaw) The Armenian parliament voted to formally recognize and condemn the Yezidi genocide committed by ISIS…



Tags: Syria Iraq Palestine Armenia United Nations

12 January 2018
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2016, Pope Francis greets Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, at the Vatican. The pope has accepted an invitation from Archbishop Shevchuk to visit the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community in Rome
later this month. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano, handout)


Pope to signal concern for Ukraine in basilica visit (Crux) In a sign of his concern for one of the world’s most chronic, and often neglected, conflict zones, Pope Francis will travel cross-town in Rome on Sunday, 28 January, to visit the Basilica of Santa Sofia and meet the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community which worships there, in what served for decades as their “Mother Church” during the period of Soviet domination in Ukraine. The Vatican announced the pope’s visit on Friday, saying it comes in response to an invitation by Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the leader of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, and an old friend of Francis’s from the time Shevchuk served as Apostolic Administrator of a Greek Catholic diocese in Buenos Aires, Argentina...

Islamist rebels fire on Christian church in Damascus (AMN) The Islamist rebels in the East Ghouta region of Damascus fired two missiles towards Bab Touma, Damascus Now News reported. According to the report released by Damascus Now, the missiles struck a historical church inside the predominately Christian district of Bab Touma, causing material damage to this religious site...

Indian priest, religious sister get jail term for defying court order (UCANews.com) A court in central India has sentenced a Catholic priest and a nun to two months each in jail for defying a court order to reinstate two students their school expelled two years ago...

Mideast leaders increase efforts to fight U.S. decision on Jerusalem (CNS) Church and political leaders in the Middle East are intensifying efforts to combat U.S. President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to move the U.S. embassy there. “The two-state solution is accepted by all the world, including the Vatican. It corresponds to the legitimate resolutions passed by the United Nations,” Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem, patriarchal vicar for Jordan, told Catholic News Service...

Iraqi Christians stalked by sorrow (UNHCR.org) As fighting continues in parts of northern Iraq after extremists were pushed from Mosul last year, many of those forced to flee have abandoned hope of returning home, fearing sectarian tension may endure, and are looking at a protracted exile, or moving on to other countries under UNHCR resettlement programs, though places are few and reserved for the most vulnerable...



11 January 2018
Greg Kandra




In the video above, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien says changes to the situation in Jerusalem will have repercussions, including violence. A report released yesterday says terror attacks in Israel have tripled since President Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
(video: Rome Reports)


Earthquakes jolt Iran-Iraq border (CBS News) A series of eight earthquakes hit the Iran-Iraq border area and rattled even Baghdad and parts of the Iraqi countryside on Thursday, apparently aftershocks of a temblor in November that killed over 530 people. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage...

Report: terror attacks tripled after Trump’s Jerusalem recognition (The Daily Beast) Terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank tripled after President Trump moved to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Shin Bet security service said in a new report...

Syrian refugee sets himself ablaze at UN office in Lebanon (The Times of Israel) A Syrian refugee in Lebanon set himself on fire Wednesday outside a UN office in desperation at aid getting cut off to his family, suffering serious burns. Refugee agency UNHCR and the World Food Program told AFP that the man — named by family as 43-year-old father of four Ryad Khalaf Zibou — “set himself alight” at a UN compound in the northern city of Tripoli. “This tragic incident underscores the pressures and difficulties facing many refugees, who are becoming increasingly vulnerable and who — in rare cases — resort to such desperate acts,” the agencies said in a joint statement...

Report: Twice as many Christians killed worldwide last year (The Tablet) More than 3,000 Christians were killed worldwide last year for their faith, twice as many as the previous year, a report by the charity Open Doors has found. Of the 11 worst countries for Christians to live in, all are now classed as places of extreme persecution — more than ever before in 26 years of the World Watch List, which is published annually by the charity...

Syrian army reports Israeli missile attacks on Damascus (Sputnik) According to Syria’s state media, the Syrian Army reported that Israel had attacked targets near the war-torn nation’s capital with jets and ground-to-ground missiles early on Tuesday, causing damage. Syria retaliated, according to the statement; its air defenses hit an Israeli aircraft and intercepted several missiles which had been launched from within Israel...

Church in Ukraine attacked, desecrated (TASS) Unknown attackers robbed and desecrated the St Panteleimon’s church in the city of Chernomorsk, Odessa region, the Odessa diocese of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate said at its homepage on Wednesday. “The malefactors penetrated the building though a door located at its rear side,” the report said. “In search for loot, they ripped up all the alms boxes. Upon seeing they boxes didn’t contain the desired amounts of money, the attackers began to smash the altar and everything around them...”



10 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Clergy gather to inaugurate the Shamshabad Eparchy in Telengana on Sunday 7 January. The first bishop, Raphael Thattil, is shown, fourth from the left. (photo: Vatican Radio)

Syro-Malabar church inaugurates new diocese (Vatican Radio) India-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (SMC) on Sunday inaugurated a new diocese that Pope Francis had announced last year to provide pastoral care to India’s SMC faithful living outside their existing dioceses. Shamshabad Eparchy in Telengana state, became the 31st diocese of the eastern rite Church on 7 January with a Holy Mass and ceremony that included the installation of its first head, Bishop Raphael Thattil...

Egypt’s president attends Coptic Christmas liturgy under tight security (The Catholic Herald) In a show of solidarity with Egypt’s embattled Christians, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Saturday made a symbolic appearance at an Orthodox Christmas Liturgy in a new cathedral as tens of thousands of soldiers and police deployed outside churches across the country in anticipation of possible attacks by Islamic militants...

Ukraine language reform fuels identity crisis among ethnic Hungarians (AFP) Numbering around 100,000, ethnic Hungarians constitute the largest minority group in Transcarpathia, a western Ukrainian region behind the Carpathian Mountains that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over the past few months the region has been at the heart of tensions between Ukraine and Hungary following the adoption by Kiev of a controversial law that seeks to oblige schools to teach in the Ukrainian language...

Rome conference looks at promise, peril of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue (Crux) Participants at a global conference in Rome this week on ecumenism and interreligious dialogue pondered both the promise and peril of divisions within different Christian and religious traditions, not just among them, acknowledging those tensions often get in the way of forging closer ties, but also insisting they have an upside. One expert went so far as to issue a rule of thumb for understanding another tradition — don’t focus just on where that tradition is compact, he said, but also where people are fighting among themselves...

U.S. bishops promote messages for National Migration Week (Vatican Radio) The bishops of the United States have chosen the theme “Many Journeys, One Family” for this year’s observance. The theme highlights the fact that migration is common to all families, since all families at some point, whether in the distant past or more recently, have stories of migration...



9 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this late-December photo, Syrian children play in the Awde refugee camp, which hosts around 2,500 people in tents and prefabricated homes. (photo: Furkan Guldemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Syrian refugees in Lebanon becoming poorer, more vulnerable with time (U.N. News Centre) More than half the war-weary Syrian refugees in Lebanon are living in extreme poverty and borrowing money for food and to pay rent has become commonplace, the United Nations reported Tuesday. This news came with a warning that more of these refugees find themselves dependent on international aid amid an uncertain outlook for humanitarian funding in 2018…

Patriarch of Moscow: Russian intervention in Syria saved Christians from ‘genocide’ (Fides) In a television interview on Rossija channel 1 on Sunday 7 January — on which the Orthodox Church celebrated Christmas — Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All the Russias praised the Russian military for halting the “genocide” of Christians in Syria. The patriarch added that the Russian Orthodox Church plans to take on the task of supporting the reconstruction of Syrian churches, as well as mosques and historical monuments…

Mortar shells strike the Old City of Damascus, damaging Maronite cathedral (Fides) On Monday, 8 January, a mortar shell hit the Bab Tuma neighborhood in the old city of Damascus. The strike damaged a Maronite Greek Catholic cathedral built in 1865, dedicated to Our Lady of the Transfiguration and to St. Anthony…

Jerusalem’s political orphans (Al Monitor) Some 150,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem neighborhoods on the eastern side of the Israeli-built wall snaking in and out of Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to live in a legal and administrative limbo. The political orphans of East Jerusalem are not allowed to be connected to their Palestinian leadership but are also not part of the Israeli political system even though the latter decides, unilaterally, what happens to them…

Three months after Baghdad took control, tensions high in Kirkuk (Al Monitor) The retaking of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army in October has changed the balance of power in the oil-rich town that had been under full control of the Kurds since 2014. The operation was part of Baghdad’s retaliatory measures after the Kurds held an independence referendum that has since been declared illegal…

‘Water war’ escalates between Egypt, Sudan (Al Monitor) On 4 January, Sudan recalled its ambassador from Egypt. Without providing further details, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry stated that Ambassador Kamal al Din Hassan Ali was recalled for consultations. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry is weighing how to “take appropriate action.” This diplomatic spat has unfolded in a complicated context in which numerous issues have fueled tensions in bilateral relations for years...



Tags: Syria Egypt Lebanon Jerusalem Russia

5 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




The reopening ceremony for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church of St. Stephen in Istanbul, often referred to as the “iron church,” was held yesterday, 7 January. (photo: Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

‘Iron church’ reopens in Turkey (Fides) The historic Bulgarian church of St. Stephen, overlooking the Golden Horn, is preparing to reopen its doors to the faithful and visitors after extensive restoration work, which kept it closed for seven years. The place of worship will be reopened next 7 January, with a ceremony in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will also take part. The presence of Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and of Orthodox Patriarch of Bulgaria Neofit is also expected at the inauguration. Built by the Bulgarian community in the 19th century, the Sveti Stefan church is also known as the “iron church,” famous for being made of prefabricated cast iron elements…

Palestinians protest Trump’s Jerusalem move (Christian Today) Thousands of Palestinians are protesting in a ‘day of rage’ across the occupied West Bank, Gaza and in East Jerusalem against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the ancient city as Israel’s capital. Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Friday, the Muslim holy day, expressing solidarity with the Palestinians and outrage at the U.S. move. American embassies around the world, particularly in Muslim majority countries, were forced to tighten security in the face of protests…

Attacks against Indian Christians during the Christmas season (Fides) Christian communities in India suffered at least 23 attacks for religious reasons during the Christmas period, which have instilled a feeling of fear and have hurt the faithful. Protestant Christian Pastor Prabhu Kumar told Fides: “Never in my memory have we experienced the intolerance we are experiencing now…”

Chaldean patriarch: Christmas celebrations in Iraq give hope (AsiaNews) Millions of people took to the streets in Baghdad, Mosul, Najaf and Basra to celebrate. For the first time in three and a half years, faithful celebrated in a former ISIS stronghold. The leader of the Chaldean church extended thanks to young Muslim volunteers, who helped to clean and decorate the Church of St. Paul in Mosul in advance of the celebration…

Egypt’s Coptic Christians to consecrate huge new cathedral (Christian Today) Egypt’s Coptic Christians, under pressure from repeated attacks by Islamist extremists, are to celebrate the opening of a new cathedral tomorrow. Largely funded by the Egyptian government, the new Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ is located in the country’s new administrative capital, a new city being constructed east of Cairo, which is expected one day to accommodate around seven million people…



Tags: Iraq Egypt Palestine Turkey Indian Christians





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