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Current Issue
September, 2018
Volume 44, Number 3
  
5 August 2016
Greg Kandra




In this image from May, children at the Saint Gabriel Primary Government School in Ethiopia greet visitors. They are among thousands of young people who are contending with a devastating drought in the Horn of Africa. Learn how you can help the hungry hold on to life by
visiting this page. (photo: John E. Kozar)




5 August 2016
Greg Kandra




Refugees’ tents are damaged after Russian airstrikes hit the Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria,
on 4 August 2016. (photo: Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Religious freedom threatened by Turkey’s response to coup (The Catholic Register) Civil service purges and mass arrests in Turkey since a 15 July failed coup attempt are bad news for religious freedom in what has been one of the Muslim world’s most open and democratic societies, said Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom...

UN considers role in “deeply flawed” humanitarian plan for Syria (The Guardian) The United Nations is considering overseeing a Russian proposal to create humanitarian corridors for civilians who wish to leave besieged Aleppo, despite strong opposition from aid organizations. Confidential documents seen by the Guardian detailing internal UN deliberations on the Kremlin’s proposal, described as “deeply flawed” by humanitarian agencies, reveal the contours of a debate inside an organisation that wants to provide assistance to suffering civilians in Aleppo but fears being seen as an accomplice in an onslaught that has left a quarter of a million civilians under siege....

World Vision manager charged with funneling funds to Hamas (The New York Times) The Palestinian manager of the Gaza branch of World Vision, a major Christian aid organization, was charged by Israeli prosecutors on Thursday with infiltrating the charity on behalf of Hamas and funneling about $43 million in the group’s funds over the past six years to the military wing of the Islamist militant group...

Catholics protest demolition of cathedral in India (Vatican Radio) Tension prevailed at Tarapet in the city on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday when the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) authorities faced resistance from the clergy and lay people for demolishing a portion of the Roman Catholic church St. Peter’s Cathedral as part of the road-widening project. The church was built more than 100 years ago and is of undisputed cultural and artistic value...

Weddings offer break from gloom in Gaza (AP) In a time with little to be joyous about in Gaza, weddings have emerged as welcome festivities that offer a break from the often morose mood in the strip. The coastal territory has faced three wars with Israel over the last decade and a stifling blockade imposed by both Israel and Egypt after the Islamic militant Hamas group violently overran the territory in 2007. But for the happy couple and their families, a wedding is both a respite from daily hardships and a focal point in the lives of both the well-off and the poor...



4 August 2016
Greg Kandra




Bob Baker, shown here with his wife Dita, has been a generous donor to CNEWA for 16 years. (photo: courtesy, Bob Baker)

Many of the unsung heroes in CNEWA’s world are donors who never seek attention, but make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through their generosity. They are people like Bob Baker.

The San Diego Union Tribune profiled him a few months ago:

Sixty-three years ago, Bob Baker was a young Army corporal stationed at Outpost Harry during the Korean War when he embarked on what his commanders warned would be a suicide mission. When he ended up in the middle of a minefield during the night patrol for Chinese soldiers, he was glad that he made a deal with God. If he was able to come back alive, he would he would do whatever he was able to do.

“I told Him, if He spared me that night, I would go home, get married, have six children, become a success and do whatever he wanted me to do,” Baker said.

Bob Baker believes that God had a special plan for him, a plan that has guided him on his journey to helping others. Blessed with a beautiful family and the success of his business, the Bob Baker Auto Group, he has given back by generously supporting the Catholic Church, his community, plus programs for military veterans and the homeless.

He has also been a loyal friend of CNEWA for 16 years. Our development director, Norma Intriago, met him recently and recalls:

“Bob told us that, at one point, he wanted to become a priest but was told that because he came from a divorced family, he could not. Now he realizes that God had a different plan for him. He believes that everyone has value, and that God is there if you just listen. Just as God guided his life, his giving, God is there for everyone.”

Bob’s personal connection to CNEWA comes from his Christian Lebanese and Irish Catholic heritage. His paternal grandparents came from Lebanon and belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church. He struggled as a child, and at one point was destitute. So he is especially moved by CNEWA’s childcare initiatives, which assist needy children and orphans.

Faith and family are the pillars in Bob’s life, along with sharing those blessings with others through charity. As he explains, his guiding principle is simply this: “The main thing is to surrender to God and never give up.”

For his spirit of optimism, generosity and selfless giving — a genuinely Christian spirit that has changed countless lives, including many in CNEWA’s world — Bob Baker is truly a CNEWA hero.



Tags: CNEWA Donors

4 August 2016
Greg Kandra




Young sisters are seen joking and laughing as they walk near their convent in Bharanaganm, Kottayam, in the Indian state of Kerala. India is facing new challenges in trying to attract young people to religious life. Discover why some feel they are On a Mission from God in the Summer 2016 edition of ONE. (photo: John Mathew)



Tags: India Sisters Kerala Indian Christians Vocations (religious)

4 August 2016
Greg Kandra




An Iraqi Christian spruces up his shelter on 24 July with a cross and other Christian symbols at the the Ashti camp for internally displaced Iraqis in Ain Kawa, a Christian enclave of the Kurdish capital, Erbil. (photo: CNS/Dale Gavlak)

Aid agencies brace for Mosul offensive (CNS) The upcoming military offensive to root out Islamic State militants from Mosul and surrounding villages will be a “huge challenge,” the United Nations says, as it expects about 1.5 million people to flee the warfare in a short amount of time…

Fallout from failed coup leaves Syria rebels in a lurch (The Wall Street Journal) Many of the top Turkish military and intelligence officials involved in programs to assist the rebellion, including the commander of Turkey’s 2nd Army responsible for borders with Syria and Iraq, have been detained for alleged involvement in the 15 July putsch…

UN: ISIS genocide of Yazidis is ‘ongoing’ (AP) The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group is still committing genocide and other crimes against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, a United Nations commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria said on Wednesday. The commission’s statement — released on the second anniversary of the initial ISIS attack on the Sinjar area in Iraq — urged action to prevent further death and suffering…

Indian delegation will head to Rome for canonization (UCanIndia) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the canonisation of Mother Teresa at the Vatican in September, it was announced on Thursday…

Patriarch Kirill backs monument to Ivan the Terrible (The Guardian) The head of the Russian Orthodox church has backed what is planned to be Russia’s first monument to Ivan the Terrible, the controversial ruler who killed his own son…



Tags: Syria India Iraq Turkey Yazidi

3 August 2016
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2003, an Eritrean Orthodox bishop displays two Coptic-style crosses. The hand cross is used for blessings. To discover more about the Orthodox Church in Eritrea, read Ancient Church in a Young Nation from the November-December 2003 edition of the magazine.
(photo: Chris Hellier)




3 August 2016
Greg Kandra




Pallbearers carry the coffin of the Rev. Jacques Hamel on 2 August outside the cathedral in Rouen, France. Father Hamel was killed 26 July in an attack on a church at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen; the attack was carried out by assailants linked to the Islamic State.
(photo: CNS/Jacky Naegelen, Reuters)


Thousands of mourners, including Muslims, turn out for funeral of murdered French priest (CNS) During the 2 August funeral Mass for the Rev. Jacques Hamel, killed a week earlier by men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State, Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen stressed the need for forgiveness. “As brutal and unfair and horrible as (Father) Jacques’ death was, we have to look deep into our hearts to find the light,” he told the congregation of more than 1,500 at the Notre Dame Cathedral, while hundreds more watched the ceremony on a big screen outside in the rain...

Fighting rages in Aleppo (BBC) Intense fighting has continued around the Syrian city of Aleppo, where a rebel offensive is trying to break a government siege of rebel-held areas. Over the weekend, the rebels tried to reconnect an encircled area in the east with insurgent territory in the west. They set off a huge tunnel bomb underneath army positions in the strategic Ramouseh district. The army has been fighting back with the help of Russian air strikes to stop the rebels breaking through...

British jets bomb Saddam’s palace used by ISIS in Iraq (The Guardian) British fighter jets have bombed a former palace of Saddam Hussein being used as a training centre for Isis recruits in Iraq, according to the UK Ministry of Defense. A pair of RAF Tornados took part as a multinational squadron attacked the headquarters and training centre for foreign terrorist recruits, located close to the Tigris in Mosul...

U.S. will likely reach goal of admitting 10,000 refugees (International Business Times) While the U.S. acceptance rate of Syrian refugees has increased in recent months, the resettlement groups would like to see more done. America’s neighbor to the north has accepted almost 30,000 Syrian refugees since November 2015 and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a point of welcoming new arrivals in a public manner...

Aftermath of Turkey coup attempt delays reconciliation with Israel (The Jerusalem Post) Last month’s attempted coup in Turkey and its aftermath have pushed off normalization of Israeli-Turkish ties, since the requisite accord has not yet come before the parliament in Ankara...

Detroit imams send condolences to Archbishop (Archdiocese of Detroit) Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron was moved this week to have received correspondences from local Imams on behalf of Michigan Muslims, expressing condolences for the death of Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel, who was killed by terrorists in Normandy, France, on 26 July. “We are greatly saddened and troubled to hear of his tragic death and wish to express our sadness that so humble a servant of God was called to his Lord in such a cruel and violent manner,” wrote Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk, co-chair of the Imams Council, in a letter sent to Archbishop Vigneron on behalf of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)...

Pope Francis meets with refugees during audience (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with a group of 65 child refugees from Syria and Eritrea on Wednesday during his General Audience. The children are staying in the small town of Castelnuovo di Porto, north of Rome...



2 August 2016
Greg Kandra




A civilian carries a victim of an attack on the Ansari neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria,
on 31 July 2016. (photo: Ibrahim Ebu Leys/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Rescuers say toxic gas dropped on Syrian town (Reuters) A Syrian rescue service operating in rebel-held territory said on Tuesday a helicopter dropped containers of toxic gas overnight on a town close to where a Russian military helicopter was shot down hours earlier. The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) accused President Bashar al Assad of being behind the attack. Assad has denied previous accusations of using chemical weapons...

Aleppo explained by the numbers (CNN) Some neighborhoods in Aleppo have been under fire for more than 80 consecutive days, leaving 6,000 people either dead or injured, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The UK-based monitoring group said rebel-held areas in the city’s east have faced sustained attack by regime artillery and airstrikes, while rebel and Islamic factions have shelled regime-controlled areas in western neighborhoods...

Muslims and Christians in French town pray old bonds survive priest’s murder (The New York Times) In the wake of Father Hamel’s murder, Muslim and Christian communities around France came together over the weekend to show solidarity by attending each other’s religious services, in churches and mosques alike. But the services in Rouen, and in St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, a nearby suburb where Father Hamel was killed, took on a special resonance...

Turkey orders arrest of doctors in post-coup crackdown (Middle East Eye) Turkey has issued arrest warrants for 100 staff, including doctors, at the main military hospital in Ankara as part of the investigation into last month’s failed coup, local media reported. Police were searching the Gulhane Military Medical Academy hospital in the capital, private NTV television reported. It was not immediately clear if any suspects had been arrested...

Shrine in India elevated to basilica (Vatican Radio) St. Lawrence Shrine at Attur, Karkala, the Diocese of Udupi, has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica on Monday, 1 August 2016, making it the second Minor Basilica in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka and the 22nd Basilica in the country...

Ancient Russian icon comes to Canada (Globalnews.ca) Saskatoon’s St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church greeted the Kursk-Root Icon Wednesday — an item believers say is capable of miraculous healing. The gold and jewel-laden image depicts the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. The icon has been viewed by millions, according to Father Florin Soane with the church. “In a visible way, we can say, the Mother of God, the Mother of Church, is coming to us,” Soane said...



1 August 2016
Greg Kandra




In the video above, Muslims attend Mass in France in a show of solidarity and sympathy following the brutal murder of a French priest by two men claiming fidelity to ISIS.
(video: Euronews/YouTube)


Muslims attend Mass in show of solidarity (AP) Muslims in France and Italy flocked to Mass on Sunday, a gesture of interfaith solidarity following a drumbeat of jihadi attacks that threatens to deepen religious divisions across Europe. From the towering Gothic cathedral in Rouen, only a few miles from where 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel was killed Tuesday by two Muslim fanatics, to Paris’ iconic Notre Dame, where the rector of the Mosque of Paris invoked a papal benediction in Latin, many churchgoers were cheered by the Muslims in their midst. Interviewed outside the cathedral in Rouen, Jacqueline Prevot called it “a magnificent gesture.” “Look at this whole Muslim community that attended Mass,” she said. “I find this very heartwarming...”

Pope Francis: it is not right to equate Islam with violence (CNS) An economy that focuses on the God of money, not human beings, is the foundation of terrorism, Pope Francis said. Speaking to journalists aboard his return flight from Krakow, Poland, 31 July, the pope also stressed that violence exists in all religions, including Catholicism, and it cannot be pinned to one single religion. “I do not like to speak of Islamic violence because everyday when I look through the papers, I see violence here in Italy,” the pope told reporters. “And they are baptized Catholics. There are violent Catholics. If I speak of Islamic violence, I also have to speak of Catholic violence,” he added...

Christians paying a price in Turkey (The Express) Turkey, which once boasted two million Christians, has barely 120,000 now, fewer even than Iran. But what shocked people most about July 15’s attacks was how much hatred still remains after almost 10 years. Though it is nominally a secular republic there can be little doubt that the government and Turkey’s 117,000 Sunni imams work together...

Russian helicopter shot down in Syria, killing 5 (AP) A Russian transport helicopter was shot down in opposition rebel territory in northern Syria on Monday and all five crew and officers onboard were killed, the Kremlin said, in the deadliest single incident for the Russian military since its involvement in Syria’s civil war...

Europe losing track of child refugees from Middle East (The Wall Street Journal) European governments are losing track of significant numbers of children who have entered the continent without their parents as refugees from war-torn areas in the Middle East and beyond...

More churches in India push for shroud burial instead of caskets (The Times of India) Space constraint is forcing churches in Mumbai to opt for green solutions for disposing of the dead. In the last six months, the St Blaise Church, Amboli, has had at least 15 shroud burials (body wrapped in cloth and lowered into the grave). The coffin was not used by families voluntarily. Father Franklin Mathias, parish priest, said space constraint, the environmental benefits and economics of a burial without a coffin prompted them to encourage shroud burial. He said the success of such burials depends entirely on the parishioners...



29 July 2016
Greg Kandra




Children greet CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John Kozar, on his pastoral visit to an Ain Kawa camp for displaced Iraqis. See more memorable images from his trip in the Summer 2016
edition of ONE
. (photo: John E. Kozar)








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