Current Issue
December, 2018
Volume 44, Number 4
20 April 2018
Greg Kandra

Sister Ferdos Zora sings along with preschool students at a school for displaced Iraqi children in Iraqi Kurdistan. Read a personal account of life in exile from one of the sisters in A Letter From Iraq in the March 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Paul Jeffrey)

Tags: Iraqi Christians Sisters Iraqi Refugees

20 April 2018
Greg Kandra

In this image from 2016, Syrian refugees stand in snow outside their tents in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Lebanon continues to bear the brunt of absorbing massive numbers of refugees. A leading international rights group now reports that the refugees are being evicted from towns in Lebanon. (photo: CNS/Lucie Parsaghian, EPA)

Rights group says Lebanon is “evicting” Syrian refugees (AP) A leading international rights group says Syrian refugees are increasingly being evicted from towns in Lebanon without any legal basis. Human Rights Watch says local officials have been sending the Syrians eviction notices and using the police to intimidate them into leaving to other towns…

New terrorist group emerging in Syria (Business Insider) With up to 90% of its territory lost, ISIS appears effectively defeated as a conventional foe. But while the black flag of ISIS is being lowered, another may soon take its place — the white flag of Hay’at Tahrir al Sham. A new report in the Wall Street Journal details H.T.S.’s rise as it consolidates power in northwest Syria. Led by a former Al Qaeda militant, H.T.S. is mostly based in Syria’s Idlib Governorate and has taken advantage of the U.S.-led coalition’s focus on ISIS in the East, as well as the Syrian government and Russia’s focus on other parts of the country…

Gaza youth dies after protest near border (AP) The Health Ministry says the 24-year-old was killed in a border area in northern Gaza on Friday. Earlier in the day, a 25-year-old man was shot and killed in the same area. It says 40 protesters were wounded by gunfire or overcome by tear gas fired by Israeli troops from across the border fence…

New photos show destruction to ancient site in Syria (The Guardian) French archaeologists have been excavating at Mari since 1933, the most recent expedition running until 2010 when the Arab Spring and growing unrest made the site inaccessible. In light of the level of damage now evident, perhaps it’s worth sparing a moment to look at why Mari matters to archaeologists, historians and the cultural heritage of Syria…

Tags: Syria Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Historical site/city

19 April 2018
Greg Kandra

Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, British Columbia, meets with Iraqi Christian refugees on 14 April in Beirut. Refugee families, who fled Iraq in 2014 when Islamic State took over their village, are waiting to immigrate to Canada or any country that would welcome them. Archbishop Miller was part of a delegation from CNEWA visiting Lebanon this week with CNEWA’s chair, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Read more about the trip and watch videos of it here, here and here. (photo: Carl Hetu/CNEWA)

Tags: Lebanon Refugees CNEWA Canada

19 April 2018
Greg Kandra

On 19 April, Indian students in Amritsar join in protests calling for justice for rape victims and an end to sexual predation. (photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters march against India’s rape crisis ( Priests, nuns and lay Catholics were among thousands of people who joined a candlelight march in India to express solidarity with the nationwide outrage over gang rape and murders, especially of minor girls. About 1,500 people including children and the elderly from various religions marched through Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state, on 16 April…

How Lebanon is teaching refugees to thrive (The National) Grassroots activists are doing what they can to ease the most crushing impacts of poverty and prepare Syrians in Lebanon for the future. One such organization is Maps (Multi-Aid Programs), run by an inspirational 33-year-old neurosurgeon, Dr Fadi Alhalabi. Having fled Damascus himself in 2013, he knows all too well the difficulties facing his compatriots as they attempt to rebuild lives shattered by war…

Ukraine moves to split church from Russia as elections approach (Reuters) Ukraine’s Orthodox church could become independent of Moscow under the terms of a presidential initiative lawmakers approved on Thursday, a move that President Petro Poroshenko said would make it harder for Russia to meddle in Ukrainian affairs. The Moscow Patriarchate is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and has a sizeable following in Ukraine…

Archbishop says special Mass for Christians in the Middle East (CNS) As a sign of solidarity with religious minorities who have been victims of Islamic State-led genocide, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford celebrated a special Mass for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians on 15 April at St. Mary Church. He welcomed Bishop Bawai Soro, who heads the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto and is a native of Iraq. He delivered the homily and also proclaimed the Gospel in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus…

Child marriage doubles among Syrian refugees in Jordan (Middle East Monitor) Child marriage among Syrian refugees has more than doubled in the last four years according to new data released by Jordan’s court system. War, poverty and economic instability have been major factors in the increase in under age marriage throughout the Middle East…

Tags: India Ukraine Middle East Christians Ukrainian Orthodox Church Women in India

18 April 2018
Greg Kandra

A group of lay people supported by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Jordan gathers for one of its regular meetings in Amman. Discover how the sisters are Inspiring the Faithful in Jordan in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Nader Daoud)

Tags: Jordan Sisters

18 April 2018
Greg Kandra

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 18 April. He encouraged those taking part in the World Bank meeting in Washington to promote the life of the poor. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope urges economic leaders to favor inclusion and promote the lives of the poor (Vatican News) Pope Francis expressed hope that the upcoming World Bank Meeting may yield positive results that favor “an authentic integral development that is respectful of human dignity.” Speaking on Wednesday at the conclusion of the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the pope mentioned Saturday’s World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington and encouraged participants to make “efforts for financial inclusion that aim to promote the life of the poor…”

Caste plays vital role in Indian election ( Dust plumes waft above poorly maintained roads as legions of motorists head to Ranebennur township in the state of Karnataka in southern India in April ahead of the upcoming polls, where not only religion but caste, too, is expected to take center stage…

OPCW issues statement on Syrian fact-finding mission status (OPCW) “The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (U.N.D.S.S.) has made the necessary arrangements with the Syrian authorities to escort the team to a certain point and then for the escort to be taken over by the Russian Military Police,” the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons clarified today, regarding the investigation of alleged chemical weapon use in Douma. The statement continued: “However, the U.N.D.S.S. preferred to first conduct a reconnaissance visit to the sites, which took place yesterday,” during which a reconnaissance team came under “small arms fire,” it said. “At present, we do not know when the [fact-finding mission] team can be deployed to Douma. Of course, I shall only consider such deployment following approval by the U.N.D.S.S., and provided that our team can have unhindered access to the sites…”

Christian pilgrims to Holy Land get tattoos (CNS) Three generations of the Razzouk family busily attended to Christian pilgrims and tourists packed into a tiny shop to get Christian tattoos to mark their pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The Razzouk family has been tattooing Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land for 500 years — and 200 years before that in Egypt. One of their ancestors, Jeruis, was a Coptic pilgrim to the Holy Land five centuries ago; he fell in love with the land and decided to stay and used his tattooing skills to make a living. The art of tattooing was passed down through the generations, with the methods adapting themselves to the times…

Disabled Palestinian refugee plans to climb Mt. Everest (Al Jazeera) Jarah al Hawamdeh, a Palestinian refugee in Jordan who lost one of his legs to cancer, has vowed to reach the summit of Mount Everest in hopes of saving his cash-strapped school. Al Hawamdeh, 22, who has lost one of his legs to bone cancer, is climbing the world’s tallest mountain to raise funding for the school that gave him an education…

Tags: Syria India Pope Francis Palestinians

17 April 2018
Greg Kandra

In the video above, the Armenian Catholic archbishop of Aleppo expresses the hopes of his people to remain in Syria, despite the ongoing crisis in the country. (video: Rome Reports/YouTube)

Inspectors visit Syria chemical attack site (CBS News) A team of international inspectors entered the town near Damascus that was the scene of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on Tuesday, Syrian state TV reported. They arrived in Douma more than a week after the U.S. government and its allies accused President Bashar al Assad of killing his own people with poison gas in the 7 April attack…

In Iraq, protestors march against missile attacks (NPR) The U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria are having a perhaps unexpected effect in Iraq. Demonstrators gathered yesterday across that country to protest the military action in neighboring Syria…

Indian bishops condemn atrocities committed against women (Vatican News) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India in a statement signed on Sunday by the Secretary General Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas has said that it is hard to be unmoved by what has happened in Kathua, Unnao, or in any part of the nation where women are raped and murdered…

In Jordan, massive refugee influx and inequality raise questions of identity (Haaretz) At noon, sitting with three of Ismail’s friends — Samir, Ratav and Azz-a-Din, all middle to upper class and in their 60’s — at a fabled Labenese restaurant in Amman, we could chat quietly. If a few years ago I would have had to reserve a lunch table, this time it was almost empty. We walked in from the street and were happily welcomed by the bored waiters. That’s how it is throughout Jordan, says Azz-a-Din: “There’s no movement. There’s no money. There’s no spirit. Even people who have money hesitate to spend it. People are worried…”

Holy See: Women are integral to peacekeeping efforts (Vatican News) Women’s voices must be integrated into all aspects of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict operations. That was the message of Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York on Monday during a Security Council debate on Women, Peace and Security…

Ethiopia races to save its coffee sector from climate change (Xinhua) Aman Adinew, a veteran of the Ethiopian coffee industry, is facing a new challenge as he endeavors to increase the international market share of his Ethiopian specialty coffee. The new challenge is climate change, which has resulted in delays in ripening of coffee seeds in his two coffee farms in Hambela, Guji zone of Oromia, and Gedeb, Gedeo zone of Southern region, according to the CEO of METAD Agricultural Development P.L.C.…

Tags: Syria Ethiopia Farming/Agriculture Armenian Catholic Church Climate change

16 April 2018
Greg Kandra

Internally displaced Syrians wait in line for food 15 April at a camp outside Damascus. The United States, France and Britain launched airstrikes 14 April against Syria, with the stated aim to punish President Bashar Assad for an alleged chemical attack against civilians. (photo: CNS/Ali Hashisho, Reuters)

Tags: Syria

16 April 2018
Greg Kandra

The video above shows the aftermath of the airstrikes on Syria that were conducted Saturday. The strikes were condemned by three patriarchs in the region. (video: CBS News/YouTube)

Patriarchs condemn attack on Syria (Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch) “We, the patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the U.S.A., France and the U.K., under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons…”

Pope renews his appeal for peace in Syria (Vatican News) At the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis once again appealed for peace in Syria. “I am deeply troubled by the current world situation,” the pope said, “in which, despite the instruments available to the international community, there is still difficulty in agreeing to a common action in favor of peace in Syria and other regions of the world…”

Syrian refugees in Lebanon respond to missile strikes (The Daily Star) In parking garages and informal housing south of Sidon city, Syrian refugees gathered around televisions and mobile phone screens throughout Friday night, waiting for any news of an expected international missile strike on Syria. By Saturday afternoon, these refugees were weighing what the strikes meant to them as Syrians, after the United States, France and Britain struck Syrian targets with more than 100 missiles early in the morning, in a move that threatened to further destabilize their home country — and neighboring Lebanon…

Pope accepts resignation of Ukrainian Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia (Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy) On Monday, 16 April 2018, the Vatican Information Service announced that the Holy Father has accepted the resignation for medical reasons of Most Rev. Stefan Soroka, archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians and metropolitan for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in U.S.A. Pope Francis has declared the Archeparchy of Philadelphia as “sede vacante.” Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy has been appointed by Pope Francis as the apostolic administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia until the appointment of the new archeparch…

Indian bishop honored (Vatican News) A Catholic bishop serving in a corner of the remote northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, was honored on Friday with the Bharat Gaurav (India Pride) Award in a ceremony in London in recognition for his contribution in the field of education, healthcare, culture, environment and development of the local people. Sanskriti Yuva Sanstha, an NGO with the vision of promoting Indian culture and society, honored Bishop George Palliparambil of Miao Diocese with the Sixth Bharat Gaurav Life Time Achievement Award at the prestigious House of Commons in the British Parliament...

Tags: Syria Syrian Conflict

13 April 2018
Greg Kandra

To conclude this week, we want to share an interview from 2013 with our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, in which he reflects on the tremendous impact of religious sisters in the world CNEWA serves. “They are on the front lines,” he said — and this inspiring video illustrates that beautifully.

A conference at the Vatican this week underscored the importance of sisters:

How can the work of women religious in justice, peace and anti-trafficking efforts be more effectively included into policies at government and international level?

That question was at the heart of a seminar on Wednesday organised by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, together with the International Union of Superiors General and Solidarity with South Sudan.

Participants spoke of the work of sisters serving in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, seeking to build peace and to empower other women in some of the most deprived and violent countries and socio-economic contexts.

Sisters working to combat trafficking, prostitution and the insidious cyber porn industry, talked of the need to educate girls and boys, as well as working together with governments and all sectors of society to protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators.

Other sisters shared dramatic and moving stories of staying alongside those who suffer in wars and conflicts, sometimes being targeted, robbed, raped or even killed themselves.

You can see more examples in the March 2018 edition of ONE — with stories of religious sisters ministering to people in a variety of ways in Jordan, Iraq and Ethiopia.

But check out the video below for an intimate glimpse at these dedicated women.

Tags: Sisters human trafficking

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