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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
15 September 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian refugee families receive Eucharist at the Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Zahleh, a large Christian town in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. To learn more about how Syrian refugees live alongside Lebanese citizens, read Hardship and Hospitality, from the June 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Raed Rafei)



Tags: Syria Lebanon Refugees

15 September 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Embed from Getty Images
Syrian refugee children play on a street in the Palestinian Shatila refugee camp, on the southern outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut. (photo: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite tension, Syrian refugees find sympathy in Lebanese villages (Al Monitor) Six years since the war in Syria began, tensions in Lebanon between Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals have continued to intensify, especially in Beirut. It is no secret that Lebanese officials have contributed to the scapegoating of refugees for Lebanon’s socioeconomic and political woes. However, the xenophobic rhetoric seems not to have infected many of Lebanon’s communities near the border in the country’s two most impoverished regions. While tensions do exist, there appears to be a level of mutual understanding over their difficult circumstances…

Life for Aleppo residents creeps toward normalcy (Christian Science Monitor) Life is slowly returning to the desolate streets of Aleppo — men hawk goods on a street corner; teenagers sell bananas off a picnic table. Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says thousands of people have returned to their homes in Aleppo — once Syria’s largest city — from camps for the displaced…

ISIS is on the run in Iraq, but some major battles remain (Washington Post) Iraqi security forces have freed most of northern Iraq from the grip of the Islamic State. But U.S. and Iraqi officials warn that thousands of militants remain in the country and are ready to wage a ferocious fight in a desert region bordering Syria. The bulk of the war against the ISIS was finished when Iraqi security forces reclaimed the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar this summer. But the battle looming in western Anbar province is expected to be one of the most complex to date…

Christians divided on Kurdish independence referendum (Fides) With the approach of the referendum announced by the government of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan to sanction its independence from Baghdad, there are contrasting signs from the local Christian communities…

Violence still plagues Christians in Iraq (Al Monitor) Christian leaders say Iraq’s monasteries and churches could soon become mere relics unless something is done to curb the violence against Christians. During a 26 August press conference, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mar Ignatius Joseph III of Antioch described Christians as “the most targeted and most vulnerable” minority in the region — and not just because of ISIS…

Catholic-Orthodox dialogue resumes, with greater Russian involvement (AsiaNews) At the end of a summer of intense contacts and visits between the representatives of the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow, the renewed dialogue between Russian Orthodox and Catholics seems to be having the desired result: a resurgence of cooperation and understanding between Catholic Church and Orthodox churches…



Tags: Syria Iraq Refugees Iraqi Christians Catholic-Orthodox relations

12 September 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Fadia Shamieh, from the Palestinian Christian town of Beit Jala, plays with children inside the St. Rachel Center in Jerusalem. To learn more about this institution founded by the St. James Vicariate of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem to care for the children of migrant workers, read Found in Translation, in the June 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Ilene Perlman)



Tags: Jerusalem Children Israel Migrants

12 September 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro





Abducted priest Tom Uzhunnalil rescued from Yemen (The Hindu) The Rev. Tom Uzhannalil from Kottayam, Kerala, who was kidnapped from Aden and kept in captivity by Yemeni militants for 18 months, has been released, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Tuesday. “I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” Ms. Swaraj posted on her Twitter account. Since his abduction, Ms. Swaraj has made several statements on the government’s efforts to secure his release, as they have been able to do in other such cases, including the release of an aid worker from Afghanistan…

Orthodox patriarch targeted in Jerusalem protests against church land sales (Christian Today) Palestinians have rallied in Jerusalem against the selling of church property to Jewish settlers. The protesters demanded the removal of Patriarch Theophilos III over his role in selling the land. The rally was sparked by a court ruling over the selling of three major compounds near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City to an Israeli Jewish settler group, Ateret Cohanim…

Christian activists to church leaders: Speak out against growth of Hindu extremism (Fides) “We, as Indian Christians, are concerned about the change that we see in our country that, from a pluralist democracy, is almost turning into a sort of reign dominated by a Hindu ideology,” says an open letter addressed to the leaders of Indian churches, signed by 101 well-known Christian activists and intellectuals, including educators, activists, lawyers, journalists, theologians, philosophers, academics and pastors. “Churches must act before it is too late…”

Pope Tawadros launches Coptic Orthodox church in Australia (Daily News Egypt) Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria launched on Sunday the St. Verena and St. Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church in Melbourne. Some representatives of the Christian communities in Melbourne attended the opening of the church…



Tags: India Palestine Violence against Christians Coptic

8 August 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Rachelle Beaini, a social worker at the Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Zahleh, plays with 2-year-old Michael, the Lebanese-Syrian son of Eli Yassin and Lina Barakat, during a visit at their home in Zahleh — a large Christian town in the Bekaa Valley. To learn more about how Lebanese citizens are living alongside Syrian refugees, read Hardship and Hospitality, from the June 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Raed Rafei)



Tags: Syria Lebanon Refugees

8 August 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Amir, an Iraqi Christian craftsman, center, and his family pose in their house on 4 August in Qaraqosh, Iraq. The family, who fled ISIS occupation, has returned home to rebuild their house and their lives. (photo: CNS/AVSI Foundation)

With help from church groups, Iraqis begin return to Nineveh Plain (Crux) Although Iraqi forces recaptured Qaraqosh, about nine miles from the edge of Mosul, from ISIS last October, it took many months before Christians felt comfortable enough to return, and their numbers are not huge. So far, 200 houses have been rebuilt in Qaraqosh, with another 111 on the way. Qaraqosh once had 50,000 people…

Indian Christians alarmed over violence against minorities (Vatican Radio) More than 100 prominent Indian Christians have written an open letter to the heads of all churches and Christian communities, spurring them to action in support of civil society in its struggle to safeguard India’s secular credentials and cultural and religious diversity. In the letter released on 4 August, the signatories noted a dangerous shift in the country “from a pluralist, secular, democracy to a Hindu Rashtra…”

Israeli archaeologists think they found lost Roman city of Julias (CNS) After decades of searching, Israeli archaeologists working on the shores of the Sea of Galilee believe they have uncovered the lost Roman city of Julias, home of the apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip…

Tiny Arizona parish hosts leader of world’s Ukrainian Catholics (CNS) When Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, Ukraine, the leader of more than 5 million Ukrainian Catholics around the globe, visited the parish of St. Michael Church in Tucson in July, “it was an amazing experience,” said the Rev. Andriy Chirovsky, 61, pastor of the 50-member parish…

Jordan’s king visits West Bank: A rare trip seen as message to Israel (Christian Science Monitor) Jordan’s king flew by helicopter to the West Bank on Monday — a rare and brief visit seen as a signal to Israel that he is closing ranks with the Palestinians on key issues, such as a contested Jerusalem shrine…

Egypt cuts cultivation of water-intensive crops (Al Monitor) In anticipation of a water crisis following the construction of the Renaissance Dam, Egypt’s government is preparing a draft law to impose harsher sanctions on the cultivation of water-intensive crops, but some say farmers must first be offered alternatives…

West Bank priests stress nonviolence as youths protest Israeli occupation (CNS) With tensions still high in the Old City following weeks of violence, Father Firas Aridah completed his work at the Latin Patriarchate early so he could leave Jerusalem for his West Bank parish before any possible violence began. For Father Aridah and other parish priests in the West Bank, the challenge is to emphasize the Christian tradition of nonviolence while supporting their young parishioners’ desire to oppose the Israeli occupation…



Tags: India Iraq Egypt Jordan West Bank

17 July 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Fadia Shamieh, from the Palestinian Christian town of Beit Jala, helps youngsters prepare for their meal at the St. Rachel Day Care Center. This church institution provides care, play and education to the children of migrant workers. For more, read Found in Translation in the June 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Ilene Perlman)



Tags: Jerusalem Israel Catholic Migrants

17 July 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




An Iraqi carries away garbage from his house after his return to his hometown, the predominantly Christian Iraqi village of Qaraqosh, some 20 miles east of Mosul. (photo: Adel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

The uncertain fate of Iraq’s largest Christian city (Der Spiegel) Before ISIS invaded, Qaraqosh was home to Iraq’s largest Christian community. Now liberated after three years of occupation, little remains and former residents are considering whether it is worth rebuilding in a country with an unclear future…

U.S.C.C.B. leaders say armed attacks near Jerusalem holy sites ‘a desecration’ (CNS) The president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference and two committee chairmen condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the fatal shooting of two Israeli police officers July 14 in Jerusalem’s Old City near some of the world’s holiest sites. “It is a particular desecration to carry out armed attacks in and around sites holy to Muslims and Jews in a city that is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims,” they said in a statement…

Syria takes more oil fields from ISIS (AINA) The Syrian army, backed by heavy Russian air strikes, seized a string of oil wells in southwest province of Raqqa on Saturday, as retreating ISIS militants battle to defend their remaining territory in the country…

Threat of attacks forces Egyptian churches to shut down activities (AsiaNews) Copts have suspended some of their activities — including pilgrimages, summer camps and conferences — for security reasons, fearing new attacks by Islamist extremist groups. The measure, which will remain in force for the months of July and August, was issued following alerts by the Cairo authorities…

Clash between self-proclaimed “Christian militias” operating in the Nineveh Plain (Fides) Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) have blamed the so-called “Babylonian Brigades” for having broken into one of their posts to seize military supplies and, above all, to release six of their militiamen, previously arrested on charges of looting private houses and Christian churches, including the Mar Behnam monastery…



Tags: Syria Iraq Egypt Jerusalem

23 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Palestinian family harvests olives in a valley east of the West Bank city of Nablus. To learn more about the life of a Palestinian olive farmer, check out Olive Offerings, from the January 2009 issue of ONE. (photo: Ahikam Seri)



Tags: Palestine Village life Farming/Agriculture Palestinians

23 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Palestinians buy clothing, shoes and games in a market in the Gaza Strip ahead of Eid ul Fitr, a three-day holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. (photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Resilience, resourcefulness help Gazans cope with daily hardships (CNS) Gazans demonstrate an “inspiring” resilience and resourcefulness and more importantly, a sense of hope, despite the daily hardships they face, said the regional director for Palestine and Israel of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. The hardships are many, ranging from a lack of dependable electrical service to a shortage of potable water at times. Through it all, people persist, going about their lives as best as they can, CNEWA’s Sami El-Yousef told Catholic News Service. “It shows you how you can live on so little and still continue to have a ray of hope that life will get better. It is inspiring,” said El-Yousef, who was in Gaza at the end of May…

The picturesque Palestinian village that doubles as an Israeli Army firing zone (Haaretz) Almost all Aqaba’s lands have been expropriated and turned into I.D.F. firing zones — hardly anything is left for shepherds and farmers. Only 300 people remain in the village, 400 others having left because of the land grabs. But no subject disturbs village council chief Sami Sadeq more than the army’s training exercises in the village. Maybe it’s because of his personal tragedy — a gunshot wound that has left him wheelchair bound since 1971 — or maybe it’s the simple truth that army troops really have no cause to be in this quiet place, other than to use it for training…

Trump administration faces pressure not to deport detained Iraqi Christians (NPR) Immigration authorities have rounded up nearly 200 Iraqis in recent weeks, and the Trump administration is now under heavy pressure to hold off moves to deport them. Many of those currently detained are from the minority Assyro-Chaldean Christian community, which faces severe persecution in Iraq. U.S. immigration authorities say the detained Iraqis have criminal records, but their families and supporters say many have already served time or paid their fines and that they would face persecution if sent back…

Race is on to save Chaldean Christian culture from ISIS (AINA) The dwindling number of Chaldean Christians in Iraq has raised concerns about the need to preserve the culture of the once thriving religion which the Islamic State is bent on wiping out. Dr. Shawqi Talia, a lecturer on Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures at the Catholic University of America, is on the quest to preserve the history and culture of Chaldeans Catholics before it completely vanishes, so that their meaning can be passed on to the succeeding generations. This he does by asking the community to share their memories and descriptions through the rich Middle Eastern tradition of storytelling delivered in their own native Arabic and Neo-Aramaic languages — some of them singing and speaking the same language Christ himself used…

Catholic Church supports separate Gorkha homeland in India (CNS) Church leaders have expressed solidarity with the Gorkha people — a Nepali ethnic group in India — who are on an indefinite strike protesting for a separate homeland in the Darjeeling area of eastern India. Since 8 June, Darjeeling district in West Bengal state has witnessed clashes between local residents and police. Street protests, stone throwing as well as violence from both sides has intensified since 12 June, when the popular local organization Gorkha Janmukti Morcha called for an indefinite strike demanding the creation of a separate homeland — Gorkhaland — for ethnic Gorkha people. “The church is not directly involved in the protest. But the church is with the people,” said Bishop Stephen Lepcha of Darjeeling. He explained that local people are demanding the right of self-governance because West Bengal state officials do not attend to their needs…

The mica children: Fighting for survival in India’s deadly mines (Der Spiegel) Badku Marandi was 6 years old the first time he crept into the tunnels that had been dug deep into the hard earth. During the dry months before the monsoon season begins, there is only one source of income for the poor here in the state of Jharkhand in India’s impoverished northeast. It’s why they leave their villages, day after day, to try to try their luck in the forested hills. The ground here is full of mica — shimmering minerals. The deeper you dig, the bigger the mica fragments become. But with every meter and every strike of the hammer, the danger of being buried alive underground also increases for people like Badku. From lipstick by L’Oréal to automobile paint for BMW and Volkswagen, many large companies and their suppliers purchase mica from Jharkand and Bihar for use their products. The reporters of this story interviewed more than a dozen companies that purchase mica from India about their supply chain. They all had the same statement: They are aware of child labor in the mica mines and they are working to improve the situation…



Tags: India Gaza Strip/West Bank Children Iraqi Christians Chaldeans





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