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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
8 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Houry Kulkutchyan, a refugee from Syria now living in Armenia, makes soap from scratch in her home. Read more about how Syrians are starting over in a place where Hope Takes Root in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Nazik Armenakyan)



Tags: Syria Refugees Armenia

8 August 2019
Greg Kandra




The video above has the latest about widespread flooding that has hit Kerala this week, sparking red alerts across the region. (video: India Today/YouTube)

Heavy rains, landslides wreak havoc in Kerala (Business Today) Water levels in most of the rivers and dams across the state have risen flooding nearby areas. Major rivers like Manimala, Meenachal, Moovattupuzha, Chaliyar, Valapattanam, Iruvazjinjpuzha and Pamba are have risen. The Chief Minister’s office has asked district collectors to evacuate people from danger-prone areas. A holiday has also been declared for all educational institutions in most of the northern districts including Kannur, Wayand and Malappuram, authorities said…

UN: Over 100,000 detained or missing in Syria (Time) Reports suggest more than 100,000 people in Syria have been detained, abducted or gone missing during the eight-year conflict, with the government mainly responsible, the U.N. political chief said Wednesday. Rosemary DiCarlo urged all parties to heed the Security Council’s call for the release of all those arbitrarily detained and to provide information to families about their loved ones as required by international law…

Report: climate change threatens world’s food supply (The New York Times) The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at ”unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself. The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report…

What tourists might see if they were allowed to visit Gaza (NPR) I’m in search of a different Gaza than the Gaza of violence and misery you usually hear about. I’m retracing the route the tourists used to take. I walk through the old city market to the antique shop Saleem Elrayes has run for more than 30 years…

Church pays tribute to Indian politician who loved Christians (UCANews.com) Church leaders have expressed their condolences following the death of Sushma Swaraj, India’s former external affairs minister, recalling her role in securing freedom for two abducted Catholic priests. Swaraj, a prominent member of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), died on 6 August following a heart attack. She was 67. ”She brought a human touch to all decisions of the ministry. As foreign minister, she was our best ambassador and projected a great image of the country in international circles,” said Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Indian bishops’ conference…



Tags: Syria India Gaza Strip/West Bank Kerala

7 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Msgr. John Kozar visits a seminary of the Order of Discalced Carmelites at Cotton Hill, Trivandrum, in Kerala. In the current edition of ONE, Msgr. Kozar reflects on vocations — and the many forms they take, among both religious and lay people. Read more in the July 2019 edition of the magazine. (photo: John E. Kozar/CNEWA)



Tags: India Vocations (religious)

7 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, seen in this photograph from 2017, warned this week that Iraqi Christians face "extinction." (photo: CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

Archbishop warns Iraqi Christians facing ‘extinction’ (CNS) Iraqi Christians face “extinction” unless Islam recognizes the fundamental equality of all people and takes steps to overcome violent factions that seek to force religious minorities from the country, said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil…

Hundreds stuck in Mumbai due to flooding (Reuters) Hundreds of passengers were stuck in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, and nearby towns after two days of heavy rain flooded rivers and undermined railway tracks, forcing authorities to cancel or divert dozens of long-distance trains. Rivers in the western state of Maharashtra were flooded after authorities released water from dams made full after many parts on the west coast received more than 200 mm (8 inches) of rain…

Pentagon report says ISIS is ‘re-surging in Syria’ (CNN) ISIS is “re-surging” in Syria less than five months after President Donald Trump declared the terror group’s caliphate there had been 100% defeated, according to a new Pentagon inspector general’s report on the fight against ISIS. Despite losing its territorial ‘caliphate,’ the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was re-surging in Syria,” the report warned…

Indian state toughens punishment for mob lynching (UCANews.com) Church officials in India’s Rajasthan state have welcomed a new law that allows harsher punishment for mob violence and lynching despite opposition from pro-Hindu political groups. The state legislature on Aug. 5 passed the Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill 2019 amid vociferous protests from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Catholic officials have welcomed the new legislation as a necessity to stem increasing incidents of mob lynching, mostly connected with protecting cows, a revered animal in Orthodox Hinduism…



Tags: India Iraqi Christians ISIS

6 August 2019
Greg Kandra




In this image from February, Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Iraq, center, concelebrates the liturgy at St. Thomas Syriac Catholic Church in the old city of Mosul. Five years after the invasion of ISIS, many Iraqis are still struggling to recover and rebuild their homes and their churches. (photo: CNS/Khalid al-Mousily, Reuters)

Today, 6 August, marks the five-year anniversary of the assault of ISIS on the Nineveh Plain. Thousands of Iraqi Christians were displaced — many literally running for their lives.

Last fall, we published a letter from one woman, describing the challenges she and her family faced:

I have to admit that, spiritually, I have passed through some difficult times. I questioned God many times, wondering, “How is it possible that he has abandoned us?” But after all those moments of fear, I have finally surrendered my life and my fate to God.

My mother taught me how to live my faith, how to face crises and adapt to change. She taught me how to synchronize my hands and my mind to achieve my goals. Thanks to the image of my mother and her encouraging whispers that have accompanied and guided me in such difficult times, my hope in God has become so strong that now I live it in every single detail of my life. And now, again, I take this opportunity and this experience to pass it on to my children.

Following our return to our homes in a liberated Qaraqosh in September 2017, our joy was mixed with pain and bitterness. Our beloved home was gutted by fire and our fields were destroyed, but yet our joy was unbelievable; we were home! We were back in the home of our forefathers, our pride!

But the initial excitement subsided as the brutal reality hit us. At the beginning, Qaraqosh — once a city of 50,000 inhabitants — was like a ghost town, very few people returned to live amid the destruction. It was hard to walk around and see the ruins everywhere. The path of destruction included schools, churches, hospitals, factories and houses. But we thought it was necessary to return home, where we could work and support ourselves. Since our house is uninhabitable, we have rented an apartment. My husband and his brothers have returned to the fields to revive them for planting. As for me, I found a temporary job in the power company and in the evenings I provide tutoring for extra income to help my husband and my family to rebuild our home.

The situation is improving now, and life is returning, but slowly. The return of the churches, of our priests and sisters, and the opening of our schools is encouraging us to have some confidence and hope for a better future.

It is a future many fervently await and pray for. June’s installation of a Syriac Catholic Auxiliary Bishop, Nizar Semaan, was seen as a significant step for the people of Iraq:

While touring Qaraqosh before his installation, the new bishop said he was struck by how, in two years, the community was able to rebuild again, citing as evidence numerous homes, shops and restaurants.

“It’s kind of like a miracle,” he said. “This is a sign of hope, really.”

Hope is often hard to come by in an Iraq where people still struggle to rebuild their homes and churches. But they are blessed with an abundant faith and deep love for their homeland — along with the support of many around the world who will not let them be forgotten. Please remember the people of Iraq in your prayers as they continue their long journey back.



Tags: Iraq Iraqi Christians ISIS

6 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Parts of India are coping with massive flooding, and Catholic charities have opened churches and institutions to help. (video: India Today/YouTube)

Catholic charities in India open churches for flood victims (UCANews.com) Catholic dioceses in flood-hit Mumbai have opened their churches and institutions to accommodate thousands of people stranded in the city by heavy rain and flooded streets. Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay and Bishop Thomas Elavanal of Kalyan Diocese asked their parish priests on 5 August to help stranded and homeless people as heavy rain continued in western India...

Syrian army resumes bombardment in Idlib (Al Jazeera) The Syrian army has resumed operations against armed rebels in Idlib, scrapping a ceasefire in the last opposition-held stronghold. In a statement carried by state media on Monday, the army accused the rebels of violating the truce that was brokered last week during talks in Kazakhstan following a three-month campaign supported by Russia…

Charity calls for rights to be respected after Gulf tanker seizures (Vatican News) The Catholic charity Apostleship of the Sea, has voiced concern for the safety of seafarers navigating vessels in the Gulf. It comes after a second tanker and its seven crew was seized north of the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly smuggling fuel…

Extreme water shortages affect a quarter of the world’s population (Vatican News) A quarter of the world’s population across 17 countries are living in regions of extremely high water stress, a measure of the level of competition over water resources, a new report reveals. Experts at the World Resources Institute (WRI) warn that increasing water stress could lead to more of what is called “day zero” — a term that gained popularity in 2018 as Cape Town in South Africa came dangerously close to running out of water…

Kerala tourism rebounds (Economic Times) Tourism, a top revenue earner for Kerala, has rebounded to the pre-floods level with tourist footfalls registering a growth of 14.81 percent in the second quarter of 2019 from a year ago. There was an increase of 639,271 tourists (both domestic and foreign) during April-June this year as compared with same period last year.…



Tags: Syria India Kerala

5 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Children play on the grounds of the Fratelli School in Lebanon. Read more about Fratelli, Where Education Is Alive, in the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Tamara Abdul Hadi)



Tags: Lebanon

5 August 2019
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2018, Syrian schoolchildren walk as U.S. troops patrol in Hassakeh, Syria. The Holy See has called for efforts to help children involved in armed conflicts.
(photo: CNS/Rodi Said, Reuters)


Holy See calls for efforts to save children from war (Vatican News) The Holy See is decrying the violence and rights abuse that children suffer in various ways in conflict situations and is urging the international community to increase efforts especially to release child soldiers and help the reintegration of young victims of other grave violations. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, made the appeal on Friday at a Security Council open debate on children in armed conflict…

U.S. launches last-ditch effort to stop Turkish invasion of Syria (The Washington Post) The Trump administration has launched a last-ditch effort to head off a Turkish invasion of northeast Syria that it expects will come within the next two weeks. With tens of thousands of Turkish troops massed near the border, a high-level Defense Department delegation plans to present what U.S. officials describe as a final offer to address Turkey’s concerns at a meeting Monday in Ankara…

One Syrian refugee’s mission to take Jordan to the world (The National) A group of budding entrepreneurs in Jordan watch avidly as Ehab Kahwati, 26, demonstrates how the colorful array of gadgets and wires laid out in front of them can be used to create remotely controlled technology. Kahwati is a Syrian refugee living in Amman who has chosen to dedicate his time to empowering young people who aspire to enter the tech industry, while simultaneously pursuing his own entrepreneurial dreams…

Pope Tawadros II offers Eid al-Adha greetings to Egypt’s Grand Imam (Egypt Independent) The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb received on Sunday the Pope of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II, who offered felicitation for the occasion of Eid al-Adha and for the Imam’s return to his homeland following a successful therapeutic trip to Europe. Tayyeb thanked Tawadros, asserting that the relationship between Al-Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Church is a model for shared values and noble morals…



Tags: Syria Egypt Muslim Holy See

2 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Martina Isaac, 18, studies at her home in the Zabbaleen quarter of Manshiyat Naser, Cairo. In the current edition of ONE, read how her life is changing, thanks to a religious school where teachers are Reclaiming Lives among the poor. (photo: Hanaa Habib)



Tags: Egypt

2 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Late Thursday, Syria agreed to a cease-fire in the northwestern corner of the country.
(video: PressTV/YouTube


Syria agrees to cease-fire (AP) Syria’s government said it has agreed to a conditional cease-fire starting late Thursday in northwestern Syria, according to state media. Government troops and allied Russia warplanes have been carrying out a three-month offensive against the rebel’s last stronghold, which has displaced hundreds of thousands and has targeted health facilities and other infrastructure…

Interreligious summit in Lebanon seeks national unity (Fides) The Lebanese national unit represents an indispensable guarantee to build a better future for Lebanon, and the coexistence among the different components of the population must be preserved from any threat connected to the resurgence of sectarian impulses and conflicts. This is the most significant emphasis contained in the final declaration of the interreligious spiritual summit convened on Tuesday 30 July in Beirut, at the “House of Druze communities”…

Dilemma for Indian Church as idea of Hindu nationhood grows (UCANews.com) On 11 July, ten Congress lawmakers in Goa, eight of them Catholics, defected to the Hindu nationalist party — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Ordinarily, defections and horse-trading are not new to a state like Goa where politics is controlled by corrupt casino operators and mining barons. But the move by Catholic lawmakers has shocked Christian voters as well as a section of the Church...

In Jerusalem, a deeper divide in a divided city (Newsweek) Silwan [is] a bitterly contested piece of real estate, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in microcosm. Both Jews and Arabs say they were here first and both accuse the other of trying to rewrite history. Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem have few interactions that are not transactional, despite living side-by-side. Fear and suspicion are part of everyday life. And several contested archaeological digs in East Jerusalem, supported by Israeli groups and opposed by Palestinians, together with an influx of Jewish settlers and a boom in tourism, have heightened the tensions in Silwan…

1,900-year-old tomb discovered at Christian pilgrimage site in Turkey (Daily Sabah) Excavation works have revealed a rock tomb believed to date back to the second century A.D. in an ancient Christian pilgrimage site in northern Turkey’s Karabük province in the western Black Sea region. Birthplace of the Saint Alypius the Stylite, the ancient city of Hadrianopolis was an important site of pilgrimage for early Christians until the city lost its importance in eighth century A.D. It is also known as the Zeugma of Turkey’s Black Sea region due to the mosaics have been found in the area…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Turkey





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