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Spring, 2017
Volume 43, Number 1
  
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: Iraq India 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: Iraq India Ukraine Kerala Orthodox

29 January 2015
Greg Kandra




Zabbaleen workers bundle cardboard waste for resale in Egypt. To read more about how the Zabbaleen, or “garbage people” are making a living in Cairo, read “Salvaging Dignity” from the September 2012 edition of ONE. (photo: Dana Smillie)



29 January 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs meet in Bkerke, Lebanon, on 27 January, to address the crises in the Middle East. Pictured from left to right are Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III; Greek Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna X of Antioch; Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Peter; Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II; and Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III. (photo: CNS/Mychel Akl, courtesy Maronite Catholic patriarchate)

Christian leaders meet in Lebanon, call for end to financing terrorists (CNS) Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs called for an end to financing terrorists and suggested that borders be closed when necessary to prevent their movement. The leaders also appealed for the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on a long-standing proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and pleaded for the return of Palestinian refugees to their native lands. Their calls came in a statement released after a meeting on 27 January in Bkerke, the seat of the Maronite Church north of Beirut, to address the situation of Christians in the Middle East, especially those displaced from Iraq and Syria. A representative of the Protestant churches of Syria and Lebanon as well as international aid officials also attended…

Oriental Orthodox and Catholics work to conclude joint document (Vatican Radio) Representatives of all the Oriental Orthodox churches are in Rome this week for a meeting of their International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue with the Catholic Church. During the five-day encounter, which began on Monday, participants hope to finalize a joint document on communion and communication in the first five centuries of Christianity…

Islamic State bombed historic walls of Nineveh in Iraq (AINA) Jihadists resumed bombings against historic sites in Nineveh and destroyed remains of the ancient wall of Mosul, specialized sources reported today. A historian living in Mosul, the second largest in Iraq, told the publication Shafaq News that militants of the Islamic State destroyed on Tuesday night much of the historic city wall located on Tahrir neighborhood on the left coast of Mosul…

Double suicide attack kills 6, wounds 28 in Baghdad (Al Akhbar) A double suicide attack on a base housing militia groups fighting alongside the government north of Baghdad killed at least six people on Thursday, medical sources said. “The car rammed an army checkpoint protecting access to the base” in Mishahada, a Baghdad hospital official said. The first blast killed at least three people, including a civilian…

Yazidis ask Israel for help (Al Monitor) Desperate Yazidis are reaching out to Israel, asking for understanding and assistance, especially in the military domain for their fight against the Islamic State…

Hezbollah-Israel: No war for now (Al Jazeera) Neither Hezbollah nor Israel are interested in engaging in a full scale war, analysts say. Hezbollah’s attack on Wednesday, the strongest since 2006, was meant to restore the balance of deterrence between the two sides, following Israel’s game-changing move last week when it targeted and killed six Hezbollah operatives and an Iranian commander in Quneitra in Syria’s Golan Heights…

Living among the dead in Gaza (Al Monitor) “We smell the stench of death everywhere and all we see is the burial of the dead. We no longer know the meaning of leisure, as we have abandoned the hope of living.” This is how Abu Raed al Qahwaji described the life of his family, which now lives in a cemetery in central Gaza. Qahwaji, 39, who lives with his wife and four children, said, “We used to live in a small flat in an apartment building in the Shajaia neighborhood in central Gaza City. … However, the building was destroyed in the war and we were left with no other choice but this small hut I set up in the cemetery.” He explained that he could not find any other shelter given his dire situation, poverty and unemployment, while the demand on apartments was increasing following the war that destroyed tens of thousands of houses and apartment buildings…

Jordan demands proof captured pilot is alive as deadline passes (Washington Post) Jordan demanded proof Thursday from the Islamic State that a captured Jordanian pilot is still alive, as a deadline set by the militant group for the kingdom to release a convicted terrorist passed without word on the fate of both sides’ prisoners or any sign of an imminent exchange…



Tags: Iraq Gaza Strip/West Bank Israel Jordan Ecumenism





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