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June, 2017
Volume 43, Number 2
  
7 March 2016
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis meets with His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, on 5 March at the Vatican. (photo: L’Osservatore Romano)

Rebels clash in Syria ahead of peace talks (The Guardian) Rebels fighting to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad have clashed with Kurdish paramilitaries in Aleppo, in some of Syria’s most intense fighting since a truce brokered by international powers came into effect late last month. Despite the weekend fighting, talks aimed at reaching a political deal to end the five-year conflict appear set to resume, with a top official for the umbrella opposition group saying it would likely send a delegation to Geneva...

Pope expresses gratitude to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written a letter of thanks and gratitude to His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kiev and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The Archbishop, together with other members of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church have been meeting in Rome and released a statement in which they affirmed communion with the Catholic Church. They were received in audience by the Pope on Saturday...

Archbishop Shevchuk interview: Pope shares suffering of Ukraine (Vatican Radio) After his meeting with Pope Francis on Saturday, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, spoke to Vatican Radio’s Ukrainian section...

Bracing for what could be Iraq’s bloodiest battle (CBS News) For more than a year, the Iraqi military and its allies have been talking about and preparing for an operation to try and take back the country’s second-largest city from ISIS. No date has been set for an offensive to retake Mosul, which sits about 250 miles north of Baghdad, on the edge of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. But Kurdish peshmerga soldiers, who have been the most effective force against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in northern Iraq, are getting closer...

Indian police detain three after gang torches church (PressTV) Police have detained at least three suspects after a gang attacked a church in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, officials say. Chief Badri Narayan, a local police chief, said on Sunday that law enforcement agencies arrested at least three men over the attack, which took place in Kachna village near Raipur, the state capital of Chhattisgarh. Several women and children were injured after a group of about 50 men barged into the church during Sunday Mass...

Georgetown forum looks at rise of anti-Semitism (CNS) A 29 February symposium marking the start of Georgetown University’s new Center for Jewish Civilization took note of a precarious future faced by many of Europe’s Jews. Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in their intensity, and some governments seem either unwilling or unable to protect their nation’s Jews, some panelists said at the forum, “Understanding Contemporary European Anti-Semitism...”



4 March 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Students at the Shashemene School for the Blind practice using Braille typewriters. To learn more about the school and its efforts to teach its students self-reliance, read The Future at Their Fingertips, from the Winter 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers/Panos Pictures)



Tags: Ethiopia Children Education Disabilities Youth

4 March 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Spanish-born Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin, the apostolic nuncio to Iraq and Jordan, blesses a woman during a visit at the Ashti camp in Erbil on 4 March. (photo: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

The first-ever refugee team will be competing at the Rio Olympics (Global Citizen) For the first time in history, the Olympics will have a team made up entirely of refugees. The International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) announced on Wednesday the creation of a “Team Refugee Olympic Athletes.” Previously, the I.O.C. has stepped up to support refugees by donating $2 million for sports projects helping refugees. And during this year’s Olympic torch journey, a refugee will also take part in carrying the torch through a refugee camp in Athens, Greece. Except for the fact that they aren’t representing any country, the refugee team will be like any other team at the Olympics. In the opening ceremony, they will be marching behind the Olympic flag in front of the host team, Brazil…

Under strain, Europe tells migrants to seek work elsewhere (New York Times) As Europe’s migrant crisis spiraled toward yet another humanitarian catastrophe, a European Union leader issued a stark warning Thursday to millions in search of economic opportunity: Stay away. “Do not come to Europe,” said Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, which represents the bloc’s 28 leaders. “Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing. Greece or any other European country will no longer be a transit country…”

In Ukraine towns ravaged by war, evangelical missionaries find fertile ground (New York Times) Maryinka, a Ukrainian-held town of apartment blocks and one-story homes outside the rebel capital of Donetsk, has become a hot spot not only for fighting, but also for saving souls. As Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists carry on an almost forgotten fight in half-deserted towns like this one, despite a year-old cease-fire, several well-organized evangelical groups are staging a campaign of their own. Based on their accounts and evidence seen here, they are finding fertile ground for their efforts…

Christian town in Syria bears scars of fierce fighting (AINA) Its historic churches pillaged by militants and buildings riddled with shrapnel, the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, north of Damascus, still bears the scars of the fierce fighting that devastated it two years ago. Residents vividly recall the shock they felt when they returned to their town after it was recaptured by the Syrian army from the Al Nusra Front — Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria — and other militants in 2014…

Dalit Christians complain to Jesuit general against discrimination in church (Vatican Radio) India’s Dalit Catholics complained last week to the visiting Jesuit superior general about discrimination within the Catholic Church. Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas, head of the Society of Jesus, who was on a visit to India, received their memorandum on 27 February, when he met a delegation from the Dalit Christian Liberation Movement in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu…

Water wars intensify between Egypt, Ethiopia (Al Monitor) Controversy continues to swirl around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, with conflicting reports emerging about how soon Ethiopia will begin storing water there…



Tags: Syria Iraq Ukraine Refugees Middle East Christians

3 March 2016
Greg Kandra




Children make up a large part of the Iraqis who have been displaced and now live in Dohuk. To learn more about their plight, read Msgr. John E. Kozar’s impressions of a trip he made to the region last year in the Summer 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: John E. Kozar)



Tags: Iraq Children Iraqi Christians Iraqi

3 March 2016
Greg Kandra




In the video above, a priest with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria expresses his hope that diplomacy can bring peace to the troubled country. (video: Rome Reports)

Syria faces massive blackout (BBC) Syria has suffered a massive power blackout across the country due to “unknown reasons,” state media said. Officials were cited as saying power had been cut in all provinces and teams were trying to determine the cause…

Iraqis seek rights for displaced Christians (Fides) While U.S. military sources confirm that the next objective in the fight against ISIS will be to take back Mosul, a petition has been forwarded by Iraqi Chaldean Raed Yitzhak to Prime Minister Haider al Abadi requesting resources be allotted to persons who fled Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh…

Yazidi refugees returning to Sinjar (The Guardian) Yazidis fled Sinjar in northern Iraq when ISIS attempted to wipe them out in August 2014. Now they are leaving refugee camps and going back to rebuild their lives in the city, which has been recaptured by Kurdish forces…

U.N.: Death toll in Ukraine conflict tops 9,000 (The New York Times) The United Nations said on Thursday that 236 civilians were killed in conflict-related violence in Ukraine in the 12-month period to mid-February, and it estimated that at least 9,160 had died since the conflict started in April 2014…

Blasphemy trials on the rise in Egypt (Al Monitor) Despite calls for reform, lawsuits that infringe on freedom of expression are still being pursued under the concept of hisbah, an Islamic doctrine involving the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice…



Tags: Syria Iraq Egypt Ukraine Yazidi

2 March 2016
Greg Kandra




An altar server waits for the liturgy to begin at Holy Family Chaldean Catholic Mission in Phoenix. To learn more about Chaldeans who have settled in the United States, read Nineveh, U.S.A. in the Winter 2015 edition of the magazine. (photo: Nancy Wiechec)



Tags: Iraq Iraqi Christians United States Migrants Chaldeans

2 March 2016
Greg Kandra




Iraqis inspect the damage at the site of an ISIS bombing near a market in the Sadr City area of northern Baghdad on 28 February 28. (photo: Ahmad al Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq: U.N. reports more than 400 civilians killed in February (U.N. News Center) Acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq claimed the lives of 670 people, including 410 civilians, in February 2016, the United Nations political mission in that country has reported…

U.S. Captures first ISIS operative in Iraq (CNN) U.S. Special Operations forces have captured their first suspected ISIS operative in Northern Iraq as part of a highly secretive targeting team led by the Army’s elite Delta Force, CNN has learned…

Syria’s drought ‘worst in 900 years’ (The Guardian) War has been the direct driver of the refugee flux and behind that is a complex mix of social and political factors both inside and outside the region. One fiercely studied and debated driver has been a recent dip into a series of severe droughts starting in the late 1990’s. Previous work has prescribed some of the drought — and its impact on the socioeconomic fabric in the Middle East — to climate change. New findings published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres put it in even starker context, showing that the drought is likely the worst to affect the region in 900 years…

Spring rains bring some relief to Ethiopia (Reuters) Rain in parts of Ethiopia is bringing some relief to Africa’s second most populous nation, which is in the grip of its worst drought in 50 years. More than one in ten Ethiopians will require food aid this year, prompting the Ethiopian government and United Nations to appeal for $1.4 billion to respond to the emergency. “Overall, the crisis is going to worsen up until August or September,” said John Graham, country director for Save the Children. “We have not seen the worst yet...”

Newly launched TV news channel declares ‘war on war’ in Lebanon (Fides) In the heart of the Middle East region torn apart by bloody conflict, a new satellite TV channel will share news “from the Catholic point of view,” in order to “build bridges of peace” and “work for the common good.” This is the ambitious program adopted by a channel launched yesterday by TV network Noursat-Tele Lumiere, in Dora, a northeastern suburb of Beirut…



Tags: Syria Iraq Ethiopia United Nations Drought

1 March 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Students at Ashabhavan tackle a variety of arts and crafts projects. To learn more about how this institution changes the lives of children with special needs, read Kerala’s House of Hope, appearing in the Winter 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Jose Jacob)



Tags: India Children Disabilities Catholic education

1 March 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Migrants find shelter outside the passenger terminal after arriving from the islands at the port of Piraeus in Athens on 1 March. (photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

U.N. agency warns of imminent humanitarian crisis in Greece (U.N. News Center) Europe faces an imminent humanitarian crisis, largely of its own making, following a rapid build-up of people in already over-stretched Greece, the United Nations refugee agency warned today…

About 27,000 Syrian refugees stranded near Jordanian border (Al Monitor) Amman is blocking approximately 27,000 Syrian refugees from leaving a Jordanian desert area near the country’s northeast border, an international aid official citing Jordanian border guards told Al Monitor. The number of Syrian refugees in Rukban and Hadalat is significantly higher than the number the Associated Press reported earlier…

Syrian army takes land east of Damascus during fragile truce (Yahoo! News) Syrian armed forces took territory east of Damascus on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, on the third day of a fragile international attempt to halt nearly five years of fighting…

U.S. warns of ‘tsunami wave’ across Iraq if Mosul Dam collapses (AINA) Iraq’s Mosul Dam faces “unprecedented” risk of a “catastrophic failure” that would unleash a wave of water which could flatten cities and kill hundreds of thousands within hours, the United States has said. The American government issued an unusually stark warning of the horrors that face Iraq if the dam gives way, describing a “tsunami-like wave” that would crush nearly a third of the country…

Number of Christians in the Gaza Strip continues to dwindle (Fides) The small Christian presence in Gaza Strip continues to dwindle. In recent months, at least 30 young people decided to leave the land in which they were born to emigrate and funeral services are frequent as elderly community members reach the end of their life on earth, says the Rev. Mario da Silva, parish priest of the Latin Catholic Holy Family Church…

Egypt’s Pope Tawadros II appoints new archbishop of Jerusalem (AllAfrica) Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II enthroned a new Coptic Orthodox metropolitan archbishop for Jerusalem and the Near East on Sunday. Archbishop Theodor Antonine was ordained in a ceremony attended by the ambassadors of Palestine and Syria, according to a statement posted on Pope Tawadros II’s official website…



Tags: Syria Iraq United Nations Migrants Greece

29 February 2016
Greg Kandra




Abune Mathias I, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, visited Pope Francis today. (video: Rome Reports)

Pope Francis today met with His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church:

During the meeting the bishop of Rome emphasized that the patriarch’s visit strengthens the fraternal bonds that already unite both churches. He mentioned as milestones of the common path towards unity His Holiness Abune Paulos’s encountered with St. John Paul II in 1993 and with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, who invited him to participate in the Synod of Bishops for Africa as was common practice in the early church for representatives to be sent to the synods of other churches. Likewise, a delegation from the Holy See was present at the 2012 funeral of Patriarch Abune Paulos.

Moreover, as Francis explained, since 2004 the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches have deepened their communion through theological dialogue in the International Joint Commission, which over the years has analyzed the fundamental concept of the churches’ communion understood as participation in the communion between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Many things have been found in common: one faith, one baptism, one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and many elements of the monastic traditions and the liturgy. “What unites us,” the pope said, “is greater than what divides us.”

The meeting comes at a time when Ethiopia is facing tremendous challenges. As we’ve reported in our magazine, the country is undergoing rapid urbanization and contending with the worst drought in decades. To learn more about the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church — and its rich history in Africa — check out our profile from the May 2010 edition of ONE.



Tags: Pope Francis Ecumenism Christian Unity Patriarchs Ethiopian Orthodox Church





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