Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
30 December 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro

A Syrian child who fled the clashes in his country rides his bicycle in mud around tents in Aleppo on 25 December. (photo: Orhan Cicek/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Aleppo’s shelters become underground schools (Al Monitor) In defiance of the grinding war that has been raging in Syria for nearly four years, underground shelters have been turned into schools. Students in rebel-held areas of Aleppo have returned to studying after most of the schools were destroyed…

Middle Eastern Christians flee violence for ancient homeland (National Geographic) On most afternoons, Mor Barsaumo, a honey-colored, fifth-century stone church nestled in a warren of slanted streets of Midyat, Turkey, draws a crowd. In the narrow courtyard, old men smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, while children kick a soccer ball across the stone floor. In a darkened classroom, empty except for a few desks, a teacher gives private lessons in Syriac, derived from Aramaic, the language of Christ. And now, the refugees also come. Advised by relatives or other refugees, newcomers to Midyat often make the steps of the church their first stop. Midyat and its environs — known in Syriac as Tur Abdin, “mountain of the servants of God” — are the historical heartland of the Middle East’s widely dispersed Syriac Orthodox Christian community. Now the region has become a haven as the fighting in Syria and Iraq has forced Christians to flee their homes…

Cardinal protests against forced conversions to Hinduism (Catholic Herald) The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has criticized forced conversions of Christians to Hinduism. Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, said that he was gravely concerned that “conversion events are being held under the label of ‘homecoming…’ ”

Israeli soldier kills Palestinian teen in “cold blood,’ injures 3 others (Al Akhbar) A single bullet to the heart fired by an Israeli soldier was enough to kill 17-year-old Imam Jamil Ahmed Dweikat, a Palestinian teen from the town of Beita south of Nablus. Nael Talat Thiab, who was walking alongside Imam in their home village, was also shot in the leg by Israeli Occupation Forces. Lying in a hospital bed, the 17-year-old teen told Ma’an news agency that his friend was killed in “cold blood.” An Israeli spokeswoman claimed that the two youth were “hurling stones at a nearby road…”

Tags: India Middle East Christians Israeli-Palestinian conflict Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Aleppo