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




Georgian Orthodox Christians employ a unique style of chant believed to have been developed between the seventh and tenth centuries in the historical region of Tao-Klarjeti, now part of Turkey. Read more about the preservation and practice of Georgian chant in A Renaissance in Georgia, from the January 2011 edition of ONE, or click the image for an audio sample. (photo: Molly Corso)



Tags: Cultural Identity Georgia Art Georgian Orthodox Church

22 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Bishop Joseph Absi, pictured in an undated photo, was elected the new Melkite Greek Catholic patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East on 21 June. (photo: CNS/courtesy Melkite Catholic Patriarchate)

Melkite Greek Catholic Church elects new patriarch, a native of Syria (Catholic Register) Bishop Joseph Absi was elected the new Melkite Greek Catholic patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East during the church’s synod at Ain-Traz, Lebanon. Melkite leaders elected their new leader on 21 June, one day after his 71st birthday. A native of Damascus, Syria, he has served as patriarchal vicar in the Archeparchy of Damascus since 2007. On 6 May, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Patriarch Gregorios III, 83, who had served in the position since 2000…

Chaldean Church expresses pain and sadness over destruction of the Great Mosque in Mosul (Fides) In solidarity with its Muslim neighbors, the Chaldean Catholic Church expressed sadness for the destruction of the Al Nuri Mosque in Mosul, and reaffirmed its grief for the victims of the bombings and for all the people who continue to suffer from thirst, hunger and lack of medicine. An official statement issued by the Chaldean Patriarchate also expressed the hope that, in the face of today’s suffering, the hearts of the Iraqis will lead them to the desire to build together peaceful and fruitful coexistence…

U.S.C.C.B. officials urge Homeland Security to defer deportation of Chaldeans (CNS) The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairmen of the bishops’ migration and international policy committees urged Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to defer deportation of Chaldean Christians and others arrested 11 June…

Egyptian church raided, chained off by police to prevent worship (AINA) Authorities in Egypt reportedly raided a church-owned building that was being used by a local Coptic Christian community for worship and chained down the doors so that Christians could no longer enter the building. According to a press release shared with The Christian Post by the human rights and religious freedom advocacy group International Christian Concern, police broke into the three-story building situated in the village of Saft al Kharsa in the Beni Suef governorate last Friday. After police removed furniture, Christian iconography and other items from the building, they closed down the building using chains, an unnamed Christian villager told ICC…

Pope: The churches of the East are alive, despite persecution and terrorism (AsiaNews) “Let us not forget that in the East even today, Christians — no matter whether Catholics, Orthodox, or Protestants — spill their blood as a seal of their witness,” said Pope Francis today, while receiving participants at the ROACO (“Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches”) summit…

Private solar power systems catch on in Gaza (Al Monitor) The National Economy Ministry in Gaza announced on 27 May that it was lifting all fees, import taxes and customs duties on equipment for generating electricity, including solar power systems. This decision comes as the electricity crisis in the enclave reaches a new plateau, with Gaza’s only power station unable to operate at full capacity amid the political dispute between the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza…

Russia claims it has confirmed death of ISIS leader Al Baghdadi (Haaretz) The Russian foreign minister said that they can confirm with a high degree of certainty that ISIS leader Al Baghdadi is dead, according to a Reuters report Thursday. Russia’s Defense Ministry made the same claim last week, after investigating a May airstrike near the Syrian city of Raqqa. Washington said it could not corroborate the death and Western and Iraqi officials were skeptical…

Europe dismantles Ukraine’s ‘paper curtain’ (New York Times) Starting 11 June, 30 European countries began waiving short-stay visa requirements for Ukrainians as an incentive for Kiev to pursue further reforms. Since then, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have flocked to those nations. More than 20,000 Ukrainians have already seized on the rule change, some stepping out of airports at their destinations pumping their fists to celebrate putting the bureaucratic headache of visas behind them. On peak days, Ukraine’s border service says, about 5,000 of its citizens leave for the European countries. Petro O. Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, called it the collapse of the “paper curtain”…

Catholic cathedral vandalized in northeastern Indian state of Assam (AsiaNews) The Catholic cathedral in Bongaigaon, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, was vandalized by persons unknown overnight on 20 June, according to the Assam Christian Forum. Among other damages, the attackers broke the tabernacle. For diocesan authorities, it seems to be a case of theft. The thieves, they said, “stole the intention box, which might have been mistaken for the donation box…&rdquo



Tags: Syria India Iraq Pope Francis Ukraine

21 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




A woman roasts coffee beans with her son on their farm outside Bonga, Ethiopia. The Kaffa region is known for its coffee production, grown in high altitudes. This region is thought to be the original home of the coffee plant, but recent reports suggest climate change could spell disaster for this traditional industry. To learn more about Ethiopia’s connection to coffee, read Brewed to Perfection, from the November 2011 edition of ONE. (photo: Per-Anders Pettersson/Corbis News/Getty Images)



Tags: Ethiopia Farming/Agriculture Climate change

21 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




An Iraqi fighter stands on the Iraq-Syria border in Nineveh, Iraq. (photo: Martyn Aim/Getty Images)

Recapture of Iraq-Syria border point heralds new regional reality (Al Monitor) Regional governments are shifting their focus from national borders in consideration of the interests of the wider axis to which they belong. One manifestation of this was reflected in the celebratory mood of media as Iraqi and Syrian forces jointly secured the Syrian-Iraqi border crossing on 9 June…

Why I’m trying to stop mass deportation of Detroit Assyro-Chaldeans (AINA) “Over the past week, many have asked why I became so involved in the recent immigration sweep of mostly Chaldeans that took place here in metro Detroit. Now that the dust has settled and my schedule has returned to somewhat normal, I want to share why…”

Church of the East patriarch visits Tel Kaif, meets with Christian defenders (Fides) Mar Gewargis III, catholicos-patriarch of the Church of the East, visited the territories of the Nineveh Plain, liberated from the occupation of ISIS. During his visit on Saturday, 17 June, the primate of the Assyrian church met with Ryan al Keldani, in Tel Kaif, head of the so-called “Babylonian Brigades,” a militia who in recent months sought to carve out a Christian role in the anti-jihadist military operations…

In Fatima, Maronite patriarch to consecrate Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Fides) Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter I will travel to the Portuguese Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Lebanon and the Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The act of consecration will take place during the Divine Liturgy that the Maronite Church leader will celebrate in the shrine on 25 June…



Tags: Syria Iraq Lebanon Church of the East

9 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Sister Femily Jose of the Sisters of the Destitute leads a self-help group in a village in eastern Kerala. To learn about some of the efforts of the church to provide social support in this region, read Breaking the Cycle in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Don Duncan)



Tags: India Sisters Village life

9 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Minya region, south of Cairo, on 27 May. (photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian minister warns Christians of church security risks (Fides) Egyptian Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar said, in an 8 June meeting, that Egypt is under attack by forces wishing to destabilize the country, and advises Christians to reduce visits and celebrations in churches and monasteries, stating that conspicuous crowds at places of worship could be targeted. In his speech, reported by the Egyptian media, Mr. Ghaffar confirmed that churches and monasteries will be at the center of appropriate security measures currently managed in coordination with local communities and ecclesial authorities…

Pope Francis sends condolences to Tehran attack victims (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday sent his condolences for the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Tehran, Iran, saying he “laments this senseless and grave act of violence.” The Holy Father’s words were conveyed in a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin…

Ecumenical patriarch discusses importance of environmentalism (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) “For more than twenty-five years, the exacerbation of the ecological crisis, along with its attendant social and financial inequalities, have created unusual concern and vigilance for the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, adding that environmental destruction is always “accompanied by social and economic decline, unemployment and diminished quality of life…”

Iraq’s Kurds say ‘no turning back’ on independence vote (Daily Star Lebanon) Iraq’s Kurds said on Friday a referendum on independence will go ahead despite warnings internationally that a vote in favor of secession could trigger conflict with Baghdad at a time when the fight against ISIS is not yet won…

Kerala challenges Modi: No to beef ban (AsiaNews) Kerala is the first state in India to rebuke to the ban on cow meat imposed by central government of Narendra Modi. With a resolution adopted yesterday, the state’s legislators have rejected the measure…



Tags: India Iraq Egypt Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Iran

8 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Cairo protesters gather outside St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral after a bomb attack on 11 December. To learn more about how Christians are keeping the faith in Egypt, often under difficult circumstances, read Anxiety in Cairo in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: David Degner)



Tags: Egypt Violence against Christians Coptic Christians Coptic Orthodox Church Coptic

8 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Palestinian friends and family mourn during the funeral of Fadi al Najjar, 25, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on 7 June. Al Najjar was killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip the previous day. (photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Half a century after the Six-Day War, some Israelis wonder if it was a victory (Los Angeles Times) Hundreds of guests and dignitaries gathered at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, for a special session Tuesday marking the 1967 Six-Day War. It was a celebration of Israel’s lightning military victory over Arab armies in the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, West Bank and East Jerusalem that forever changed the landscape of the Middle East. Absent from the parliamentary party, however, were legislators from Israel’s pro-peace Meretz party. Not enough attention, they said, was being paid to the consequences of Israel’s unending control over millions of Palestinians who live in the lands occupied 50 years ago this week…

Iraqi Kurds to hold September independence referendum (Fides) Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region will hold a referendum on independence on 25 September. The decision, aimed at provoking a negative reaction from the central government in Baghdad was announced last night, 7 June, during a summit between President Masud Barzani and members of the government of the autonomous region…

Iraqi forces liberate important crossing into Syria (AINA) Pro-government popular mobilization units (Hashd al Sha’abi) liberated the Safouk border crossing into the Syrian province of Hassake. The P.M.U. was able to take control of Safouk after launching a surprise assault, tonight, from the recently liberated town of Ba’aj, east of the Syrian border…

Indian farmers protest against debt-related suicides (AsiaNews) Millions of farmers have halted production in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. In Maharashtra, many took to the streets on 1 June to demand the government cancel farm loan debts. In a desperate attempt to put the spotlight on their tragic conditions, they destroyed the product of their hard work in the fields, throwing onions, potatoes and milk in the streets. From there, the protest spread to Madhya Pradesh, where five people died in clashes with the police…

Kerala Catholics urged to spread the ‘message’ of Kandhamal (Vatican Radio) Catholics in southern India’s Kerala state have been urged to show solidarity with the suffering Christians of Odisha state and spread the message of their exemplary witness. Cardinal George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly who heads the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, made the appeal on 6 June while releasing the Malayalam version of a book by rights advocate and journalist Anto Akkara that details the atrocities of the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Odisha’s Kandhamal district…

Kerala government announces new liquor policy, 700 bars to reopen (India.com) In a major move, the Kerala government on Thursday approved a new liquor policy that will see more than 700 closed down bars in three- and four-star hotels, allowed to reopen. Church leaders and anti-liquor activists staged a protest in front of the Kerala Assembly on Thursday against the change in policy…



Tags: Syria India Iraq Palestine Israeli-Palestinian conflict

7 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Young Muslim volunteers from the Al Arabi neighborhood of Mosul clean and repair the city’s Monastery of St. George, saying “Mosul is yours as it’s ours.” (photo: Mohammed al Zakaria via This Is Christian Iraq)

Muslims and Christians unite to rebuild Mosul monastery (Crux) Young Muslims joined Christians in repairing and cleaning the Monastery of St. George in Mosul, after ISIS militants vandalized it by smashing windows, damaging the church’s dome, and discarding its cross. The monastery belongs to the Chaldean Catholic Church…

U.S. House of Representatives approves law expanding intervention in Syria and Iraq (Fides) On Tuesday, 6 June, the United States House of Representatives unanimously approved the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief Accountability Act of 2017, which authorizes, among other things, targeted interventions in favor of ethnic-religious minorities persecuted by ISIS. The text of the law puts Christians at the top of the list of beneficiary groups of authorized assistance and rescue measures…

At remote desert garrison in Syria, a U.S.-Iran confrontation is brewing (Christian Science Monitor) U.S.-backed forces announced Tuesday that they had begun the long-awaited assault on the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS’ main stronghold in the country and its self-declared capital. But some 170 miles to the south, in a remote corner of Syria’s southeastern desert, another clash is brewing that is pitting the strategic objectives of the United States against those of Iran. Both U.S. and Russian warplanes have been deployed, and some shots have already been fired, including by U.S.-backed coalition forces on Tuesday…

Syria: As airstrikes hit Raqqa, U.N. sounds alarm over plight of civilians (U.N. News Center) The United Nations humanitarian wing today said it is deeply concerned for the safety and protection of more than 400,000 civilians “who continue to be exposed to daily fighting and airstrikes” in Syria’s Raqqa Governorate. “The humanitarian situation in Al-Raqqa governorate remains dire, with the majority of the population reportedly facing critical problems in meeting their immediate needs,” Alessandra Vellucci, director of the U.N. Nations Information Service in Geneva…

Mankind responsible for protection of nature: Mar Chrysostom (The New Indian Express) Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Philipose Mar Chrysostom spoke out about the critical importance of care for the environment at a function organized by the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council to honor him. “You become true humans only when you see God in others. If a person is starving, it is the God who is starving. God first created man, then nature. So, it is the responsibility of the mankind to protect nature,” said the church leader, who turned 100 this year…

Palestine in Motion (Al Jazeera) Al Jazeera presents “stories of loss, love, trauma, hope, and ultimately, of what it means to be Palestinian,” with each of the rotating photos linking to a separate profile…



Tags: Syria Iraq Christian-Muslim relations Palestinians Indian Bishops

6 June 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Youth from 14 parishes receive lunch at a summer program in Alitena, Ethiopia. Meal programs in schools, camps and other venues are a crucial, successful element of the Ethiopian Catholic Church’s efforts to support local communities throughout Ethiopia — efforts CNEWA is proud to assist. In March, we published a letter from Abune Tesfaselassie Medhin, bishop of the Ethiopian Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat, describing the challenges facing currently facing both church and country. You can read this and more in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: CNEWA)



Tags: Ethiopia Hunger Ethiopian Catholic Church Youth





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