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Current Issue
Spring, 2015
Volume 41, Number 1
  
5 February 2015
Greg Kandra




A monk studies scripture at Debra Damo Monastery in Ethiopia. To learn more about the enduring monastic traditions in that corner of Africa, read “Relevant or Relic?” in the November 2010 edition of ONE. (photo: Sean Sprague)



5 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Jordanians line the streets between Amman and Queen Alia airport waiting to greet King Abdullah II upon his arrival at the airport near Amman on 4 February, in Amman, Jordan.
(photo by Jordan Pix/Getty Images)


Jordan king vows “relentless” war against ISIS (Voice of America) Jordan’s King Abdullah has vowed to take tough action against Islamic State militants following the group’s gruesome killing of a Jordanian pilot captured after his plane went down during a mission targeting the militants in Syria. The murder of pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh triggered international condemnation and prompted Jordanian authorities to execute two Iraqi prisoners, failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and al-Qaida operative Ziad al-Karbouly. King Abdullah stressed that Jordan would be “relentless” in the war against Islamic State...

Secretary of State Kerry says peace in Ukraine is up to Russia (CNN) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put the ball squarely in Russia’s court Thursday for finding a peaceful end to the devastating conflict in eastern Ukraine, saying the biggest threat Ukraine faces is “Russia’s continued aggression” there. Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Kerry called on Russia to take three steps he said would enable a diplomatic solution “that is staring everyone in the face.” Those are pulling back heavy weapons beyond the range of civilian populations, removing foreign troops and heavy equipment from Ukraine, and closing the Russia-Ukraine border...

Patriarch Kirill praises Vatican’s balanced view on Ukraine crisis (Interfax) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the policies pursued by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and has thanked the Vatican for its balanced approach toward the Ukrainian crisis. “Today, fresh conflicts in Ukraine in light of the latest political events in the country are causing concern in our relations with the Roman Catholic Church,” the patriarch said in Moscow. “At the same time, I would like to note with satisfaction that the Holy See itself has always pursued a balanced stance toward the situation in Ukraine and has avoided any lop-sided assessments, but has called for peace talks and an end to armed clashes,” he said...

Vatican officials reportedly denied visas for India visit (Vatican Radio) The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) alleged that two key Vatican officials who were to address the 27th National Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in Bengaluru which began on 3 February had been denied visas. Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, President of Pontifical Mission Societies and Adjunct Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, were key resource persons for the week-long conference...



Tags: India Ukraine Jordan Russian Orthodox

4 February 2015
Greg Kandra




An elderly Ukrainian woman reacts as her acquaintances board a bus to flee due to a military conflict in Debaltseve on 4 February. The pope spoke of the conflict in today’s General Audience. He called for prayers that “this horrible fratricidal violence” would end and added that dialogue was “the only way possible to bring peace and harmony to that martyred land.”
(photo: CNS/Sergey Polezhaka, Reuters)




4 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Saif al-Kasasbeh, second from left, father of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, Jordanian pilot, prays in Jordan on February 4 with other mourners during an event commemorating the Islamic State murder of the pilot. (photo: CNS/Jasmal Nasrallah, EPA)

Jordan’s Christian churches condemn pilot’s murder (CNS) Christian churches in Jordan condemned the Islamic State militants’ killing of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot who had been held in captivity by the jihadist group. Special Masses and prayers were planned as churches sent condolences conveying their “deep sorrow” to his Muslim family and tribe, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman reported on 4 February. “Christian churches in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan convey their deep sorrow and sadness over the martyrdom of pilot Muath Kasasbeh,” read a statement issued by Father Rifat Bader, the center’s director...

Jordan executes Al Qaeda prisoners (Vatican Radio) Jordan executed two Al Qaeda prisoners before dawn Wednesday, after the so-called Islamic State released a video of militants burning captured Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh to death in a cage...

Iraq’s Christians take up arms to fight ISIS (Wall Street Journal) Hundreds of Christian men are picking up rifles for the first time at a former U.S. military facility in the hills of northeast Iraq and training to reclaim their towns from Islamic State militants who stormed the country last year. Fresh recruits to a new Iraqi Christian militia said their families were abandoned to militants by government forces last summer and they seek to create a force that will keep their towns and villages safe even after Islamic State is defeated. “I want to defend our own lands, with our own force,” said Nasser Abdullah, 26 years old, who is helping lead younger recruits in training...

Pope decries “fratricide” in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has decried the ‘fratricide’ conflict in Ukraine and issued an urgent appeal for dialogue, “the only possible path to peace”. Speaking at the end of the weekly General Audience, the Pope said his thoughts go to the beloved Ukrainian people. “Unfortunately the situation is worsening” as is the clash between the parties he said...

UN condemns rising civilian deaths in Ukraine (Vatican Radio) The United Nations says a fresh surge in violence in east Ukraine is proving “catastrophic” as at least 5,358 people have been killed since last April, including 224 civilians killed in three-week period leading up to 1 February...

Coming to mourn Tahir Square’s dead, and joining them instead (The New York Times) Her friends wanted to lay a wreath in Tahrir Square as a memorial, but Shaimaa el-Sabbagh urged them to reconsider. She feared that the police might attack, mistaking them for supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said her cousin, Sami Mohamed Ibrahim. But how, her friends asked, could the police attack civilians who were armed only with flowers?...



Tags: Egypt Ukraine Jordan Muslim

3 February 2015
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2013, children in India gather to pray. To learn more about the enduring faith of the Thomas Christians, read “2,000 Years and Counting” from the
Winter 2013 edition of ONE. (photo: John E. Kozar)




3 February 2015
Greg Kandra




In this image from December, a Yazidi couple, who were forced to flee their home because of Islamic State’s advance, pose for a photograph in their temporary home at a refugee camp near Zakho in Duhok, Iraq. This week, Kurdish forces uncovered a mass grave of Yazidis slaughtered by ISIS. (photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)

Catholics fear wave of attacks in India (The New York Times) A series of episodes at churches over the last two months has prompted Roman Catholics here to worry about a deliberate campaign of violence, and to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out against religious intimidation. At least five Catholic churches in and around Delhi have reported various attacks, including suspected arson, burglary, vandalism and stone-throwing. The latest was discovered on Monday morning at St. Alphonsa’s Church in New Delhi, where a parish employee found the church’s front door broken open, ceremonial vessels missing, and communion wafers strewn about...

Mass grave of Yazidis uncovered in Iraq (Al-Arabiya) Iraqi Kurdish forces have uncovered a mass grave containing the remains of about 25 members of the Yazidi minority believed to have been killed by the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), local officials have said. “Peshmerga forces discovered a mass grave yesterday (Sunday) containing the remains of about 25 people — men, children and women — from the Yazidi (sect) who were killed by” ISIS, Myaser Haji Saleh, a local official responsible for the Sinjar area, told AFP...

Civilians die as battles rage in Ukraine (BBC) Up to 16 civilians have been killed and dozens more injured in the space of 24 hours in fighting in eastern Ukraine. Government officials and representatives of the rebels reported deaths in locations across the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukraine’s army also said five soldiers had died during fierce clashes with the pro-Russian rebels near the strategic town of Debaltseve in eastern Donetsk. Civilian casualties have risen sharply in recent weeks amid a rebel offensive...

Pope Francis, Eritrean priest among nominees for Nobel Prize (Reuters) A Russian newspaper critical of President Vladimir Putin is among the nominations for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Edward Snowden, Pope Francis and a priest helping African migrants. Although the committee has marked the last four 10-year anniversaries of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima by honoring the fight against nuclear proliferation, there was little speculation among Nobel watchers that the trend would continue. Thousands of people, including all members of parliaments, can make nominations, which must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1. The $1.2 million award will be announced in October...



Tags: India Iraq Pope Francis Ukraine Eritrea

2 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Parishioners sing a hymn during evening Mass in the Church of Sts. Simeon and Anne in Jerusalem. The parish is comprised of Catholics who speak Hebrew. Read more about this distinct group in “Hebrew Spoken Here” from the Spring 2013 edition of ONE. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)



2 February 2015
Greg Kandra




Egyptians who call themselves as ‘Anti-Coup demonstrators’, take part in a protest in Giza on 30 January 2015. (photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Human rights group accuses Egypt of cover-up (Vatican Radio) Rights group Amnesty International on Sunday accused Egyptian authorities of intimidating witnesses and whitewashing evidence to cover up the role of security forces in the killing of more than two dozen people during protests last week...

Clashes escalate between Armenia and Azerbaijan (The New York Times) Overshadowed by the fighting in Ukraine, another armed conflict in the former Soviet Union — between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh — has escalated with deadly ferocity in recent months, killing dozens of soldiers on each side and pushing the countries perilously close to open war...

India’s Christians encouraged by Obama’s talk on religious liberty (National Catholic Register) Christians took comfort this week from some unexpected “hard talk” in support of religious freedom delivered by visiting U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama’s remarks came two days after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s similar remarks, delivered to mark India’s 26 January Republic Day celebration, at which Obama was this year’s chief guest. And to many Christians, both speeches seemed to be directly addressed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling BJP party...

Gaza music school shines in “Arabs Got Talent” (Reuters) On the hugely popular “Arabs Got Talent” TV show in Beirut last month, five young musicians in chequered black-and-white scarves brought the house down with a traditional Arabic song that left the judges weeping and earned a ticket straight to the finals...



Tags: India Egypt Gaza Strip/West Bank Armenia

30 January 2015
Greg Kandra




Catholic and Orthodox priests join other ministers for an inaugural ceremony for a church made entirely from ice at Balea Lac resort in the Fagaras mountains of Romania on 29 January.
(photo: CNS/Radu Sigheti, Reuters)




30 January 2015
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis poses with members of the Oriental Orthodox dialogue commission.
(photo: L’Osseervatore Romano/Vatican Radio)


Pope Francis meets with Oriental Orthodox (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the participants in a meeting — this week — of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Oriental Orthodox Churches those Orthodox Eastern Christian churches which recognize only the first three ecumenical councils, and rejected the formulae of the Council of Chalcedon, at which certain central Christological doctrines were dogmatically defined, most especially the dual nature — fully divine and fully human, perfectly united though without mixing, blending or alteration — of Christ...

Dozens killed in wave of bombings in Iraq (Daily Mail) The Islamic State jihadist group killed a senior Kurdish commander and five fighters major attack in Iraq’s Kirkuk province today, while bombings elsewhere left a further 27 dead. The assault on areas south and west of the northern city of Kirkuk began at around midnight, sparking fighting with medium and heavy weapons that was still ongoing this morning. Brigadier General Shirko Rauf and five other members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces were killed in clashes and 46 more were wounded, a police officer and a doctor said...

Ukraine battle raging (BBC) Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels are exchanging heavy tank and artillery fire in and around Debaltseve, a strategic town in eastern Ukraine. There are reports — not independently confirmed — that the rebels have seized the nearby town of Vuhlehirsk. Many civilians remain trapped in Debaltseve, while others — including people with shrapnel wounds — have managed to reach the town of Artemivsk. Russian media say shellfire has killed seven people in the city of Donetsk...

India investigating reports of mass “reconversion” of Christians (The Guardian) Reports of a new mass conversion of Christians in India have raised concerns over freedom of worship, days after Barack Obama challenged the country’s record on religious tolerance. Details of the incident are unclear but it was reported that between 50 and 100 Christians from some of the poorest communities in India were “welcomed back” to Hinduism in a “homecoming ceremony” in a remote area in the eastern state of West Bengal on Wednesday...

Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic studies marks 50th anniversary (Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, known by its Latin or Italian acronym PISAI, is marking 50 years of its presence in Rome. Originally started in Tunisia by the Society of Missionaries of Africa (M.Afr), or the White Fathers after their white habit, the training centre prepared missionaries with a background of Arabic and Muslim culture. Today, PISAI is a study and research centre whose teaching and scientific activities provide the necessary preparation for an informed theological dialogue with Muslims...

Why Kerala drinks most among Indian states (Business Insider) India is surely living up in since the last couple of years. Increased alcohol consumption is the biggest indicator of this. No prizes for guessing the heaviest of drinkers. Among Indian states, the trend of bottom’s up is the highest in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Overall statistics is a bit alarming too. According to a survey that was compiled and presented recently, Indian population was studied between 2008 and 2012. The World Health Organization warned showing a startling 11% of the people starting from 15 years of age were among moderate to heavy drinkers...



Tags: India Iraq Ukraine Kerala Orthodox





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