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June, 2017
Volume 43, Number 2
  
20 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




On Saturday, CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar participated in a pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia, Ukraine, as part of his pastoral visit to the country. There, he shared a message with thousands, conveying greetings from those suffering in this time of war:

Msgr. John Kozar offered his thanks for the invitation to take part in the pilgrimage. He conveyed greetings from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, and the faithful of the Catholic Church of America and Canada: “I offer to you this solidarity in prayer, and in suffering, of millions of faithful [who] have been forced to flee their homes, and even their homelands,” said Msgr. Kozar. “Here today before Mary, the mother of our savior, and our mother, we humbly seek her comfort and security. … Your presence these days at this holy place reminds us that we, too, are a holy people.”

Watch the whole video of his address below:



Tags: Ukraine CNEWA Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Msgr. John E. Kozar

20 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Kima Atoian lives with her children and six grandchildren in Armenia’s northernmost town of Ashotzk, where poverty and unemployment are prevalent. Villagers often use cow manure as stove fuel, lacking the means to afford gas. To learn more about life in Armenia’s northern reaches, read Armenian Winter, from the March 2009 edition of ONE. (photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)



Tags: Armenia Poor/Poverty Eastern Europe Economic hardships

20 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




The Rev. Moner Shaded translates as two Syrian women speak with journalists at Warsaw Airport after over 150 Christian refugees from Syria arrived in Poland seeking asylum on 10 July. (photo: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)

For Syrian refugees, 1,500-mile journey of hope and hardship (Christian Science Monitor) It was 10 a.m., and the smuggler told them it was time to go. The two young Syrian men thought he wasn’t serious — surely they would wait to cross the Aegean Sea at night, wouldn’t they? All their hopes rested on this journey, and now they feared this smuggler was going to ruin it all by sending them across the channel, from Turkey to Greece, in the glare of day…

Syrian Christians trying to rebuild between hope and fear (Pravmir) Homs had had a large Christian community before the Syrian war broke out. Many Christians lived in the old part of the city with its many churches in particular. The Christian presence here goes right back to the first century. But in February 2012 the increasingly brutal Syrian war also reached the strategically important city of Homs…

Syrian government, Kurds join forces to take Hassake (AINA) In two districts of Syria’s city of Hassake, Kurdish fighters and government forces rest before returning to battle the Islamic State group, a shared enemy being fought jointly for the first time. Although the two forces are fighting in different parts of the northeastern city, where control is divided between the Kurds and the government, both are necessary to defeat the jihadists. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, army forces and Kurdish fighters have almost totally encircled ISIS in the southern part of Hassake…

Blast in Turkish town near Syria kills 28, wounds nearly 100 (Los Angeles Times) A blast killed at least 28 people Monday in a Turkish town near the country’s border with Syria, officials said. The detonation targeted an event held at the Amara Cultural Center in the town of Suruc, located just six miles from the border near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, site of long-running battles between ISIS and Kurdish fighters…

Venerable Andrey Sheptytsky, a spiritual leader for his people (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday approved the publication of decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of eight servants of God, including Ukrainian Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky, who led his flock during World War II. “Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was a very important church leader in central and eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century,” says the Rev. Athanasius McVay, a scholar specializing in early 20th-century church history…



Tags: Syria Refugees War Turkey Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

17 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Sister Ayelech Gebeyehu prepares food for students in the kitchen of the Blessed Gebremichael Catholic School in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. To learn more about Sister Ayelech’s life and work, read her letter from Ethiopia, which appears in the Spring 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers/Panos Pictures)



Tags: Ethiopia Children Sisters Education Catholic education

17 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian children play at a playground during Eid ul Fitr in Aleppo, Syria, on 17 July. (photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

Eid ul Fitr 2015: Syrian children in Jordan’s Zaatari camp celebrate (Yahoo! News) Syrian children living in temporary homes in Jordan’s Zaatari camp celebrated the first day of Eid on 17 July, amid the harsh conditions of living. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Dressed in their best clothes, children visited the main market to stock up on sweets and toys, then headed to the playground…

Archbishop confirms the kidnapping of Syrian priest (Fides) “I can confirm that Father Antoine Boutros and his collaborator Said Al Abdun, who have been missing since last Sunday, were actually stopped and seized by one of the several armed rebel groups that are in the area,” said Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Nicolas Antiba of Bosra and Hauran. “Since their disappearance we have not received any news or demands from the kidnappers…”

Egypt: Six killed in clashes amid Brotherhood protest (BBC) At least six people have been killed in clashes between Islamist protesters and police in Egypt’s capital Cairo. The violence broke out during demonstrations in support of ousted President Muhammad Morsi and the banned Muslim Brotherhood after prayers at the end of the holy month of Ramadan…

Holocaust survivor saved by Christians returns the favor (Israel Today) At the age of 19, Arthur George Weidenfeld was among the many Jews whom British Christians successfully rescued from Nazi-controlled Austria just as Adolf Hitler and his cohorts were putting the “Final Solution” into action. Seventy-seven years later, now a British lord, Weidenfeld is looking to return the favor by rescuing Syrian and Iraqi Christians under mortal threat…

Archaeologists find Assyrian tablets in Turkey, some about women’s rights (Al Arabiya) Ancient Assyrian tablets, dictating social arrangements including women’s rights, dating back to 4,000 years have been excavated in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, a local newspaper reported Thursday. He said the tablets revealed detailed information about the Assyrians, spanning from commercial trade to the nitty-gritty of the local social life…

Architect of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church remembered (UCANews) An unprecedented 20,000 people concluded a five-day “walking pilgrimage” to remember Servant of God Mar Ivanios, who helped bring a section of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church to the Catholic fold…



Tags: Syria Egypt Turkey Islam Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

16 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A man forced to flee his home due to the violence in eastern Ukraine takes up temporary residence in the Sviatohirsk Monastery — a famous lavra, or monastery made from a series of caves. Earlier today, we linked to a recent Caritas article drawing attention to the plight of internally displaced people in Ukraine, which was also the subject of the cover story of the
Spring 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Ivan Chernichkin)




Tags: Ukraine Refugees War Monastery

16 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Bedouin boy holds a lamb in the village of Umm al Hiran, in the Negev region of Israel. (photo: Getty Images/Uriel Sinai)

Negev Bedouin await forced evictions (Al Monitor) The residents of unrecognized Negev villages have for years suffered discrimination and neglect by the Israeli government, which is now threatening them with mass forced evictions and relocation. Although Israel’s Prawer Plan was shelved in December 2013, on 5 May Israel’s high court ruled that the government could evict the residents of Umm al Hiran and build a Jewish settlement in its place…

Painting by numbers in Ukraine (Caritas) “We’re not doing enough,” says Erik Heinonen, a program manager for Catholic Relief Services in Ukraine. “The humanitarian catastrophe has not really been talked about or covered: 1.3 million people have left their homes behind and everything they had.” Caritas mobile teams have been helping conflict victims since the beginning of the crisis…

Melkite priest in Syria feared kidnapped (Fides) Since last Sunday Melkite Greek Catholic Rev. Antoine Boutros has been incommunicado, along with Al Said Abdun, who was driving him between cities…

Kurdish fighters besiege ISIS gunmen in Syria’s Hassake (Daily Star Lebanon) An activist group and the main Kurdish militia in Syria say Kurdish fighters have besieged members of ISIS in the northeastern city of Hassake. Kurdish official Mustafa Bali says they have cut all the roads linking Hassake with nearby ISIS strongholds in the province…

Anglican bishop: Christian refugees have not given up hope (Christian Post) Although Iraqi refugees who fled their homes to escape ISIS are now homeless and living in tents, containers and other makeshift housing arrangements in the Kurdish north, Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said Wednesday that the morale of displaced refugees is much higher than the media is portraying. Along with an ecumenical delegation of bishops, he recently visited with refugees in northern Iraq as a guest of the Chaldean Catholic Church…

St. Sharbel’s memory, the future of Lebanon and the Maronite Church (AsiaNews) The Maronite Church has decided to commemorate officially the 50th anniversary of the beatification of St. Sharbel by Pope Paul VI by holding a novena of prayers and various events between 18 and 25 July. Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter recently described the saint’s beatification as a prophetic deed intended to focus the world’s attention on the importance of the churches of the East, perhaps in anticipation of the dramatic hours they would later experience…

Egyptian navy vessel targeted by militants off Sinai’s coast (New York Times) An Egyptian navy vessel was targeted on Thursday by militants affiliated with ISIS group, who said they destroyed it with a rocket while it was anchored off the Sinai peninsula’s Mediterranean coast. An Egyptian military spokesman said the vessel caught fire on the shore and that there were no fatalities among its crew members. He did not say how much damage the vessel suffered and gave no details on the type of ship or the size of its crew…

Greek lawmakers pass austerity bill despite dissent (Yahoo! News) Greek lawmakers voted overwhelmingly early Thursday to approve a harsh austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors. The bill, which imposes sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts, fueled anger in the governing Syriza party and led to a revolt against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has insisted the deal forged after a marathon weekend eurozone summit was the best he could do to prevent Greece from catastrophically crashing out of the euro, Europe’s joint currency. The vote came after an anti-austerity demonstration by about 12,000 protesters outside parliament degenerated into violence as the debate was getting underway Wednesday night…



Tags: Syria Ukraine Israel Iraqi Christians Greece

15 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Patients wait in the lobby of the CNEWA-supported Mother of Mercy Clinic in Zerqa, Jordan. As with many of the refugees the clinic serves, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, who administer the institution, hail from Iraq. To learn more about Jordan’s refugee population, read Finding Sanctuary in Jordan, from the Spring 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Nader Daoud)



Tags: Refugees Sisters Jordan Health Care Refugee Camps

15 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Ukrainian refugee gives water to her daughter in a hostel run by rebels in the center of Donetsk. (photo: Getty Images/AFP/Bulent Kilic)

UNICEF appeals for restoration of water facilities for 1.3 million Ukrainians (U.N. News Center) With only 60 percent of the pre-conflict water supply capacities still functioning in Ukraine, some 1.3 million people are struggling to cope with a “serious water crisis” because of damaged or destroyed water lines, forcing many families to travel with buckets to working wells in neighboring villages, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today…

How a Chechen from Georgia became a feared leader of ISIS (The Intercept) Temur Batirashvili, father of one of the most notorious leaders of the Islamic State, is a Christian, as were his ancestors. He has three sons, all of whom converted to Islam, against their father’s wishes. Temur blames himself; when the children grew up he was rarely at home, traveling for work all over Russia. He had to support his family…

Hungarians rally against fence to keep out migrants (Reuters) A thousand people demonstrated in downtown Budapest on Tuesday against a fence Hungary is building along its border with Serbia to keep out an accelerating flow of migrants entering from the south…

Anti-Arab racism up after Gaza war and election campaign, report says (Haaretz) The summer Gaza war and winter election campaign increased the incidence of racism in Israel, including anti-Arab acts, the group the Coalition Against Racism said Tuesday. The report was due to be presented at the Knesset at an event launching a parliamentary caucus against racism. Facebook and the Internet in general have been a locus for racism, but the report discusses both physical and verbal incidents, including racism in Knesset bills and comments by elected officials…



Tags: Ukraine Israel United Nations Georgia Hungary

14 July 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Egyptian sisters pray in Immaculate Conception Church in Suez, torched by rioters in August 2013. To learn more about the effort to rebuild after the mass arson, read Out of the Ashes, from the Spring 2015 issue of ONE. (photo: David Degner)



Tags: Egypt Violence against Christians Sisters





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