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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
6 April 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Medical staff treat a wounded Palestinian, injured during the 'Great March of Return' protest near the Israeli border, on 6 April. (photo: Abed Zagout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Pope Francis meets with Armenian leaders (Vatican News) Pope Francis received Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia in the Vatican on Thursday morning before meeting with the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, and with Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Following the meetings, the Pope and the Armenian delegation participated in an inauguration ceremony and blessing of a statue of Saint Gregory of Narek in the Vatican gardens…

Gaza protests: Death toll rises to 22 (Washington Post) Palestinian protesters faced off against Israeli troops on Friday, creating a billowing smokescreen of burning tires on the Gaza side of the border with Israel in the latest show of anger a week after deadly confrontations along the heavily guarded dividing line. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and tear gas. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that at least two people were killed and scores were injured, five of them with critical injuries to the head and upper body. On Friday morning, a 30-year-old man was said to have died from injuries sustained during last Friday’s demonstration. The death of Thaer Rabaa, 30, brought the Palestinian death toll to 22 from last week’s clashes. The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 1,000 people were wounded by gunshots…

Assyrians in Syria celebrate traditions despite dangers (Christian Science Monitor) The Assyrian community, an ethnic minority in the Middle East, gathered to observe their New Year holiday and foster community pride. The group, whose numbers in the region are dwindling, have frequently been a target of ISIS…

Patriarch of Baghdad sees Chaldean martyrs as a source of peace and unity (AsiaNews) In a written statement commemorating the Day of the Chaldean Martyrs on 6 April, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I refers to Iraqi martyrs as a “source of inspiration” embodying values of “hope, human dignity, tolerance and peace…”

Church in Goa, India, attacked with stones during Easter Vigil (Crux) An Easter vigil Mass was interrupted by people throwing stones in the Indian state of Goa. One woman was injured and two vehicles in the parking lot were damaged in the incident…



Tags: India Middle East Christians Gaza Strip/West Bank

5 April 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Palestinians take part in a protest near the border with Israel in the east Khan Yonis town southern Gaza Strip, on 4 April. (photo: Momen Faiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Palestinian killed by Israeli air strike on Gaza border: ministry (Daily Star Lebanon) A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli air strike on the Gaza border early Thursday, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, as tensions increased ahead of new protests. This event comes after at least 17 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces last Friday when tens of thousands gathered along the border in a protest that led to clashes…

Egypt’s Catholic Coptic Church focusing on education, health and welfare (Vatican News) In a result that came as no surprise to Egyptians or to observers abroad, former army General Abdel Fattah al Sisi won the country’s presidential elections with 97 percent of the votes, securing another four-year term in office. Announcing the final results on Monday, Egypt’s election commission said there had been a 41.5 percent turnout at the polls. The only other opponent who ran against el-Sisi was little-known Mousa Mostafa Mousa, who entered the race hours before the deadline and whose party had previously endorsed Al Sisi. Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Coptic Catholic Church, said Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak sent the president a congratulatory letter, highlighting the importance of taking care of the educational, health and welfare sectors over the next four years…

White House says U.S. presence in Syria coming to ‘rapid end’ (AINA) The White House said Wednesday that the U.S. military mission in Syria was coming to “a rapid end” but offered no firm timeline for a withdrawal, even as President Donald Trump has insisted it’s time for American troops to return home…

India’s Dalits protest as laws protecting them are rolled back (Christian Today) A ruling by India’s Supreme Court that threatens to reduce protection for its marginalized Dalit people could be overturned after the court agreed to hear an appeal. At least 10 people died in protests yesterday against the ruling when tens of thousands of Dalits — formerly known as “Untouchables” — took to the streets…

Gaza fishermen face gunfire, death plying their trade (Al Monitor) Under a truce agreement after their 2014 conflict, Israel restricts Palestinian fishing to within six miles of shore. Israel says it considers ships outside that zone suspect because they could be smuggling arms. However, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, Israeli attacks are taking place within the permitted area…

Attacks on Pakistani Christians after Easter kill four Catholics (Vatican News) Four members of a Catholic family were killed in a militant attack in the southwestern province of Balochistan on Easter Monday, and in another incident the following day, a group attacked worshippers in a Christian church in Punjab province, injuring many…

Ethiopia seeks return of looted treasures from London museum (Al Jazeera) Ethiopian artifacts looted by the British colonialists in the 19th century are on a display in London, but a top Ethiopian official says the treasures belong to Addis Ababa and they need to be returned to the rightful owner…

Armenians protest Turkish authorities’ intervention in patriarch selection (Fides) Within the Apostolic Turkish Armenian community protests and division continue regarding the results of the process of election of the new Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, with see in Istanbul. Turkish-Armenian periodical Agos reports the appearance of anonymous posters criticizing Archbishop Aram Athesyan, former “locum tenens” of the patriarchate who in August was replaced by Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian. The latter has taken on a key role in the internal affairs of the patriarchate since the Turkish authorities cancelled the entire electoral process started in 2016 to choose a successor to Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan, affected in 2008 by a disabling neurological sickness…



Tags: Syria Gaza Strip/West Bank Palestine Turkey Dalits

14 February 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Sister Eman Fawzy chats with students at the St. Vincent de Paul School in Alexandria. Learn more about the school and the Daughters of Charity who run it in the December 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Roger Anis)



Tags: Egypt Children Sisters Education Catholic education

14 February 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian children play in the street as a United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent inter-agency aid convoy arrives in the town of Utaya, in the eastern Ghouta, on 14 February. (photo: Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images)

U.N. officials, church leaders decry escalating situation in Syria (CNS) As Syria’s war soon enters its eighth year, many decry the recent dangerous escalation in the conflict, whether in the country’s north, between Turkey and the Kurds, or in the south, between Iran and Israel. Speaking from the sprawling Zaatari Refugee Camp housing 80,000 Syrians near Jordan’s border with Syria, the head of the U.N. refugee agency condemned the recent Israeli-Iranian confrontation over Syria, which threatens to open a new and unpredictable front in the war…

U.N. chief launches two-year plan to fast-track Iraq reconstruction (U.N. News) United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday launched a reconstruction program for Iraq, urging the global community to support Iraqis as they embark on the journey to rebuild their country and make sure that it is committed to unity and inclusivity…

Site of Jesus’ baptism to be cleared of mines after half a century (Christian Today) An ancient site revered as the location where Jesus was baptised may be reopened to the public as a massive de-mining programme gets under way. Qasr al Yahud, about 6 miles east of Jericho, has seven churches along with chapels and monasteries, mainly built during the 1930’s during the British Mandate period. It was a popular pilgrimage spot until Israel blocked access to it in 1968…

Bishops say religious nationalism in India is self-annihilation (UCA News) Promotion of nationalism based on religion threatened India with annihilation, the nation’s Catholic bishops warned at the conclusion of a biennial meeting. The alarm was sounded following a series of hardline Hindu attacks on Christian and other religious minorities…



Tags: Syria India Iraq United Nations

16 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Georges Bacouni speaks with staff of a local Catholic school outside the Cathedral of Mar Elias in Haifa, Israel. Archbishop Georges recently wrote us a letter, reflecting on leading the church in the place where Christianity was born. This and more can be found in the December 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Corinna Kern)



Tags: Middle East Christians Holy Land Education Holy Land Christians Church

16 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Iraqi boys from the Shabak community clear the rubble from around their home east of Mosul on 10 January. Read more about Shabaks here. (photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Minorities in northern Iraq look to future (AINA) Now that victory has been declared against the jihadists, Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities — such as Christians, Yazidis and Shabaks — are taking the future into their own hands…

Caritas Lebanon: The refugee crisis is increasing, citizens increasingly poor (AsiaNews) The Syrian refugee emergency in Lebanon is “becoming increasingly serious” because it involves not only those who have fled the conflict, but “the same local population that is becoming increasingly impoverished,” the Rev. Paul Karam tells AsiaNews. The priest, who is also director of Caritas Lebanon, has been at the forefront of welcoming Syrian families fleeing the war for more than six years, and he is now warning of the danger of a “serious economic, political and social crisis” for the country. “The problem is increasingly widespread, and today we know that at least 28 percent of the Lebanese population lives below the poverty line…”

Palestinian leaders reconsider recognition of Israel (Al Jazeera) The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council, the second-highest Palestinian decision-making body, has recommended revoking recognition of Israel until the latter recognizes the State of Palestine in its 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital…

Islamists vow to ‘kill more Copts’ in Egypt (Christian Today) Islamist militants in Egypt have vowed to ‘kill more Copts’ after shooting dead a 27-year-old Christian because he had a cross on his wrist. Bassem Herz Attalhah, also known as Haythem Shehata, was on his way home from work in El Arish, capital of North Sinai governorate, on Saturday evening when he was attacked by three armed militants, according to World Watch Monitor…

U.N. condemns twin suicide attacks in Baghdad (U.N. News Center) Strongly condemning two terrorist attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has underscored the organization’s support for the country in its fight against terrorism…

Meeting with the representative of Al Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Damascus (Syriac Patriarchate) His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Sayyed Abu’l Fadl Tabtabaei, representative of Al Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Damascus, at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma, Damascus. His Excellency offered Christmas greetings to His Holiness, and the two discussed the historical role of Christians in Syria, Iran and throughout the Middle East…

Armenian parliament recognizes Yazidi genocide (Rudaw) The Armenian parliament voted to formally recognize and condemn the Yezidi genocide committed by ISIS…



Tags: Syria Iraq Palestine Armenia United Nations

9 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Teachers and staff members distribute uniforms made by students at the Kidist Mariam Center among local schoolchildren in Meki, Ethiopia. To learn more about this educational center operated by the Community of St. Paul, read No Place Like Home in the December 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)



Tags: Ethiopia Education Catholic

9 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this late-December photo, Syrian children play in the Awde refugee camp, which hosts around 2,500 people in tents and prefabricated homes. (photo: Furkan Guldemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Syrian refugees in Lebanon becoming poorer, more vulnerable with time (U.N. News Centre) More than half the war-weary Syrian refugees in Lebanon are living in extreme poverty and borrowing money for food and to pay rent has become commonplace, the United Nations reported Tuesday. This news came with a warning that more of these refugees find themselves dependent on international aid amid an uncertain outlook for humanitarian funding in 2018…

Patriarch of Moscow: Russian intervention in Syria saved Christians from ‘genocide’ (Fides) In a television interview on Rossija channel 1 on Sunday 7 January — on which the Orthodox Church celebrated Christmas — Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All the Russias praised the Russian military for halting the “genocide” of Christians in Syria. The patriarch added that the Russian Orthodox Church plans to take on the task of supporting the reconstruction of Syrian churches, as well as mosques and historical monuments…

Mortar shells strike the Old City of Damascus, damaging Maronite cathedral (Fides) On Monday, 8 January, a mortar shell hit the Bab Tuma neighborhood in the old city of Damascus. The strike damaged a Maronite Greek Catholic cathedral built in 1865, dedicated to Our Lady of the Transfiguration and to St. Anthony…

Jerusalem’s political orphans (Al Monitor) Some 150,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem neighborhoods on the eastern side of the Israeli-built wall snaking in and out of Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to live in a legal and administrative limbo. The political orphans of East Jerusalem are not allowed to be connected to their Palestinian leadership but are also not part of the Israeli political system even though the latter decides, unilaterally, what happens to them…

Three months after Baghdad took control, tensions high in Kirkuk (Al Monitor) The retaking of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army in October has changed the balance of power in the oil-rich town that had been under full control of the Kurds since 2014. The operation was part of Baghdad’s retaliatory measures after the Kurds held an independence referendum that has since been declared illegal…

‘Water war’ escalates between Egypt, Sudan (Al Monitor) On 4 January, Sudan recalled its ambassador from Egypt. Without providing further details, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry stated that Ambassador Kamal al Din Hassan Ali was recalled for consultations. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry is weighing how to “take appropriate action.” This diplomatic spat has unfolded in a complicated context in which numerous issues have fueled tensions in bilateral relations for years...



Tags: Syria Egypt Lebanon Jerusalem Russia

5 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Armenian clergy pray in the Grotto at the Church of the Nativity, the alleged birth place of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. While the Latin Church recently observed Christmas on 25 December, Christians of the Eastern churches look forward to celebrating the holy feast day this weekend. (photo: Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)



Tags: Eastern Christianity Eastern Churches

5 January 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




The reopening ceremony for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church of St. Stephen in Istanbul, often referred to as the “iron church,” was held yesterday, 7 January. (photo: Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

‘Iron church’ reopens in Turkey (Fides) The historic Bulgarian church of St. Stephen, overlooking the Golden Horn, is preparing to reopen its doors to the faithful and visitors after extensive restoration work, which kept it closed for seven years. The place of worship will be reopened next 7 January, with a ceremony in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will also take part. The presence of Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and of Orthodox Patriarch of Bulgaria Neofit is also expected at the inauguration. Built by the Bulgarian community in the 19th century, the Sveti Stefan church is also known as the “iron church,” famous for being made of prefabricated cast iron elements…

Palestinians protest Trump’s Jerusalem move (Christian Today) Thousands of Palestinians are protesting in a ‘day of rage’ across the occupied West Bank, Gaza and in East Jerusalem against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the ancient city as Israel’s capital. Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Friday, the Muslim holy day, expressing solidarity with the Palestinians and outrage at the U.S. move. American embassies around the world, particularly in Muslim majority countries, were forced to tighten security in the face of protests…

Attacks against Indian Christians during the Christmas season (Fides) Christian communities in India suffered at least 23 attacks for religious reasons during the Christmas period, which have instilled a feeling of fear and have hurt the faithful. Protestant Christian Pastor Prabhu Kumar told Fides: “Never in my memory have we experienced the intolerance we are experiencing now…”

Chaldean patriarch: Christmas celebrations in Iraq give hope (AsiaNews) Millions of people took to the streets in Baghdad, Mosul, Najaf and Basra to celebrate. For the first time in three and a half years, faithful celebrated in a former ISIS stronghold. The leader of the Chaldean church extended thanks to young Muslim volunteers, who helped to clean and decorate the Church of St. Paul in Mosul in advance of the celebration…

Egypt’s Coptic Christians to consecrate huge new cathedral (Christian Today) Egypt’s Coptic Christians, under pressure from repeated attacks by Islamist extremists, are to celebrate the opening of a new cathedral tomorrow. Largely funded by the Egyptian government, the new Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ is located in the country’s new administrative capital, a new city being constructed east of Cairo, which is expected one day to accommodate around seven million people…



Tags: Iraq Egypt Palestine Turkey Indian Christians





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