from News

Syrian Refugees Flood Neighboring Countries
Catholic News Service (24 August 2012)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — While media images of the Syrian civil war are mainly those of men with guns, workers from Catholic Relief Services have seen “predominantly women and children, fleeing,” said a communications officer who recently returned from the Middle East.

Melkite, Maronite Archbishops’ Residences in Syria Ransacked
Catholic News Service (28 August 2012)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Fighting in Aleppo, Syria, has not spared the residences of the local Melkite and Maronite Catholic archbishops, according to the Vatican’s Fides news agency.

Christians in Syria Struggle to Survive
Catholic News Service (22 October 2012)
LONDON (CNS) — The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo said Syria’s second-largest city, which he “loves so much,” has been left in ruins by months of fighting, and Christians there are struggling to survive.

Syrian Refugee Crisis
Catholic News Service (13 November 2012)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Representatives of 26 humanitarian agencies gathered in Beirut to discuss and coordinate efforts to address the increasing Syrian refugee crisis. Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, who visited with Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley, presided over the Nov. 9 meeting.

Syrian Refugees in Turkey
Catholic News Service (21 November 2012)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — Michel George Sarkisiyan is behind on the rent for the one-bedroom apartment he shares with his wife and 8-year-old daughter, Magdalena.

Catholic Aid to Syrian Refugees
Catholic News Service (27 November 2012)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — Many Syrian families fleeing war in their homeland and stranded in Turkey are desperate to provide a sense of normalcy for their children despite the chaos and upheaval of war, said the head of an emergency mission of the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Relief Services.

Caritas in Lebanon Helps Syrian Refugees
Catholic News Service (29 November 2012)
BEIRUT (CNS) — When Syrian refugees arrive in Lebanon, help begins with a phone call to the U.N. refugee agency — if they can get through.

Bishops Described Christmas in Besieged Aleppo
Catholic News Service (28 December 2012)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Because of ongoing fighting in the city, Catholic leaders in Aleppo, Syria, canceled their traditional Christmas visits to local government officials, but the local governor dropped in on a meeting of bishops and priests on 27 December to offer his best wishes, said Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro.

U.S. Catholics’ Relief Efforts Help Syrians in Turkey
Catholic News Service (4 January 2013)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — The relief efforts of U.S. Catholics are helping Syrian refugees in Turkey face their ordeal in a dignified manner that respects their priorities, said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz.

Visiting Bishops Note Strain on Mideast
Catholic News Service (10 January 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Bishops who traveled to the Holy Land to assess the local church’s needs noted the “profound anxiety” that the “dark and dramatic events” of the past year have caused in the region.

More Funds Needed as Syrians Flood Jordan
Catholic News Service (30 January 2013)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — As frightened Syrian refugees flood into Jordan and other nearby countries, U.N. officials at a donor conference in Kuwait appealed to the international community for desperately needed funding for victims of the 22-month crisis.

Though Saddened by War, Syrian Bishop Does Not Despair
Catholic News Service (22 March 2013)
ROME (CNS) — Ministering in a time of war in his hometown, the Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, Syria, said: “Deep down, I’m not frightened, I’m not scared; I’m sad.”

Syrian Refugees Make Best of Life in Lebanon
Catholic News Service (22 March 2013)
AJALTOUN, Lebanon (CNS) — The scent of cinnamon from freshly prepared bowls of custard filled a communal kitchen at the Syriac Center before the daily meal preparations began.

Easter: Mideast Church Leaders Pray for Peace in Syria
Catholic News Service (1 April 2013)
BEIRUT (CNS) — In Easter messages, Catholic patriarchs in the Middle East highlighted the need for an end to the war in Syria, now entering its third year.

Pope, U.N. Head Discuss Crises in Syria, Korean Peninsula
Catholic News Service (10 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Each recognizing the important role the other plays on the global stage, Pope Francis and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met at the Vatican on 9 April, discussing common efforts to promote peace and protect human dignity.

Turkey to Build Camp for Christian Refugees
Catholic News Service (15 April 2013)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — Christians escaping the two-year civil war in Syria will soon have their own camp in which to live and receive humanitarian aid, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey told local media.

Drop Debate over Arming Syria, Says Patriarch
Catholic News Service (19 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Unless western nations immediately find ways to bring peace to Syria instead of debating whether to arm opposition forces, the country will continue to be in turmoil and a victim of the West’s indecision, said a Syrian patriarch.

Pope Prays for Orthodox Archbishops Kidnapped in Syria
Catholic News Service (24 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Acknowledging “conflicting reports” about two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria, Pope Francis prayed for them and for an end to the war in their country.

Syriac Bishop Decries Extremism
Catholic News Service (21 May 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Growing extremism in Syria could jeopardize the safety of all Christians, said Syriac Catholic Bishop Gregory Melki of Jerusalem.

Vatican: Children Suffer Most in Syrian Violence
Catholic News Service (30 May 2013)
GENEVA (CNS) — The Vatican has reiterated its call for negotiations to end the violence in Syria, saying that children are suffering the most.

Jesuit Grapples With Syrian War
Catholic News Service (3 June 2013)
ROME (CNS) — For Jesuit Father Nawras Sammour, the ongoing conflict in Syria is a professional challenge and a personal heartache.

Update on Iraq
Catholic News Service (7 June 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must help the people of Syria because “where there is suffering, Christ is present,” Pope Francis told representatives of Catholic aid agencies working in Syria and with Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

Maronite, Orthodox Leaders Call for Release of Kidnapped Syrian Bishops
Catholic News Service (14 June 2013)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Lebanon’s Maronite patriarch and Syria’s Greek Orthodox patriarch called for the release of two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria.

Pope, JRS See Face of Christ in Faces of Refugees
Catholic News Service (20 June 2013)
ROME (CNS) — The photos of refugees projected on the facade of Rome’s Gesu Church are reminders of what Pope Francis would call the suffering body of Christ today, said the head of Jesuit Refugee Service.

Bishops Seek Cease-Fire and Disarmament in Syria
Catholic News Service (20 June 2013)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Two bishops have called for the United States to seek a negotiated cease-fire in Syria’s civil war rather than arming combatants.

Syrian Refugees Need Stronger International Support
Catholic News Service (21 June 2013)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Syrian refugees fleeing their homeland’s civil war deserve support from the international community in the form of food, water, shelter and education, said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, of Tucson, Ariz., chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services.

Syrian Priest Killed in Rebel Attack on Franciscan Convent
Catholic News Service (25 June 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A 49-year-old Syrian priest and hermit was killed on 23 June, apparently when a group of rebels attacked the Franciscan Convent of St. Anthony in Ghassanieh, a village in the north near the Turkish border.

Nuncio: Syria’s War Creates Havoc, Priest’s Whereabouts Unknown
Catholic News Service (30 July 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The war in Syria is like a factory churning out nothing but death, destruction and suffering, said Archbishop Mario Zenari, Vatican nuncio to Syria.

Italian Official Comments on Kidnapped Jesuit
Catholic News Service (7 August 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After more than a week with no word from Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian priest who worked for decades in Syria, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said, “it seems he has been kidnapped by an Islamist group” that is a “local version of Al Qaida,” the terrorist group.

For Some Syrian Christian Refugees, Christmas a Sorrowful Time
Catholic News Service (26 December 2013)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Some Syrian Christian refugees taking shelter in neighboring Jordan did not have a happy Christmas, fearful for their uncertain future as the violent conflict in their homeland grinds on past 33 months with no end in sight.

Jesuit Who Used YouTube to Appeal for Help for Homs Reportedly Killed
Catholic News Service (8 April 2014)
ROME (CNS) — A 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit who refused to leave war-torn Syria, instead staying in Homs to help the poor and homeless, was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head, according to an email sent by the Jesuits’ Middle East province to the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

Flow of Syrian Christian Refugees to Jordan Increasing, Caritas Says
Catholic News Service (17 April 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The influx of Syrian Christian refugees into Jordan is on the rise, said the head of Caritas Jordan.

For Syrian, Iraqi Refugees, Catholic Agencies Meet Wide Range of Needs
Catholic News Service (10 May 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Fleeing conflict and violence back home, refugees from Syria and Iraq praised the Catholic humanitarian agencies helping them to cope with their trauma while starting a new life in their adopted safe haven of Jordan.

Pope Francis: Silence Weapons in Syria
web news (2 June 2014)
Vatican City, 31 May 2014 (VIS) — Yesterday afternoon the pope delivered a message to the participants in the meeting with Catholic charitable associations who work in the context of the crisis in Syria, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Pope Decries ‘Globalization of Indifference’ to War, Suffering in Syria
Catholic News Service (2 June 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A “globalization of indifference” has taken hold of too many of the world’s people, numbing them to the horrifying reality faced by the people of Syria and other innocent victims of war and violence around the world, Pope Francis said.

Refugees in Jordan Never Thought They Would Have to Leave Home
Catholic News Service (20 June 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Desperate to reunite with family in Europe, a young Syrian refugee recently paid thousands of dollars to a human trafficker to help him and his brother travel abroad. Instead, the pair found themselves tricked, half-way on the opposite side of the world — in China.

Syrian Christian Leader Warns of Impending Islamic State Assault
Catholic News Service (25 July 2014)
NICOSIA, Cyprus (CNS) — A prominent Syrian Christian political leader has warned of an impending assault on the northeastern province of Hassake amid reports that thousands of Islamist fighters are preparing to take control of the predominantly Christian and Kurdish area.

from Blog Content

Growing Numbers Flee Syria
The New York Times documents the tragic circumstances of Syrian refugees.

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Vatican's Roadmap for Syria: A "Bridge" Between Communities
A week before the pope delivered his apostolic exhortation, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue gave a terse speech on similar topics.

"After President Bashar, We Don't Know What Will Happen."
CNN reports on Christians' concerns about the prospect of a post-Assad Syria.

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Picture of the Day: Seeking Refuge
Syrian children who fled the violence in Homs, Syria, sit outside a tent in the hillside town of Arsal, Lebanon. (photo: CNS/Mohamed Azakir, Reuters)

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Helping Syria's Smallest Victims
Vatican Radio today reported on the deepening crisis in Syria, with special attention devoted to the suffering children. Charities are calling for urgent funding - and that includes CNEWA.

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Who Will Help the Syrians?
Bradley H. Kerr shares an update on the status of the people of Syria and how CNEWA is working to provide assistance.

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Picture of the Day: A Prayer for Syria
Archbishop Francis Chullikatt speaks at an interfaith prayer service at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral in Brooklyn on 2 April. (photo: CNEWA)

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Picture of the Day: “War Is Like Fire”
The Azar family prepares dinner in an empty lot in Al Qaa, Lebanon, where they have sought refuge from the war in Syria. (photo: Tamara Hadi)

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Picture of the Day: “We See Jesus Suffering in Beloved Syria”
A boy displaced by fighting in Syria attends a class in the governorate of Idlib, Syria, on 27 May. (photo: CNS/Muzaffar Salman, Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: The Faces of Syria
In this image from 2010, a woman and her granson pose in the village of Aklaimi, Wadi al Nasarah, in the "Valley of the Christians," near Homs. (photo: Sean Sprague)

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Picture of the Day: Saving the Children of War
Children gather in a makeshift classroom in the Al Waer neighborhood of Homs. (photo: Ziad Hilal, S.J.)

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The Displaced Christians of Syria
Issam Bishara, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, has compiled a brief report on the state of displaced Syrian Christians — on both sides of the nation’s border.

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Picture of the Day: Praying for Peace
Flooded with Syrian Christian refugees, Al Qaa's Greek Catholic church in Lebanon is often filled to capacity.

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Picture of the Day: Fleeing Syria
Mustafa Abu Bekir, 23, is carried by a family member as they enter Turkey from the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate on 9 September. (photo: CNS/Umit Bektas, Reuters)

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The King’s Speech
King Abdullah II, ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, gave an extraordinary speech to the U.N. General Assembly on 24 September 2013.

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Picture of the Day: From Syria to Italy
Migrants are seen on a rescue boat as they arrive with a group that includes Syrian refugees at the port of Pozzallo, Italy, on 17 September. (photo: CNS/Antonio Parrinello, Reuters)

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A Visit With the “Golden Lions” in Atlanta
CNEWA's Bob Pape visits the Golden Lions of St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta to discuss Christians in the Middle East.

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Picture of the Day: Syrian Sanctuary
A Free Syrian Army fighter walks inside a church in Aleppo, Syria, on 4 November. (photo: CNS/Molhem Barakat, Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Syria’s Smallest Victims
Men help a wounded boy who survived what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Damascus on 7 January. (photo: CNS/Bassam Khabieh, Reuters)

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An Update on CNEWA’s Work in Syria
Msgr. John E. Kozar, CNEWA's president, introduces a report on matters on the ground in Syria.

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Picture of the Day: The Pope’s Plea for Peace in Syria
A Syrian refugee boy carries wood in the Al Yamdiyeh refugee camp near the Syrian-Turkish border in Latakia province on 10 January. (photo: CNS/Khattab Abdulaa, Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Letters From Armenia
Antranig Chakerian transformed the walls of his house in Anjar, Lebanon, into a canvas for icons, images and poems dedicated to his ancestral homeland: historic Armenia. (photo: Dalia Khamissy)

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Power of Grace
Michael La Civita and Msgr. Kozar visit Lebanon, February-March 2014.

Picture of the Day: In the Shadow of War, a Smile
The Azar family, refugees from Syria, now live in the village of Al Qaa in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. (photo: Tamara Hadi)

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A Note From Syria:
"It Is Too Difficult for the Church Life"

Today, I was touched to receive the brief handwritten note pictured above.

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A Visit to the Valley:
Life Among Refugees in Lebanon

Journalist Diane Handal reflects on reporting on Syrian refugees in the Bekaa valley.

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Page One: Headlines for 6/20/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 6/23/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 7/3/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 7/22/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Picture of the Day: Syria’s Iraqi Children
Iraqi refugee children had found some stability in Syria before civil war erupted. (photo: Spencer Osberg)

Page One: Headlines for 7/23/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 7/29/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Is the Middle East Unraveling?
Michael J.L. La Civita discusses the wave of violence that seems to be overwhelming the Middle East.

Page One: Headlines for 7/31/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 8/1/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 8/4/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 8/5/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Picture of the Day: Taking Flight
A Lebanese army soldier carries a young refugee fleeing the violence in Syria in the Lebanese border town of Arsal, Lebanon, on 6 August. (photo: CNS/Hassan Abdallah)

Page One: Headlines for 9/22/14
Stories of interest for the day.

Page One: Headlines for 9/23/14
Stories of interest for the day.