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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
13 December 2019
Greg Kandra




While many are getting ready for Christmas, now less than two weeks away, here is a glimpse at how one corner of CNEWA’s world celebrates the birth of Jesus. In this image, Coptic monks chant the Gospel at a Christmas liturgy in the Sinai. Read more about the history and traditions of Coptic Orthodox Church in November 2005 edition of ONE. (photo: Sean Sprague)



Tags: Egypt Coptic

13 December 2019
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis accepts a gift during an audience with a group of international performers at the Vatican on 13 December 2019. The pope marks the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood the same day. (photo: CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis: 50 years of priesthood (Vatican News) 13 December marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ ordination to the priesthood. Vatican News celebrates this milestone recalling some of Pope’s reflections regarding priests and the priesthood…

Lebanon’s electricity crisis: stealing power to survive (BBC) Lebanon’s six million people have had enough of blackouts. A constant energy supply is one of the main demands of an unprecedented wave of protests that has swept the country over the past two months. It has brought hundreds of thousands of people out onto the streets, and forced the government to resign. The state electricity company, EDL, has been one of the main targets of their anger…

Early Christian basilica discovered in Ethiopia (Archaeology.org) According to a Live Science report, archaeologist Michael Harrower of Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues have discovered a Christian basilica dated to the fourth century at the site of Beta Samati in northern Ethiopia, in what was the ancient kingdom of Aksum…

Turkey slams U.S. vote on Armenia (Al Jazeera) Turkey has reacted angrily at the US Senate move to unanimously pass on Thursday a resolution recognizing as a “genocide” the mass killings of Armenians a century ago…

Could reunion of Catholics and Orthodox be closer than we think? (Crux) In light of a recent declaration from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople that reunion between Eastern Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church is now “inevitable,” it’s worth a brief trip down memory lane regarding recent attempts to end Christianity’s longest-running schism…



Tags: Pope Francis Lebanon Ethiopia Armenia

10 December 2019
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2018, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, speaks at the Vatican. On Sunday, Pope Francis named him to lead the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope names Tagle to lead evangelization congregation, Filoni to Holy Sepulchre (CNS) In a move that may signal Pope Francis’ plan for the reform of the Roman Curia is close to completion, the pope has named Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The 62-year-old cardinal succeeds Cardinal Fernando Filoni, 73, who since 2011 had led the Vatican office overseeing the church’s vast mission territories. Announcing Tagle’s appointment on 8 December, the Vatican also announced that Filoni would become grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Filoni succeeds U.S. Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, 80, as grand master of the organization that supports Catholics in the Holy Land…

Chaldean patriarch appeals for aid to Christians in Ninevah Plain (CNS) Cardinal Louis Sako, Chaldean Catholic patriarch, has appealed for Christian relief in the towns of the Ninevah Plain, the historical cradle of Christianity in Iraq. ”It is still so painful to remember” the 2014 attack by the Islamic State, or ISIS, that forced Christians to leave their homes and was followed by the looting and destruction of houses, churches, schools and more, Cardinal Sako said from the patriarchate in Baghdad on 7 December…

In Lebanon, impasse deepens as financial strains grow (Reuters) Lebanon’s political impasse has deepened after a tentative deal on a new prime minister unraveled, leaving the country rudderless as it grapples with the worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war…

Ethiopian leader sidesteps the media in collecting Nobel Prize (The New York Times) When the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose the Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, for its peace prize this fall, it cited his efforts to free his country from years of political repression by releasing political prisoners, legalizing outlawed opposition groups and “discontinuing media censorship.” But when Mr. Abiy collects his prize in Oslo on Tuesday, he will not take questions from the news media, a move that breaks from tradition and has drawn criticism from the Nobel Committee…

Human Rights Day celebrates activism of young people (Vatican News) The United Nations is observing Human Rights Day, focussing on the role of young people in leading the way to a better future for all people. They are the ones who are “bringing human rights to life”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message for the day, Tuesday, 10 December...



Tags: Iraq Ethiopia Vatican Holy Sepulchre

6 December 2019
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2017, Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, greets Pope Francis at a conference on international peace in Cairo. The two religious leaders have just proposed a World Day of Fraternity to be observed at the United Nations.
(photo: CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)


Pope, Grand Imam propose World Day of Fraternity (Vatican News) The request was delivered to the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, by the High Committee for Human Fraternity, established to promote the objectives of the Document on Human Fraternity. In addition to a World Day, the group also proposed a World Summit on Human Fraternity…

Filipino workers flock to leave Lebanon (Channel News Asia) Hundreds of Filipinos, most of them female domestic workers, flocked to their embassy in Lebanon on Thursday to sign up for free repatriation from the crisis-hit country. The embassy issued a statement linking its offer of a free ticket home to Lebanon’s free-falling economy...

Thousands protest Indian citizenship bill excluding Muslims (AP) More than 1,000 students marched Friday in India’s northeast against a bill approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbors. The marchers took to the streets of Gauhati, the Assam state capital, carrying placards opposing the bill that’s likely to be introduced in Parliament next week for approval…

Refugees in Ethiopia grow impatient for right to work (VOA) Home to Africa’s third-largest refugee population, Ethiopia won praise in January for passing a law giving 700,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers who have fled conflict, drought and persecution the right to live outside 26 camps where they are currently hosted. But 11 months after the Refugee Proclamation was announced — allowing refugees and asylum-seekers to work, open bank accounts, legally register births and marriages, and attend primary school — Ethiopia has yet to pass further legislation to bring it to life…

Children at Indian school run race for safety of women (Vatican News) In the wake of rising crimes against women across India, a group of children in a remote village of northeast India ran a race on Wednesday calling for awareness and action to ensure the safety of women in the country…



Tags: India Lebanon Ethiopia Refugees Muslim

5 December 2019
Greg Kandra




Visitors stand in line in the Church of the Nativity on 1 December 2019, in Bethlehem, West Bank. Because of a large number of visitors, the church, which is built on what is believed to be the site where Jesus was born, has extended its visiting hours. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill



Tags: Bethlehem

5 December 2019
Greg Kandra




Protests continue in the streets of Lebanon, after the announcement of a new candidate for Prime Minister (video: France 24/YouTube)

Lebanon to begin talks on forming new government (Al Jazeera) Consultations to form a new government in Lebanon will formally begin on Monday, the presidency has announced, more than a month after a wave of protests led the prime minister, Saad Hariri, to resign. ”The presidency has set Monday as the date for the parliamentary consultations” for the designation of a new prime minister, the presidency announced in a short statement on social media on Wednesday…

Catholic leaders urge investigation of hate crimes (CNS) The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land condemned vandalism attacks in two Arab villages and called on Israeli authorities to “investigate seriously” what they termed hate crimes. In addition to dozens of cars damaged and anti-Arab Hebrew graffiti spray painted on walls in the Arab town of Jaljulia in central Israel, graffiti was scrawled in Hebrew on a wall and a car was burned in the Palestinian town of Taybeh, east of Ramallah…

Turkish goods face boycott in northeast Syria (The Washington Post) A boycott of Turkish goods by Syrian Kurds was intended to express Kurdish anger with Turkey’s assault against their autonomous enclave — but has also revealed the extent of Kurds’ dependence on their bitterest foe…

India weighs religion-based citizenship bill for minorities (Reuters) India’s cabinet approved a bill on Wednesday to give citizenship to religious minorities persecuted in neighboring Muslim countries, the first time that the country is seeking to grant nationality on the basis of religion…

Coptic woman wins inheritance case in Egypt (The Brooklyn Tablet) Late last month, an Egyptian higher court granted a Coptic Christian woman equal inheritance with her brothers, overturning the rulings of two lower court judges. The verdict counters Sharia law, under which a woman receives only half the inheritance as male heirs do. Sharia law is the basis for much of Egyptian law, and so any ruling that upholds the rights of someone who belongs to a minority religion is potentially groundbreaking…



Tags: India Egypt Lebanon Arabs

4 December 2019
Greg Kandra




In this undated photo, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, is shown meeting refugees in Lesbos. He will be bringing more refugees to the Vatican next week. (photo: Vatican Media)

At Pope’s request, more refugees coming to Italy from Lesbos (Vatican News) Cardinal Konrad Krajewski left for Lesbos on Monday. This new mission follows that of last May and comes after the visit of Pope Francis to Lesbos in 2016. The Apostolic Almoner will return next Wednesday with a group of 33 refugees. Another 10 will arrive by the end of the year. Assistance for all of them will be provided by the Holy See and the Sant’Egidio Community…

To make sense of Lebanon’s protests, follow the garbage (The New York Times) The government’s inability to provide basic services, including 24-hour electricity and garbage collection, is rooted in an agreement that ended Lebanon’s civil war nearly 30 years ago. The deal divided power between the nation’s 18 recognized religious sects, effectively institutionalizing corruption, with each group able to dole out government jobs, contracts, favors and social services to its followers. The Lebanese have finally had enough of a system that has enriched the political elite while failing to build a stable economy or provide basics like reliable running water or consistent waste management…

In Syria, health workers risk becoming ‘enemies of the state’ (The New York Times) On Wednesday, Physicians for Human Rights, a group that has documented the collapse of Syria’s health care system, released a study asserting that over the course of the war, President Bashar al-Assad has successfully made medical assistance to his enemies a crime…

Explaining Kerala’s connection to ISIS (Indian Express) Security agencies estimate that some 100-120 individuals from Kerala either joined, or tried to join, ISIS. Some of them moved to Syria or Afghanistan from the Middle East, where they were employed; others migrated from Kerala. Even in 2018, when ISIS was largely in retreat in Syria and Iraq, 10-odd people from Kerala made the journey…

In Ethiopia, church forests are withstanding environmental destruction — but just barely (The New York Times) I grew up attending churches surrounded by parking lots and populated by congregations that didn’t connect their spirituality to ecology. So when I first heard about the church forests of Ethiopia, I was intrigued…



Tags: Ethiopia Refugees Kerala ISIS

2 December 2019
Greg Kandra




Iraqi demonstrators throw stones towards security forces during ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad on 29 November 2019. Pope Francis said after the Angelus on 1 December he was concerned and saddened following two months of protests in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. (photo: CNS/Khalid al-Mousily, Reuters)

Pope Francis laments violence against Iraqi protestors (Vatican News) At the Angelus prayer on Sunday, the Pope said he is following developments in Iraq “with concern.” ”I was saddened to learn that the protests in recent days have been dealt with harshly, leading to the death of dozens of victims,” he said. Pope Francis promised his prayers for the victims and his spiritual closeness to their families and all Iraqis. He also invoked “peace and harmony from God….”

Nearly 100 killed as fighting intensifies in Syria (The Telegraph) Regime forces and armed groups were locked in heavy clashes Monday on the edge of Syria’s last opposition bastion, with 96 fighters killed over two days, a war monitor said. The battles since Saturday on the edge of the jihadist-dominated Idlib region are the most deadly since a Russia-brokered ceasefire went into effect in late August, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said…

Nearly $4 billion withdrawn from banks in Lebanon over unrest (Andalou Agency) Nearly $4 billion have been withdrawn from banks since September amid protests against economic woes, the country’s caretaker economy minister said. ” The bank withdrawals were prompted by fears of the confusing economic situation in the country,” Mansour Bteish told Al-Jadeed TV on Sunday...

Pope asks Catholics to set up, be enchanted by Nativity scene (CNS) A Nativity scene is a simple reminder of something astonishing: God became human to reveal the greatness of his love “by smiling and opening his arms to all,” Pope Francis said in a letter on the meaning and importance of setting up Christmas cribs. ”Wherever it is, and whatever form it takes, the Christmas creche speaks to us of the love of God, the God who became a child in order to make us know how close he is to every man, woman and child, regardless of their condition,” the pope wrote in his apostolic letter, “Admirabile Signum” (“Enchanting Image”)…



Tags: Iraq Pope Francis Lebanon

26 November 2019
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2018, a man is rescued from drowning after the opening of a dam following heavy rains on the outskirts of Cochin, India. Climate change is having a profound effect on life in India. (photo: CNS/Sivaram V, Reuters)

How climate change is radically affecting life in India (The New York Times) The monsoon is central to Indian life and lore.It turns up in ancient Sanskrit poetry and in Bollywood films. It shapes the fortunes of millions of farmers who rely on the rains to nourish their fields. It governs what you eat. It even has its own music. Climate change is now messing with the monsoon, making seasonal rains more intense and less predictable. Worse, decades of short-sighted government policies are leaving millions of Indians defenseless in the age of climate disruptions — especially the poor…

Second night of clashes in Lebanon amid anti-government protests (Al Jazeera) Clashes have erupted between protesters calling for an overhaul of the political system and supporters of the main Shia groups Hezbollah and Amal amid reports of gunfire in some parts of Lebanon, according to local media…

India proposes nationwide citizens list; Muslims fear persecution (DW.com) India’s Home Minister, Amit Shah, recently proposed creating a National Register of Citizens (NRC)for the entire country. Although Shah assured the Indian Parliament that no groups would face discrimination, resistance to the proposal has been mounting, with several Indian states describing it as a move to target and harass minorities…

Palestinians protest closure of institutions in East Jerusalem (Middle East Eye) Tens of Palestinians held a protest on Tuesday in the occupied city of East Jerusalem against Israel’s closure of several Palestinian institutions in the Old City. Israeli authorities closed down several institutions on 21 November, claiming that they are funded and belong to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA)…



Tags: India Lebanon Palestine

25 November 2019
Greg Kandra




Protests are continuing in Lebanon, including the one in the video above, marking Independence Day on Friday. (video: France24/YouTube)

Protestors, Hezbollah and Amal supporters clash in Beirut (Al Jazeera) Security forces fired tear gas early on Monday amid confrontations in central Beirut between supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, and demonstrators protesting against Lebanon’s political elite. Lebanon has faced five weeks of anti-government protests, fuelled by anger at corruption among the sectarian politicians who have governed the country for decades. Demonstrators want all of them gone from power…

Concern over rise of dark tourism in Syria (The Guardian) As President Bashar al-Assad tightens his grip on the remains of the opposition in the north-west, a handful of tour companies and travel bloggers catering to English-language customers have started running bespoke trips to the country to “mingle with locals while also passing destroyed villages,” visit archeological sites “shrouded in a coat of destruction” and “experience the famous cosmopolitan nightlife that has returned to the centre of Damascus…”

Bishop voices concern over anti-conversion law in India (Crux) A local bishop in India has voiced his objection to a proposed new anti-conversion law in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission on Thursday submitted a report to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting a new law to check “forcible religious conversions…”

Egyptian Coptic rights activist faces terror charges (AFP) An Egyptian Coptic rights activist is facing charges of joining a “terror” group and spreading misinformation, his lawyer confirmed Monday, amid a renewed crackdown on dissidents in the country. Ramy Kamel was arrested from his Cairo home early Saturday by seven plainclothes police officers, a member of his defence team, Atef Nazmy, told AFP…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Coptic





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