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Current Issue
June, 2017
Volume 43, Number 2
  
26 April 2017
Greg Kandra




A cross above a church is seen alongside minarets of a mosque on 17 April in Cairo ahead of Pope Francis’ visit later this week. (photo: CNS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)

Copts, Muslims expected at Mass celebrated by Pope (Fides) Copt Catholic Bishop Antonios Mina says Copt Orthodox Christians will be present at the Mass celebrated by the Pope, as well as many Muslims...

In TED talk, pope urges people to make real connections (CNS) While searching for a connection today often means looking for Wi-Fi, Pope Francis said real connections between people are the only hope for the future. “How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,” he said in a video talk played 25 April for 1,800 people attending TED 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and posted online with subtitles in 20 languages...

France says it has evidence Assad was behind Syrian chemical attack (The Washingon Post) Samples from a deadly sarin attack in Syria bear “the signature” of President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program, French officials said Wednesday. The announcement marks the strongest evidence yet that Assad’s government was responsible for the daybreak attack on the northwestern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun earlier this month which killed at least 86 people, many of them as they slept...

In Mosul, a battle against ISIS and time (The New York Times) Every day, for weeks, the battle to take western Mosul from the Islamic State has looked like this: a block-by-block crawl as casualties mount...

Bishops in India meet with government official to discuss anti-Christian harassment (Crux) Seven bishops from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have met with the chief minister of the state to discuss the recent disruptions of Christian places of worship in the state. In recent months, right-wing activists from the Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) have stopped services and harassed worshipers in the state, which is India’s largest, accusing churches of trying to convert the local Hindu population to Christianity...

‘Poor man’s kebab’ is Gaza’s most treasured food (The Electronic Intifada) Every morning after I open my store, I buy falafel and hummus for breakfast. It’s the most popular meal in our market because of its reasonable price and high nutritional value,” said Arafat Ashour, 44, the owner of a produce stand at al-Zawya market, one of the oldest markets in Gaza. “I eat it with my friend who works with me. Sometimes customers join us.” Its ingredients may be humble, but falafel enjoys a high status in Gaza...



25 April 2017
Greg Kandra




Students stay cool in the shade in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray. Read A Letter From Ethiopia by Abune Tesfaselassie Medhin, bishop for the Ethiopian Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat, in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)



Tags: Ethiopia Education Catholic education Ethiopian Catholic Church

25 April 2017
Greg Kandra




In the video above, an expert on Islam offers analysis on the pope’s upcoming trip to Egypt. (video: Rome Reports)

Pope Francis sends video message to Egyptians (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the people of Egypt ahead of his apostolic journey to the country, saying the “world needs peace, love and mercy”…

Tight security is ‘new normal’ ahead of papal visit (CNS) Despite the ongoing risk of terrorism, Pope Francis planned to travel to Egypt as a sign of being close to the people there, said Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman. Heightened security is part of the “new normal” in many countries, but even in the wake of the Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt, it is the pope’s desire “to go ahead, to also be a sign of his closeness” to those affected by violence and all the people of Egypt, Burke told journalists on 24 April…

Iraqi troops capture largest neighborhood in Mosul (AP) A senior military commander says Iraqi troops have driven out Islamic State militants from the largest neighborhood in the western half of the city of Mosul. Special forces Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al Saadi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the sprawling Al Tanek neighborhood “is fully liberated and under full control” of the security forces. Al Saadi didn’t provide more details…

American killed on monitoring mission in Ukraine (Reuters) A member of the European monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine was killed and two others were injured Sunday when their vehicle drove over a mine near Luhansk. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which runs the monitoring mission, said it was investigating. The monitor who was killed was an American man, according to a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Austria, which holds the rotating presidency of the 57-nation organization. The man’s name was not released…

Christianity could be restricted in parts of Ethiopia (Christian Today) Christianity could be outlawed in Ethiopia for smaller congregations and house churches where worshippers meet for less formal prayer or smaller services. Tigray State, in the north of Ethiopia, is considering changing its laws to ban Christian activities outside official church compounds, reports World Watch Monitor…



Tags: Iraq Egypt Pope Francis Ukraine Ethiopia

24 April 2017
Greg Kandra




A student greets a visitor at a school for children with special needs in Koonammavu, a suburb of Cochin, in Kerala. In the current edition of ONE, CNEWA’s president Msgr. John E. Kozar reflects on the Catholic Eastern churches around the world. See more images and read his essay here. (photo: John E. Kozar/CNEWA)



Tags: India Children Sisters Kerala

24 April 2017
Greg Kandra




During a prayer service at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome on 22 April, Pope Francis greets Roselyne Hamel, sister of the Rev. Jacques Hamel, who was killed in Rouen, France, last year. (photo: CNS/Maurizio Brambatti, pool)

Pope pays tribute to modern martyrs (CNS) The church today needs believers who witness each day to the power of God’s love, but it also needs the heroic witness of those who stand up to hatred even when it means giving up their lives, Pope Francis said. At Rome’s Basilica of St. Bartholomew, a shrine to modern martyrs, Pope Francis presided over an evening prayer service 22 April, honoring Christians killed under Nazism, communism, dictatorships and terrorism...

Here’s what is left of Aleppo (Los Angeles Times) A sense of relative stability has descended on the district, despite vast expanses of pancaked buildings, rubble-strewn streets and walls perforated with bullet holes and shrapnel scars. Some residents who fled during the war years have returned, and there is a halting sense of renewed life on the streets. But the area remains largely depopulated. And no one dares say that the war is ending anytime soon…

IKEA launches initiative to give jobs to thousands of refugees in Jordan (Curbed.com) IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, can get a bad rap for igniting relationship disputes and making hard-to-assemble wares. But the Sweden-born store also recognizes that with massive power comes massive opportunity for doing good. Case in point: The company has teamed up with Jordan River Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded by Queen Rania of Jordan, to launch an ambitious employment initiative projected to hire some 200,000 impoverished people around the globe in the next 15 years…

Kerala bishop opposes bill to govern church property (Vatican Radio) The Latin rite archbishop of Kerala, in a letter dated 15 April has urged the government not to interfere in the administration of church properties. Archbishop M. Soosa Pakiam, president of Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, wrote to the secretary of the Kerala State Minority Commission to assert the fundamental right of Christians to manage and administer church property…



Tags: Jordan Kerala Catholic Aleppo Martyred

21 April 2017
Greg Kandra






This powerful video from Egyptian television is beginning to go viral, and understandably so. Details:

A Muslim journalist reacts to an interview with the widow of the gatekeeper who prevented a suicide bomber from entering an Alexandria church yard on Palm Sunday, thereby saving countless lives.

This clip is a great testament the extraordinary faith of Egyptian Christians — and to the power of forgiveness.



Tags: Egypt Violence against Christians

21 April 2017
Greg Kandra




A young child receives a checkup at the clinic administered by the Near East Council of Churches in Shajaia, a neighborhood of Gaza City. Read more about this clinic Where Hope Is Kindled in Gaza in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Tamara Abdul Hadi)



Tags: Children Gaza Strip/West Bank Health Care Eastern Churches

21 April 2017
Greg Kandra




A woman and children attend an Easter liturgy in Mar Yohanna Church in the nearly deserted, predominantly Christian Iraqi town of Qaraqosh near Mosul. (Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)

Celebrating Easter in an Iraqi town that has lost its Christians (New York Times) Islamic State militants overran the Christian town of Qaraqosh nearly three years ago, smashing every crucifix they found and using the walls of churches for target practice. Residents fled by the thousands, and the few who stayed were forced to spit on images of the Virgin Mary. This weekend, my colleagues and I attended Easter service in Qaraqosh, which has long been a center of Christian life in Iraq, hoping to find signs of rebirth. Instead, we drove through what looked like a ghost town…

Holy See ‘deeply concerned’ over Middle East situation (Vatican Radio) The Holy See has expressed deep concern over the current situation in the Middle East and reiterated its support for a two-state solution in Palestine…

ISIS claims credit for Paris attack (The Independent) A note expressing support for ISIS has been found near the body of a gunman who shot a police officer dead in the center of Paris. Sources within the investigation told news agencies of the discovery as a probe continued into the chief suspect, a 39-year-old Frenchman who was the subject of a previous terror investigation. Police also found a pump-action shotgun and knives in his car, showing the attacker was armed for an extended assault. ISIS swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack, giving the perpetrator a war name indicating he had links in Belgium and hailing him as a “fighter of the Islamic State”…

Indian police rescuing women from sex traffickers (Vatican Radio) In a unique gesture, police in the Indian state of West Bengal are going beyond the call of duty by raising funds for the women they rescue from sex traffickers to help them get back on track…

Holy Fire from Jerusalem delivered to Washington, D.C. (Sputnik) The Holy Fire from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been delivered to Washington, D.C., Archpriest Victor Potapov, rector at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist told Sputnik…



Tags: Iraq India Palestine Iraqi Christians France

20 April 2017
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2015, Assyrian Christians who had fled Syria and Iraq carry placards and wave the flag of the Assyro-Chaldean nationalist movement during a gathering in front of U.N. headquarters in Beirut. A new report says animosity toward religious groups has grown. (photo: CNS/Nabil Mounzer, EPA)

A new report from the Pew Research Center offers some stark statistics. From Catholic News Agency:

“Government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015 for the first time in three years,” the latest annual Pew Research Center report on “Global Restrictions on Religion” began.

In 2015, there were “very high” or “high” levels of animosity shown towards religious groups in 40 percent of countries, the report noted, either through restrictive government laws targeting religious groups or violence or harassment toward adherents of specific religions by other members of society.

The 2015 percentage was up six points from 2014, when 34 percent of countries reported such levels of hostility to religious groups.

Pew’s report drew from various sources on global religious freedom, both from the U.S. government (annual international religious freedom reports of the State Department and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom), the European Union and United Nations, and other non-governmental organizations.

The report was part of the “Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project,” funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation.

Certain countries and regions of the world showed especially high hostility towards religious groups. Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria all showed both government harassment of and social animus toward certain religious groups.

Some of the most common instances of hostility included “mob violence” waged against people for their religious beliefs or violence conducted in the name of religion, and also “government harassment and use of force against religious groups” Pew explained.

Read more. And read the full report at this link.



Tags: religious freedom

20 April 2017
Greg Kandra




The Didos family, one of the many Ukrainian families displaced by war, exits a Greek Catholic Church in Lviv. Read more about The Displaced in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Ivan Chernichkin)



Tags: Ukraine War Eastern Christianity





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