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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
24 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Students play basketball at San Joe Puram in the Faridabad district of the northern Indian state of Haryana. To learn more about the important work of this Syro-Malabar Catholic Church institution, read A Place of Promise — and Providence in the Winter edition of ONE. (photo: John Mathew)



Tags: India Education Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Catholic education Youth

24 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A boat illegally carrying immigrants of Syrian origin to Greece sinks off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea on 23 June. Passengers were rescued by the Turkish coast guard. (photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

Migration crisis: The E.U.’s shipwrecked refugee plan (Der Spiegel) When 800 refugees drowned on their way to Europe this April, leaders promised to act. Just over two months later, the European Union’s attempts at real reform have all but failed — and raised some serious questions about the credibility and nature of the union…

ISIS attacks Hassake (Fides) On Tuesday evening, 23 June, the city of Hassake in the northeast of Syria was struck by ISIS. The series of attacks started with an explosion at a tank adjacent to a garrison of Kurdish militias. Then a truck full of explosives detonated in the northeast of the city…

ISIS blows up ancient shrines near Syria’s Palmyra (Al Jazeera) ISIS says it has destroyed two ancient shrines close to the Syrian city of Palmyra, seized by the armed group a month ago. Photographs posted online appeared to show the shrines being blown up and reduced to rubble on Saturday. It was the first reported damage to ancient sites since ISIS first captured Palmyra, known as Tadmur in Arabic and famed for its UNESCO-listed Roman ruins…

Ukrainians displaced by fighting tell speak to U.S. bishops (CNS) Displaced Ukrainians shared their stories and experiences with the members of a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delegation visiting Ukraine for four days. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.C.C.B. president, and Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, headed the delegation…

Indian government places Caritas India on watch list (The Indian Express) The Indian government has placed Caritas India — an arm of Catholic Bishops Conference of India — under its “prior approval” category. Any transaction the organisation makes through Indian banks will now need clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs. A senior government official said the organization was put under the category after its funds, given to various NGOs, were alleged to be involved in purportedly “anti-India” activities…

Thousands in Armenia protest steep hikes in electricity rates (Washington Post) Thousands of protesters returned to a main thoroughfare of downtown Yerevan, Armenia, on Tuesday evening, facing down riot police to protest steep electricity price increases planned in the economically strapped country. Protesters in the capital city marched toward the presidential palace on Marshal Baghramyan Avenue just hours after police had unleashed water cannons to disperse a peaceful overnight sit-in that had taken place in the same spot earlier in the day, detaining more than 230 demonstrators and journalists in the process…



Tags: Syria India Ukraine Armenia Migrants

23 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Elderly Roma men sit and chat together in Hodasz, 240 miles east of Budapest, Hungary. Citing a recent Harvard University study, NPR reports “the Roma minority in that Central European country face an unprecedented amount of violence and discrimination.” To learn more about this community, check out Our Town in the March 2008 issue of ONE. (photo: Balazs Gardi/VII Network)



Tags: Cultural Identity Village life Hungary Roma Discrimination

23 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A child refugee from Syria sits eats near his tent on the outskirts of Mount Lebanon on 20 June. (photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

In exile, Assyrian children bear scars of war (IOCC) Desperate to flee the onslaught of violence surrounding his village near Hassake, Syria, Charbel remembers how frightened he was when his family barely escaped their home before they saw it destroyed by their attackers. The 14-year-old Assyrian boy left behind all of his possessions, friends, and school, but still carries his memories of Syria before the war and a wish to become a dentist someday…

Syrian military and Druze allies join forces to fend off ‘terrorist’ militants (Los Angeles Times) About 70 miles southeast of Damascus, the Syrian military is making a stand against an opposition onslaught along the nation’s strategic southern flank. The overstretched Syrian military, fighting battles across multiple front lines, is relying here on a key ally: members of the Druze sect, an offshoot of Islam that has adherents in Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Thousands of men from the province are said to have signed up to protect Suwayda, the Druze heartland. Syria is believed to be home to about half of the estimated 1.5 million Druze worldwide…

Kurdish forces gain ground against ISIS in Syria (Christian Science Monitor) Kurdish-led forces advanced on Monday deep into territory in Syria held by Islamic State, showing new momentum after they unexpectedly swiftly seized a border crossing from the jihadists last week…

U.N. report on Gaza war may bolster I.C.C. inquiry (The Guardian) The United Nations inquiry into the 2014 Gaza war issues a rallying call for suspected war criminals “at all levels of the political and military establishments” to be brought to justice, but as the report itself wearily concedes, that is unlikely to happen soon. However, the report is likely to bolster the International Criminal Court’s preliminary examination of last summer’s conflict, increasing the likelihood that a full investigation will eventually follow…

Greek Catholic Synod spotlights anti-Christian violence, families in crisis (AsiaNews) The annual Synod of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church, held on 15-20 June at the patriarchal summer residence in Ain Trez, Lebanon, focused on the development of centers for catechesis, Christian preparation for marriage and families in crisis, as well as the situation in Syria, whose war has devastated the country and the Middle East, sparking a Christian exodus…

Church condemns the assault of a sister in Raipur (Vatican Radio) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has spoken out against an attack on a sister of the Salesian Missionaries of Mary on Friday night, 19 June, at a nursing center run by the sisters…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Israel

17 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Cardinal Telesphore Toppo talks with sisters at the Vatican in this October 2003 file photo. New Delhi police arrested a man in connection with an early June death threat against the cardinal, who has criticized the Indian government’s inaction over anti-Christian violence. (photo: CNS/Danilo Schiavella, EPA)

Kerala: Hindu extremists arrested for attacking a Christian gathering (AsiaNews) Police in Kerala arrested five people in connection with an attack against a Christian prayer group in Attingal. According to law enforcement sources, the five could be members of a Hindu radical paramilitary group…

Appeal for aid to refugees (VIS) Following today’s catechesis the pope mentioned that tomorrow the encyclical on the care of creation, our “common home,” will be published. “Our home is being ruined and this damages everyone, especially the poorest. I therefore make an appeal for responsibility, on the basis of the task that God assigned to the human being in creation: ’to tend and to keep’ the ’garden’ in which he placed him. I invite everyone to welcome with an open heart this document which is in line with the social doctrine of the church.” He also drew attention to World Refugee Day, to be held next Saturday…

Syria conflict: Rebels launch Quneitra offensive (BBC) A rebel alliance in southern Syria has begun an offensive against government forces in Quneitra province, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The area around the town of Quneitra came under heavy bombardment on Wednesday morning, Reuters reported…

Palestinian unity government to dissolve itself in coming days, Abbas says (Haaretz) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Tuesday that the Palestinian unity government led by Prime Minister Rami al Hamdallah was expected to tenders its resignation over the next few days, with the goal of assembling a new cabinet in its wake…

Palestinian refugee crisis a ‘time bomb’ for Middle East region (U.N. News Center) The stark conditions afflicting millions of displaced Palestinians across the Middle East risk destabilizing the region and plunging it into a deeper crisis, the head of the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees has warned…



Tags: Syria India Refugees Middle East Palestine

16 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrians mourn outside Al Razzi hospital after a Syrian rebel rocket reportedly struck a government-held part of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on 15 June. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels had fired some 250 rockets at several districts in western Aleppo city in just four hours, causing massive damage including the collapse of an entire building. (photo: AFP/George Oufalian)

Intense rebel shelling of Aleppo kills more than 30 (Reuters) More than 30 people have been killed in the most lethal rebel bombardment of the city of Aleppo since Syria’s conflict started four years ago, a group monitoring the war said on Tuesday, an attack condemned by a U.N. envoy visiting Damascus…

Pope Francis to receive Syriac Orthodox Patriarch (Vatican Radio) From 17-20 June, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All the East will be in Rome to meet with Pope Francis. The Syriac Orthodox Church traces its history to the first Christian communities established in Antioch…

Families of ISIS captives block north Lebanon highway (Daily Star Lebanon) Families of the nine Lebanese servicemen held hostage by ISIS blocked both sides of a north Lebanon highway Tuesday demanding to know if their loved ones were still alive. “We are standing here today to ask whether the servicemen are still there or if they were executed like some rumors said,” the brother of Army Sgt. Maj. Ibrahim Mgheit told reporters…

Patriarch Gregory: Most Lebanese think of emigrating (Fides) “According to a recent survey, 60 percent of the Lebanese are considering the idea of emigrating, and 35 percent of them are actually waiting for a visa,” said Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III of Antioch in his opening remarks at the yearly synod. The meeting of the Melkite Greek Catholic bishops, underway at the patriarchal summer residence in Ain Trez, will discuss the theme of family and emergency situations experienced by communities in Syria…

Mohammed Morsi death sentence upheld by Egypt court (BBC) An Egyptian court has upheld the death sentence imposed on ousted ex-President Mohammed Morsi over a mass jailbreak. The sentence was initially passed in May, but was confirmed after consultation with Egypt’s highest religious figure, the grand mufti. The death sentences of five other leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood and 101 others were also upheld. Morsi’s supporters have described the sentence as “farcical.” The verdict is subject to appeal…

Ecumenical patriarch hosts Halki Summit II (Huffington Post) Just days before Pope Francis is due to release his long-awaited and much-anticipated encyclical letter on climate change, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I organized the second Halki Summit in Istanbul, from 8 to 10 June. Entitled “Ecology, Theology, and the Arts,” this summer’s conference aimed to incorporate the artistic senses and spiritual dimension of environmental stewardship into the broader conversation on climate change…



Tags: Egypt Lebanon Christian Unity Aleppo Climate change

15 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Turkish soldiers stand guarded as Syrian refugees wait on the Syrian side of the border to cross Akcakale, in southeastern Turkey, on 15 June. Thousands of Syrians cut through a border fence and crossed over into Turkey on Sunday, fleeing intense fighting in northern Syria between Kurdish fighters and ISIS militants. (photo: Getty Images/Gokhan Sahin)

Rights group: World’s response to refugee crisis a ‘shameful failure’ (Al Jazeera) There were more than 50 million people displaced from their homes in 2013 — the highest number since World War II, Amnesty International said in a report published Monday.The report suggested that world leaders have abandoned millions of refugees to “an unbearable existence” and left thousands more to die by failing to provide basic human protections…

Syrian Kurds seize control of main road, encircle ISIS town (Daily Star Lebanon) The Syrian Kurdish militia said Monday it had encircled the ISIS-controlled town of Tal Abyad, the nearest border town to the militant group’s de facto capital of Raqqa…

Lebanese turn to faith to break political stalemate (Al Monitor) Christians in Lebanon seem to have lost hope in politics and politicians and decided to resort to religion for solace, as the Catholic churches in Lebanon have taken steps to consecrate their country to the “immaculate heart of Our Lady of Fatima.” The statue will be brought all the way from Portugal to roam the regions of Lebanon and visit four Catholic patriarchates amid various political and religious expectations…

Egypt’s Copts dig heels in over right to remarry (Al Monitor) Dozens of Christian Copts organized a protest inside the Cathedral of St. Mark during the 3 June homily of Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria. The protesters shouted, “We want to remarry,” while the priests tried to contain the situation to no avail, prompting Tawadros to cancel his sermon…

Egyptian president extends invitation to Pope Francis (Fides) Egypt’s ambassador to the Holy See reports that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi has officially invited Pope Francis to make a visit to Egypt. Regarding timing, the ambassador says no date has been set and will surely not take place in 2015…

Francis speaks at ROACO (VIS) The lands of the Middle East, marred by years of conflict, are also “marked by the footprints of those who seek refuge and soaked with the blood of many men and women, including numerous Christians persecuted for their faith,” said Pope Francis her as he received in audience the members of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), a year after their pilgrimage and Francis’ plea for peace in the region, when all hoped that “the seed of reconciliation would have borne greater fruits…”



Tags: Syria Egypt Pope Francis Lebanon Refugees

12 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Activists stage a protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in Bangalore
on 6 June. (photo: AFP/Manjunath Kiran)


Church institution says Indian government ‘abandoned’ farmers (Fides) A year after its election, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi “has abandoned farmers, the backbone of the Indian economy, and granted a free hand to extremist groups who attack religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians,” says the Rev. Fusine Lobo, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Societies in India. “The government has cut subsidies and pursues a policy favorable to big interest groups and corporations,” the director said. “The increase in suicides among farmers is an alarming signal…”

Syria conflict: Al Nusra fighters kill Druze villagers (BBC) At least 20 Druze villagers have been massacred by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front in northwestern Syria, activist and opposition groups say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said elderly people and a child were among those killed in Qalb Lawzah in Idlib province on Wednesday afternoon…

Assad meets with synodal delegation of the Syriac Orthodox Church (Al Manar) Syrian president Bashar al Assad said that the extremist aggression against the region target the diverse social and cultural fabric of the region in general and Syria in particular, SANA reported. Members of the Holy Synod stressed that Syria has been and always will be a homeland for all of the Syrians with their various affiliations and “a sanctuary” for all those who believe in the generous values of humanity in spite of the ferocious war waged against the country…

Lebanese Christian leaders focus on need for president (Al Monitor) Christian political and religious leaders in Beirut intensified efforts to address the conditions of Christians in the region and to find a solution to the stalemate in Lebanon, where the presidential vacuum has continued since May 2014…

Families outraged as Israel closes probe into deaths of four Gaza boys (U.S. News & World Report) Israel says no action will be taken against those involved in the last year’s bombing of Gaza beach that left four Palestinian children dead, saying that it was an accident. The father of one of the children expressed his hope the killings would be part of a case against Israel, which is expected to be presented to the International Criminal Court…

Egypt agrees to reopen Gaza’s Rafah crossing for 3 days (Haaretz) The head of the Palestinian Authority border agency announced Wednesday that the Egyptian government has decided to reopen the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip for three days starting Saturday. The official says the decision to open the crossing followed a direct appeal by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and senior Egyptian officials to reopen the crossing, to ease the hardship of many people who have been stuck on either side of the crossing, especially as Ramadan approaches…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Middle East Christians Palestine

9 June 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Young supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) celebrate in the streets the results of the legislative election, in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on 7 June. (photo: AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Kurdish election gains are ‘historic’ boost for inclusion in Turkey (Al Jazeera) The surprising success of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) in this weekend’s election was a historic moment for one of the country’s — and world’s — longest-persecuted ethnic minorities. By capturing 13 percent of the national vote in Sunday’s poll, the HDP became the first pro-Kurdish political faction to surpass the minimum threshold and gain representation in parliament for Turkey’s 14 million Kurds…

Islamic State: One year on, a brutish regime maintains grip on Mosul (Christian Science Monitor) One year after the Islamic State invaded the Iraqi city of Mosul, its hold on Iraq and neighboring Syria has spread, despite a U.S.-led military campaign to halt the group. Secretly filmed footage of life in Mosul, released by the BBC today, shows the power and control the Sunni Muslim militant group holds over everyday life in the largest city in its self-declared caliphate…

Inside Mosul: What’s life like under Islamic State? (BBC) Exclusive footage reveals how Islamic State wields power over people’s everyday lives in Iraq’s second city, Mosul, a year after it was captured…

Islamic State isn’t just destroying ancient artifacts — it’s selling them (Washington Post) Islamic State militants have provoked a global outcry by attacking ancient monuments with jackhammers and bulldozers. But they also have been quietly selling off smaller antiquities from Iraq and Syria, earning millions of dollars in an increasingly organized pillaging of national treasures, according to officials and experts…

The Journey: Syrian refugee risks life crossing the Mediterranean, Sweden-bound (The Guardian) In the darkness far out to sea, Hashem Alsouki can’t see his neighbors but he can hear them scream. It’s partly his fault. They are two African women — perhaps from Somalia, but now is not the time to ask — and Hashem is spread-eagled on top of them. His limbs dig into theirs. They would like him to move, fast, and so would he. But he can’t — several people are sprawled on top of him, and there’s possibly another layer above them…

Patriarchs met in Damascus to give courage and hope (AsiaNews) Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs of Antioch called for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis and the return of all the people who have been kidnapped and displaced…

Russian Church hopes meeting of Putin, pope will help Middle East Christians (Interfax-Religion) The Russian Orthodox Church believes the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis may address the peacekeeping initiatives in the Middle East and the other regions, specifically, the issue of the protection of Christians…

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I shares World Oceans Day message (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) “Over the past two decades, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church worldwide has drawn the world’s attention to the deteriorating condition of our oceans. Now then, more than ever, it is important to recognize the need to respect and protect this invaluable and inalienable resource of our planet, which is the unique source of sustainability and biodiversity, but also the innate cradle of religion and culture…”



Tags: Syria Iraq Refugees Turkey ISIS

28 April 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Palestinian boy sits on a chair in the ruins of a house on 28 April in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shajaia, destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014. (photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

U.N. report says Israel struck Gaza shelters (BBC) At least 44 Palestinians were killed by “Israeli actions” while sheltering at seven United Nations schools during last summer’s war in Gaza, a U.N. inquiry has found…

Palestinians in Israel demand end to home demolitions (Daily Star Lebanon) In a demonstration on Tuesday, hundreds of people protested in Tel Aviv against demolitions targeting Palestinian-owned houses. Protests by Israel’s Palestinians occur frequently, but seldom have they taken place in Tel Aviv, in a central square that typically hosts demonstrations for causes championed by Jewish Israelis…

Muslims raise funds to build Coptic church in Cairo (Christian Today) Muslims in Egypt have donated money towards the building of a Coptic church in the Monufia governorate, north of Cairo, signaling another step towards solidarity in a country previously divided along sectarian lines. Coptic Orthodox Bishop Benyamin began a collection of donations for the church, which will be dedicated to the Virgin Mary…

Sinai Islamist groups threaten Copts for supporting Egyptian president (Fides) A threat issued to Copts in the Sinai peninsula states that they must leave their homes if they do not want to die. People identifying with militant Islamic fundamentalist groups spread this threat across social networks…

Armenians in Lebanon keep their culture, memory of 1915 heroism alive (Los Angeles Times) The priest unlocks the door to a musty room, home to the ghosts of Moses Mountain, a lost place where determined townsfolk once gathered with hunting rifles and faced down an imperial army. A glass-and-wood frame secures a white flag emblazoned with a fading red cross, a symbol of resistance and survival celebrated in Armenian lore. Laid out on tables and shelves are prized artifacts: a chalice, rusted farming implements, an ancient rifle and black funeral boxes holding remains of those who were killed fighting the Turks 100 years ago. “Here, you can feel our ancestors’ presence,” said the Rev. Ashod Karakashian, 82, who came here from Turkey as a boy and has few direct memories of his homeland. But he lives daily with its legacy…



Tags: Egypt Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Violence against Christians Christian-Muslim relations





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