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September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
1 March 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Students at Ashabhavan tackle a variety of arts and crafts projects. To learn more about how this institution changes the lives of children with special needs, read Kerala’s House of Hope, appearing in the Winter 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Jose Jacob)



Tags: India Children Disabilities Catholic education

1 March 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Migrants find shelter outside the passenger terminal after arriving from the islands at the port of Piraeus in Athens on 1 March. (photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

U.N. agency warns of imminent humanitarian crisis in Greece (U.N. News Center) Europe faces an imminent humanitarian crisis, largely of its own making, following a rapid build-up of people in already over-stretched Greece, the United Nations refugee agency warned today…

About 27,000 Syrian refugees stranded near Jordanian border (Al Monitor) Amman is blocking approximately 27,000 Syrian refugees from leaving a Jordanian desert area near the country’s northeast border, an international aid official citing Jordanian border guards told Al Monitor. The number of Syrian refugees in Rukban and Hadalat is significantly higher than the number the Associated Press reported earlier…

Syrian army takes land east of Damascus during fragile truce (Yahoo! News) Syrian armed forces took territory east of Damascus on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, on the third day of a fragile international attempt to halt nearly five years of fighting…

U.S. warns of ‘tsunami wave’ across Iraq if Mosul Dam collapses (AINA) Iraq’s Mosul Dam faces “unprecedented” risk of a “catastrophic failure” that would unleash a wave of water which could flatten cities and kill hundreds of thousands within hours, the United States has said. The American government issued an unusually stark warning of the horrors that face Iraq if the dam gives way, describing a “tsunami-like wave” that would crush nearly a third of the country…

Number of Christians in the Gaza Strip continues to dwindle (Fides) The small Christian presence in Gaza Strip continues to dwindle. In recent months, at least 30 young people decided to leave the land in which they were born to emigrate and funeral services are frequent as elderly community members reach the end of their life on earth, says the Rev. Mario da Silva, parish priest of the Latin Catholic Holy Family Church…

Egypt’s Pope Tawadros II appoints new archbishop of Jerusalem (AllAfrica) Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II enthroned a new Coptic Orthodox metropolitan archbishop for Jerusalem and the Near East on Sunday. Archbishop Theodor Antonine was ordained in a ceremony attended by the ambassadors of Palestine and Syria, according to a statement posted on Pope Tawadros II’s official website…



Tags: Syria Iraq United Nations Migrants Greece

22 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian government forces remove an ISIS flag and replace it with a Syrian flag at after retaking control of an area near Aleppo. (photo: George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian army retakes 18 villages from ISIS near Aleppo (Haaretz) Syria’s army and allies, backed by Russian air strikes, recaptured 18 villages from Islamic State fighters in eastern Aleppo province on Saturday, a monitoring group said. The advance extended their control of parts of a road running towards the jihadist group’s stronghold of Raqqa, and built on gains made in assaults that intensified sharply earlier this month…

Syria war: Blasts kill 129 in Damascus and Homs (Al Jazeera) A series of suicide bombs near a Shiite shrine in Damascus and in Homs have killed at least 129 people on a day the United States and Russia claimed progress in securing a ceasefire to end the Syrian conflict. ISIS claimed that it was behind Sunday’s attacks, which killed at least 63 in Damascus and 46 in Homs. Some sources put the death toll higher…

Iraq: U.N. relief official calls for relocation of civilians to safer areas (U.N. News Center) The top United Nations humanitarian official in Iraq has said she is deeply worried about thousands of civilians who are trapped in Fallujah city and in Sinjar district and are unable to access aid, calling on Government officials to redouble efforts to relocate civilians to safer areas before the situation deteriorates further…

Iraqi premier: Government does not discriminate based on religion (Fides) The Iraqi government does not discriminate its citizens based on their religious affiliation; it considers Christians as a genuine part of Iraq’s national identity, and will do everything possible to prevent their emigration, said Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al Abadi…

The surprisingly early history of Christianity in India (Smithsonian Magazine) Modern Christians of Kerala believe that the Apostle Thomas — the one who so famously questioned Jesus — visited here in the year 52 and baptized their forefathers. Historians surmise that the diverse, rich trading center of Kerala may well have drawn this Palestinian Jew of the Roman Empire who wished to preach the Gospel. Thousands of churches today bear his name, their rituals and theology derived from Eastern Christian traditions in the liturgical language Syriac, a formation of Aramaic, the dialect Jesus — and Thomas — spoke…



Tags: Syria Iraq War Indian Christians

19 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Ambili Elias, a teacher with Ashabhavan, helps three students with their daily lessons. To learn more about how this institution changes the lives of children with special needs, read Kerala’s House of Hope, appearing in the Winter 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Jose Jacob)



Tags: India Children Sisters Education Disabilities

19 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




The Turkish coast guard rescued 158 refugees after their boat broke en route to Greece through the Aegean Sea. (photo: Hakan Firik/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.N. urges saftey measures for those fleeing conflict (U.N. News Center) Two children have drowned every day on average since September 2015 as their families try to cross the eastern Mediterranean, and the number is growing, three United Nations humanitarian agencies said today in a call to enhance the safety of those escaping conflict and despair…

Living as a Christian in the Islamic State (World Watch Monitor) When John, a Syrian Christian, chose to stay in Raqqa after ISIS took control of the city in 2014, he had no idea how he would survive. Thousands abandoned the city, believing it better to save their lives than live at the center of the Islamists’ new “caliphate.” John survived in Raqqa for 18 months before escaping in the middle of the night. He described a life of frequent harassment, weekly executions and the sadness of ordinary Syrians who, after initially welcoming ISIS fighters, grew to regret giving them their support…

Pope Francis: I understand the feelings of Ukrainians (RISU) Pope Francis gave a lengthy press conference on the flight back from Mexico to Rome on Thursday, sharing thoughts on the church in Ukraine and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk’s reaction on the joint declaration signed in Cuba. Pope said he understood the concerns expressed by the Ukrainian church leader, adding that he is entitled to his own ideas regarding the conflict in Ukraine. It’s important to take the comments in context, the Pope insists, since Archbishop Sviatoslav also describes the encounter as “a good thing” which he hopes will lead to further dialogue…

Solar power used Latin Patriarchate schools in Jerusalem (Fides) More schools of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem are choosing to use solar panels to produce electricity, say official sources of the Latin Patriarchate. In Palestine, patriarchal schools in Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Ramallah have already opted for solar panels…

Doha interfaith conference issues final statement (MENAFN.com) The 12th Doha interfaith Conference held on Tuesday and Wednesday brought together Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders alongside leading thinkers and academics in interfaith relations. After two days of talks and seminars, the conference concluded with final statement that emphasizes the importance of interfaith dialogue, stressing a commitment to the brotherhood of the divine religions in the search for peace, love and stability…



Tags: Jerusalem United Nations Migrants ISIS Interfaith

18 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Dominican Sister of St. Catherine of Siena from Iraq visits El Cajon, California, for the ordination of her nephew at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in August 2015. In the midst of a global refugee crisis, ONE recently spotlighted on a thriving Iraqi Christian migrant community in the southwestern United States. Read more about Nineveh, U.S.A. in the Winter 2015 edition of the magazine. (photo: Nancy Wiechec)



Tags: Iraqi Christians Iraqi Refugees United States Migrants Chaldeans

18 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Workers move sacks of emergency food supplies in and out of Ethiopia’s largest strategic grain reserve depot in Adama. (photo: Colin Cosier/AFP/Getty Images)

UNICEF: El Niño exacerbating malnutrition in eastern and southern Africa (U.N. News Center) Across eastern and southern Africa, millions of children are at risk from malnutrition, hunger, water shortages and disease, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today, citing two years of erratic rain and drought combined with one of the most powerful El Niño events in the past 50 years…

If ISIS is based on religion, why is it so violent? (The Conversation) Observers in the West who want to claim that Islam is to blame for ISIS and use it as further proof that the religion is inherently violent, ignore other root causes of the moment. While it would be incorrect to say that the discourses used by ISIS are un-Islamic, it’s important to note it represents one particular Islamic discourse and that it’s not the mainstream one…

Can Iraq separate religion and state? (Al-Monitor) Several groups appear to be vying to control Iraqis’ social lives and liberties: organized crime, religious factions and even armed security forces. Motives range from money to fundamentalism, but the situation calls for governance where armed parties and factions are no longer allowed to meddle in social affairs…

U.N. to airdrop food to ISIS-besieged city in Syria (Daily Star Lebanon) The United Nations plans to make its first airdrops of food aid in Syria, to Deir Ezzor, an eastern town of 200,000 besieged by ISIS militants, the chair of a U.N. humanitarian task force said Thursday…

Bishops’ commission: Plight of the Palestinians is ‘inhuman’ (Fides) The present situation for the Palestinians in the Holy Land is “inhuman” because of “settlers who occupy, day after day, Palestinian land,” from the poverty suffered by a million and a half inhabitants in the besieged Gaza Strip, the systematic demolition of homes and the humiliation suffered by Israeli soldiers at checkpoints. This is the gloomy picture outlined in the latest report carried out by the Justice and Peace Commission — a body linked to the ordinary Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land — based on the data studied in the last ordinary meeting, which took place in early February…

Arabs and Jews join forces to oppose development on historic Jerusalem hilltop (Haaretz) As the battle lines are drawn in the latest dispute over land in Jerusalem, Jews and Arabs find themselves, for a rare change, on the same side. Residents of Abu Tor, one of the few mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhoods in the city, have in recent weeks begun organizing against plans to build a hotel and luxury apartments on a historic hilltop compound in their midst…

‘Migrant-bashing has dangerously become the norm’ in Europe (U.N. News Center) As the European Union summit starts in Brussels, a United Nations expert on the human rights of migrants warned today that it has become impossible in Europe to have a meaningful discussion about migrant’s rights, diversity, and integration. “In its struggle to maintain control of its borders, [Europe] is being tested on its adherence to human rights. Through slowly stripping away the rights of asylum-seekers and migrants, Europe is creating a scary new ‘normal,’ ” said François Crépeau, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, in a statement…



Tags: Ethiopia Holy Land United Nations Migrants ISIS

10 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




A student at the Shashemene School for the Blind sets his bed in the morning. To learn more about the school and its efforts to teach its students self-reliance, read The Future at Their Fingertips, from the Winter 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers/Panos Pictures)



Tags: Ethiopia Children Education Disabilities Catholic education

10 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian children, who fled bombing in Aleppo, wait in a tent city close to the Bab al Salam border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border on 10 February. (photo: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Damascus vows to recapture Aleppo from rebels (Business Insider) Damascus aims to secure Syria’s border with Turkey and recapture the city of Aleppo with its latest military offensive, a top adviser to President Bashar al Assad said on Tuesday. In an interview in her Damascus office, Bouthaina Shaaban held out little hope for diplomatic efforts to end the five-year civil war, telling Reuters proposals for a ceasefire were coming from states that “do not want an end to terrorism” and wanted to shore up insurgents who are losing ground. The Syrian army, backed by Russian air strikes and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, has launched a major advance in recent weeks near Aleppo, once Syria’s biggest city, now divided between rebel- and government-held sectors…

Doctors Without Borders: 23,000 flee Aleppo (ABC News) Doctors Without Borders says some 23,000 new arrivals fleeing the fighting in Aleppo are in urgent need of emergency shelter and support near Syria’s border with Turkey. In a press release issued Tuesday, the group says it has increased the number of beds in its hospital in Azaz district and is preparing to extend capacity if necessary…

Vicar of Aleppo says Syrian people do not want foreigners’ war (AsiaNews) The Syrian army, with the help of the Russians, is making great strides in the Aleppo region, says the apostolic vicar of Aleppo of the Latins, Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, O.F.M. “The goal is to free the area from militia extremists and allow people to return to their homes. In some areas, schools have reopened and the supply of electricity and water has returned,” he says. In a tense situation, Msgr. Georges Abou Khazen sees positive glimmers: “Many of the local fighters, the Syrian guerrillas, are calling for an end to the war, and want reconciliation and dialogue with military and government. Where instead there is a prevalence of foreign jihadists and militants linked to foreign powers in the region and outside the region, war still rages on…”

Pope Francis meets with prime minister of Iraq (Vatican Radio) Before the general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis met with the prime minister of Iraq, Haydar al Abadi. The meeting took place in the studio of the Paul VI Audience Hall. The two discussed the role of interreligious dialogue and the responsibility of religious communities to promote tolerance and peace…

Pope-patriarch meeting historic, observers say, but substance is key (CNS) The planned 12 February meeting in Cuba between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church will be a historic event, those involved in ecumenical relations agree, but they contend the proof of the pudding will lie in the content of the joint statement the two church leaders are expected to sign at the end of their meeting…

Last Byzantine church in Ankara fights for survival (Christian Today) The last remaining Byzantine church in Ankara, Turkey, is fighting to survive as the crowded city continues to spread. The Orthodox Church of St. Clement, built at least 1,000 years ago, is in ruins and is quickly disappearing amid office buildings in the Altindag district. Despite being of cultural and historical importance, the church can only be visited by walking down an office fire escape with express permission from the owners…



Tags: Syria Pope Francis War Turkey Patriarch Kirill

9 February 2016
J.D. Conor Mauro




The Rev. Androwas Bahus teaches children in the smallest of his parishes at St. Andrew the Apostle Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in Akko, Israel. You can read about a day in the life of a priest in Galilee in the latest edition of ONE. (photo: Ilene Perlman)



Tags: Israel Holy Land Holy Land Christians Priests Galilee





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