11 March 2016
As we mark CNEWA’s 90th anniversary today, we are continually uplifted by the faith and joy of those we have met from around the world, especially the young people. Here are a few small glimmers of hope: young Syrian refugees at the Zahle camp in Lebanon in January of 2016.
(photo: John E. Kozar)
10 March 2016
Children receive oxygen at a hospital in Taza, Iraq, on 9 March, after ISIS militants fired mortar shells and rockets filled with “poisonous substances” into their village.
(photo: CNS/Stringer, Reuters)
A new report states that Christians and minorities in Iraq, Libya and Syria are victims of genocide carried out by ISIS.
CNS has details:
The 278-page document was released March 10 in Washington, a week before a congressionally mandated deadline for the Department of State to announce if genocide was being committed against religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East and North Africa by the Islamic State.
It argues that the case for genocide exists and called on Secretary of State John Kerry to make such a declaration and to include Christians in it.
The report contains dozens of statements collected from 22 February through March 3 from witnesses and victims of atrocities carried out by Islamic State forces. The incidents include torture, rapes, kidnappings, murder, forced conversions, bombings and the destruction of religious property and monuments.
“Murder of Christians is commonplace. Many have been killed in front of their own families,” said the report, titled “Genocide Against Christians in the Middle East.”
It cites statements from religious leaders, including Pope Francis, and conclusions from the European Parliament, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the Iraqi and Kurdish governments, all of which have labeled the Islamic State’s actions as genocide.
The report includes a legal brief directed toward Kerry detailing the case for a genocide designation.
Pope Francis last year condemned what he called “genocide” of Christians in part of the Middle East, noting:
“Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus,” he said,according to Firstpost. “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”
9 March 2016
People line up for confession with retired priests at a retreat center near Irinjalakuda, India. Retired priests are continuing to minister to Catholics in India. Learn how in Redefining Retirement in the March 2009 edition of ONE. (photo: Peter Lemieux)
8 March 2016
Pope Francis, along with senior members of the Roman Curia, listen as Servite Father Ermes Ronchi, an Italian theologian, delivers his meditation during a weeklong Lenten retreat in Ariccia, Italy, on 7 March. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)
7 March 2016
Tags: Pope Francis
In this image from 2006, children welcome visitors to the Our Lady of Armenia Boghossian Educational Center. To learn more about the faith that is flourishing in Armenia, read A New Start for Armenia’s Catholics from the January 2006 edition of ONE. (photo: Armineh Johannes)
4 March 2016
Students at the Shashemene School for the Blind practice using Braille typewriters. 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)
3 March 2016
Tags: Ethiopia Children Education Disabilities Youth
Children make up a large part of the Iraqis who have been displaced and now live in Dohuk. To learn more about their plight, read Msgr. John E. Kozar’s impressions of a trip he made to the region last year in the Summer 2015 edition of ONE. (photo: John E. Kozar)
2 March 2016
Tags: Iraq Children Iraqi Christians Iraqi
An altar server waits for the liturgy to begin at Holy Family Chaldean Catholic Mission in Phoenix. To learn more about Chaldeans who have settled in the United States, read Nineveh, U.S.A. in the Winter 2015 edition of the magazine. (photo: Nancy Wiechec)
1 March 2016
Tags: Iraq Iraqi Christians United States Migrants Chaldeans
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)
29 February 2016
Tags: India Children Disabilities Catholic education
Spring has arrived early in New York City, and, during a much-needed spring-cleaning of my desk, I uncovered this memento from a trip to the Holy Land back in 2013.
I met the little artist who drew this card at the Infant Welfare Center, in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. He’s one of about 27,500 Palestinian Arabs who, since Israel seized the Old City in 1967, still live within its ancient stone walls.
Jerusalem is a prosperous place, but many of the Palestinian families are deeply poor. The children of the Old City suffer from overcrowded housing, a lack of access to health care and limited educational opportunities — as well as a permeating mood of frustration and hopelessness. At bottom, they’re victims of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
But behind the heavy metal door of the Infant Welfare Center, I didn’t see any suffering. The happy shouts of children filled the 700-year-old building with joy.
The center is a program of the Greek Catholic Annunciation Society and houses a kindergarten, a health clinic, tutoring for at-risk teens and other services that address genuine needs of the Palestinian children in the Old City. It’s a very impressive place. The youngsters I met there were just four or five years old, but the center was already teaching them English. We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” together.
Now that the card has been rescued from the bottom of a drawer, it’s hanging on the wall above my desk. And I want to thank you for the wonderful memory. Because the Infant Welfare Center is supported by your generous donations to CNEWA.
Tags: Palestine Jerusalem Education