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Current Issue
March, 2019
Volume 45, Number 1
  
9 January 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro




Men in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip along the border with Egypt, gaze at the Egyptian side on 3 January. (photo: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Gaza blockade extending southward and northward (Al Akhbar) Egyptian authorities have decided to completely demolish the city of Rafah on the borders with the Gaza Strip, North Sinai district Governor Abdul Fattah Harhour said, in a bid to create a buffer zone between Egypt and the besieged enclave. The authorities officially began the second stage of evacuation of Rafah homes on Thursday. According to Governor Harhour, “it would be necessary to completely remove the city of Rafah in order to create a buffer zone on the borders with Gaza,” adding that the authorities began evacuating 1,220 homes, housing over 2,044 families, in the area demarcated for the establishment of the zone. The displaced families will receive compensation for the values of their lost homes, but not for the lands upon which the homes were built…

Elderly Christians expelled from Mosul for refusing to convert (Fides) The militiamen of the Islamic State have expelled ten elderly Chaldean and Syriac Catholics from Mosul after refusing to renounce the Christian faith and to convert to Islam. On Wednesday, 7 January, the group of elders — some with serious health problems — was welcomed in Kirkuk, after spending two days in the cold in “no man’s land” between the villages occupied by the Islamic State and the area under the control of the Kurdish Peshmerga…

The pope receives a delegation of Yazidi (VIS) This morning, Pope Francis received in audience a delegation from the world community of Yazidi, according to the director of the Holy See Press Office, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, S.J. The delegation was led by the head of all the Yazidi, Mir Tahsin Said Ali Beg, and their supreme spiritual head, the “baba sheikh,” Sheikh Khato, both resident in Iraqi Kurdistan. The group also comprised three representatives of the Yazidi of north Iraq, Georgia and the diaspora in Germany…

Syrian refugees now largest group receiving UNHCR assistance (Euronews) According to the official 2014 registry by the United Nations agency the UNHCR, refugees from Syria now outnumber refugees from Afghanistan. In June, the Syrians had already surpassed three million, now it’s estimated there are some four million Syrian war refugees. “We are facing what I really consider the most dangerous crisis for global peace and security since the Second World War,” says U.N. refugee chief António Gutierres…

Greek Orthodox Church to Be Built in U.A.E. (Greek World Reporter) A Greek Orthodox Church will be built in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, over the next year in order to accommodate all the worshipers who reside in the area. Abu Dhabi currently hosts 700 registered Greek Orthodox families, but according to the Rev. Stephanos Neaimeh, there are at least 300 more families in the emirate who have not been registered…

Number of persecuted Christians tops 100 million worldwide, study says (Vatican Radio) The number of persecuted Christians in the world has topped 100 million, according to a new report that says even non-violent persecution of Christians has increased, amid continuing violence. The list ranks the 50 countries where it is most dangerous and difficult to be a Christian…



Tags: Syria Iraq Egypt Refugees Gaza Strip/West Bank