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Page One: Headlines for 1/2/18 Posted: Jan 2 2018 9:46AM

Worshipers pray during Mass on New Year’s Eve at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Cairo. At least ten were killed in two attacks on the Coptic community Friday.
(photo: CNS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters)


Pope expresses closeness to Coptic Christians after attack (Vatican Radio) At least 10 were killed in two separate attacks on the Coptic Christian community in Cairo last Friday. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for both. After reciting the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his “closeness to the Coptic Orthodox” and prayed for the dead, the wounded and the whole community. He also prayed especially for the conversion of what he called “all violent hearts...”

For New Year, pope urges help for refugees, respect for life (CNS) Pope Francis began the New Year praying the world would demonstrate a marked increase in solidarity and welcome for migrants and refugees. “Let’s not extinguish the hope in their hearts; let’s not suffocate their hopes for peace,” the pope said on 1 January before reciting the Angelus with a crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square...

Israeli bill strengthens East Jerusalem occupation (Al Jazeera) Israeli legislators have approved a bill that makes it more difficult to divide Jerusalem. The bill passed early on Tuesday and stipulates that two-thirds support is needed in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, before Israel can relinquish control over any portion of the holy city to a foreign entity, according to local media...

Report: interfaith network of Muslims and Jews working to keep peace in Middle East (The Art Newspaper) A remarkable alliance of Israeli orthodox rabbis and Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East is mediating behind the scenes following the anger and violence sparked by President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month...

Pope prints postcard illustrating the horror of war (CNS) As 2017 was drawing to a close, the horrors of war and people’s yearnings for peace were on Pope Francis’ mind and in his prayers. In an unusual move late on 30 December, the pope had the Vatican press office and Vatican media distribute a copy of a famous photograph from the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki...

Ancient artifact that could support the Bible found near the Western Wall in Jerusalem (Newsweek) A 2,700-year-old clay seal was discovered near the plaza of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem five years after digging through the site started. The ancient find may have once belonged to the governor of the city. On Monday, Israeli archaeologists revealed the ancient artifact was discovered, saying the seal was inscribed with ancient Hebrew script as “belonging to the governor of the city,” reported Reuters...