onetoone
one
Current Issue
September, 2017
Volume 43, Number 3
  
10 July 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Egyptian Copts gather for the funeral procession of Rev. Mina Aboud Sharween, a victim of sectarian violence, on Monday, 8 July 2013. (photo: The Coptic Orthodox Church)

Christians fear the new Egyptian constitution will be equally divisive (Fides) Christian churches in Egypt are expressing concerns over the temporary constitution enacted by decree on Monday by the Egyptian president ad interim, Adly Mansour. The ecclesiastical hierarchy is likely to announce its official position soon. “We are concerned. … The provisions that in the old constitution seemed bad in the eyes of Christians are highlighted in the new text. If we do not speak now, we will not be able to say anything,” says Coptic Catholic Bishop Botros Fahim Awad Hanna of Minya. What worries Christians is in particular is Article 1 of the new constitutional declaration, which refers to Sharia as a basic source of legislation adds that the interpretation of the Sharia law should be in accordance with the body of laws developed in the early centuries of Islam. In this step the content of Article 219 of the previous constitution is retrieved, which at the time was the center of the disputes of Christians, ultimately resulting in the withdrawal of their representatives from the constitutional assembly in protest. In addition, from the provisional Constitution enacted by Mansour, former Article 3 has disappeared, which guaranteed Christians and Jews the opportunity to use their own canonical principles to regulate personal issues and religious aspects of their communities…

Egypt orders arrest of top Muslim Brotherhood, Islamist officials (Washington Post) Egypt’s top prosecutor has ordered the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader and nine other top Islamist officials for allegedly instigating violence that led to the killing of more than 50 demonstrators Monday. The arrest warrants for Brotherhood supreme guide Muhammad Badie and the others came a day after interim President Adly Mansour appointed a prime minister and vice president, moves designed to lend an air of normalcy to the country even as indications mounted that the president is little more than a civilian face for military rule. Mansour also has outlined a path to quick elections and a return to democracy after the 3 July coup that overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president, Muhammad Morsi…

Women deacons in the Armenian Apostolic Church: a history (Armenian Weekly) Women deacons, an ordained ministry, have served the Armenian Apostolic Church for centuries. In some instances, the mission of the Armenian deaconesses was educating, caring for orphans and the elderly, assisting the indigent, comforting the bereaved, and addressing women’s issues. They served in convents and cathedrals, and the general population. Their vestments are exactly like those of nuns or sisters, except that on their forehead they have a cross; their stole hangs from over the right shoulder. The woman deacon served on the altar, as did her male counterpart, and the bishop did not limit her liturgical service to convent churches only…

St. Andrew’s Cross to be delivered to Belarus (Belarus Telegraph Agency) The cross on which the Apostle Andrew the First-Called was crucified will be delivered to Minsk. By decision of the Holy Synod of the Belarusian Exarchate, the relic will be on display in the Apostle Andrew Church and the Church of All Saints in Minsk from 29 July to 2 August, BelTA learned from the Minsk Eparchy of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. This relic is ordinarily kept at an Orthodox church in Patras, Greece, in Peloponnese. The cross will be brought to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Minsk. “The event is meant to remind us that the spiritual life of the three nations has the same roots — the blessing St. Andrew gave in the first century and the christening in Kiev in 988,” said an official statement from the Belarusian Orthodox Church…

Regional upheaval prompts Israeli Arab Christians form new political party (The Times of Israel) Christian Arab citizens of Israel are forming a new political party. The party’s Hebrew name — B’nei Brit Hahadasha — means “Sons of the New Testament,” although the word “allies” is hidden in the title as well. The effort is part of a growing assertiveness on the part of Christian Arabs in the wake of the Arab Spring, as they increasingly sound calls for an identity distinct from Israel’s broader Arab society, which is around 90 percent Muslim. According to its Facebook page, the party’s platform includes full integration of Christians in all fields, peace with a democratic Palestinian state and all of Israel’s neighbors, increased tourism and trade, and the return of Israelis who have left the country…



Tags: Egypt Israel Saints Egypt's Christians Women Religious in Europe

9 July 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 9 December photo, Bulgarian Orthodox Metropolitan Kiril of Varna and Veliki Preslav celebrates the Divine Liturgy at Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church (The Church of Seven Saints) in Sofia. (photo: The Bulgarian Orthodox Church)

Bulgarian bishop found drowned, foul play suspected (France24) A powerful and controversial Bulgarian Orthodox Church metropolitan was found dead on a Black Sea beach on Tuesday. Metropolitan Kiril was initially thought to have died from drowning but Bulgarian state radio, citing police and prosecutors, said the 59-year-old’s death appears suspicious. An autopsy was being carried out to determine the cause of death, which happened in the city of Varna, the diocese the bishop represented. Kiril was one of the best-known members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church…

Praying: the Catholic and the Muslim way (Vatican Radio) Jesuit Professor Father Felix Körner is a scholar engaged in dialogue with Muslim theologians in an effort to build bridges between Christians and Muslims and to improve mutual understanding. To mark the beginning of Ramadan, Veronica Scarisbrick speaks to Professor Körner, who currently teaches interreligious theology at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome…

Crisis conditions spur provisional Egyptian government to action (AsiaNews) Continuing protests and 51 deaths since Monday, 8 July, have pushed Adly Mansour, interim Egyptian president, to advance the date of the election. Within seven months, the country will return to the polls. The official date remains to be announced within the next few weeks, during which time the members of the new parliament will attempt to improve the nation’s constitution…

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood rejects timetable (Al Jazeera) The Muslim Brotherhood party has rejected the transition timetable set out by the military-backed interim president. Essam al Erian, a senior Brotherhood figure and deputy head of its Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the transition timetable on Tuesday, saying it takes the country “back to zero.” On his Facebook page, al Erian wrote that “the people created their constitution with their votes,” referring to the constitution that Islamists pushed to finalization and then was passed in a national referendum during former President Mohamed Morsi’s year in office…

Wounded dying for lack of medicine in Syria’s Homs, activists say (Daily Star Lebanon) People wounded in fighting between rebels and regime troops in the central Syrian city of Homs are dying for lack of medical equipment, activists said on Tuesday. “The army’s continuous bombardment over the past 11 days has made the critical humanitarian situation in rebel areas of Homs even worse,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. “An unknown number of rebels and civilians wounded in recent days are dying from their injuries, because there is no medical equipment to treat them,” he added…



Tags: Egypt Syrian Civil War Catholic-Muslim relations Bulgarian Orthodox Church Democracy

8 July 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




A protester calling for the removal of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi holds up a copy of the Quran and a cross during a rally at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 5 July. Egypt’s Catholic leaders welcomed the ouster of the Islamist president and pledged to help “rebuild democracy” under army rule. (photo: CNS/Khaled Abdullah, Reuters)

Churches welcome Morsi’s ousting (The Tablet) The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, has praised the campaign that ousted the country’s elected president and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, on Thursday evening. Pope Tawadros, the leader of the largest religious minority in Egypt, said that Egyptian people had recovered their “stolen revolution” — a reference to how the Arab Spring of 2011 had led to an increasingly hardline Islamist government. Morsi was officially deposed from office at 7 p.m. local time on Thursday following a week of protests at his rule and the intervention of the Egyptian military…

Egypt security forces kill dozens of pro-Morsi protesters (Los Angeles Times) Soldiers and security forces opened fire on an encampment of anti-military protesters outside the barricades at the Republican Guard headquarters. “We were praying, and … we were surprised by gun fire and tear gas all around us,” said Mahmoud Mohamed, a lawyer who was shot in the arm. “We had women and children with us. … They didn’t give us a chance to retreat.” It is not clear what led to the onslaught that killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds. A military statement said a “terrorist group” attempted to storm the Republican Guard facility, killing one soldier and wounding 40…

Jesuit’s appeal for peace during Ramadan (Fides) “The holy month of Ramadan is a time of penance and conversion to God and is a time to ask our brothers and sisters’ forgiveness. We ask the grace of repentance for everyone. We ask it while claiming respect for law and justice,” said Jesuit Father Paolo dall’Oglio in an appeal to the end the war in Syria and sectarian conflicts in other Middle Eastern countries — conflicts that exist from Pakistan to Lebanon, “as well as those of ideological confessional nature that are taking place from Egypt to Morocco, costing enormous losses and disfiguring the face of Islam…”

Leaders should serve the people, says Bulgarian patriarch (Independent Balkan News Agency) Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch Neofit says that God puts people in positions of leadership not to satisfy their personal ambitions and goals but to be their servant. Neofit, elected patriarch in February 2013 at the time of the earlier protests that were mobilized around cost-of-living issues, was speaking against a background of continuing anti-government protests. While standing back from taking sides, the patriarch earlier issued a message to the current protesters in which he extended his blessing to them. “When one is empowered to make decisions that affect many people, one must be very careful and responsible, especially humbled by the consciousness of his human weakness and imperfection,” Patriarch Neofit said…

Czechs mark Sts. Cyril and Methodius anniversary (Prague Daily Monitor) Almost 80,000 pilgrims, including President Milos Zeman, visited the Days of Good Will People celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Sts. Cyril and Methodius as missionaries in Great Moravia Friday, festival secretary Josef Korenek has said. Some 60,000 people attended a liturgy for pilgrims on Friday, Korenek added. Bishops from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia along with 11 foreign bishops, among others from Germany, Russia and Ukraine, took part in the event. St. Cyril or Constantine (827-869) and St. Methodius (825-885), “the apostles of the Slavs,” were two Greek brothers from Thessalonica. As missionaries they spread Christianity, but they also translated biblical and liturgical text into the comprehensible, old Slavonic language. They invented a scripture for this purpose, called Glagolitic, that was later transformed into Cyrillic that it is still in use in the Orthodox Church…



3 July 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 2011 photo, a Swiss Guard stands at attention as Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the beatification Mass for the late Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Catholic Press Photo)

John Paul set for sainthood after second miracle approved (ANSA) A second miracle by Pope John Paul II was approved Tuesday by a plenary meeting of cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, ANSA sources said. The decision means that John Paul may be canonized by the end of this year, the sources said. The next step is for Pope Francis to give the final signature…

Egyptian Army delivers ultimatum; will Copts play a bigger role in what follows? (Fides) In Egypt, the army has delivered an ultimatum: President Morsi must work to resolve the country’s political crisis within 48 hours, or he will be removed from office. After the president responded with a speech on Tuesday evening, reiterating his firm intention to remain in power until the end of his term, “the people are … waiting to see” what the army will do, says Coptic Catholic Bishop of Minya Botros Fahim Awad Hanna. Bishop Hanna adds that, among the discussions and proposals over what will follow, “there are those who hope of some form of involvement also on behalf of the University of Al Azhar and representatives of the Coptic Church as forces capable of contributing to a balanced solution to the crisis…”

Catholic leaders decry arming Syrian rebels (National Catholic Register) Church leaders warned that more blood, martyrs and the end of the church in Syria is the price Syria will pay if the United States decides to go ahead with plans to arm the rebel forces. “We’re seeing what looks like an extermination of Christianity,” says Bishop Nicholas Samra, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States. Bishop Samra said that Syria’s five Melkite bishops delivered a “bleak report” about the church in Syria to him and other Melkite bishops gathered at their June annual meeting with Patriarch Gregory III in Lebanon. “Our patriarch and all of our bishops are just calling for an end to all of the fighting,” Bishop Samra said. “We want to see what can be done by working relationships and by sitting down and talking, rather than shooting…”

Maronite bishops urge armed groups to lay down their weapons (Naharnet) The Maronite Bishops Council condemned on Wednesday the spread of illegal arms in Lebanon, saying that it will only create chaos in the country. “All armed groups must lay down their weapons in favor of official security forces,” they concluded. The bishops made their remarks after their monthly meeting headed by Patriarch Bechara Peter. “Political groups cannot rely on arms to achieve their goals, but they should do so through democratic means…”



Tags: Melkite Greek Catholic Church Pope John Paul II Saints Maronite Coptic Church

2 July 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II speaks at the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church in June 2013. (photo: The official site Pope Tawadros II)

Pope Tawadros II praises Egyptian protesters (Ahram Online) Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II expressed his support on Tuesday for the nationwide anti-government protests and the campaign calling on President Mohamed Morsi to step down. “It is wonderful to see the Egyptian people taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way,” he said in a statement via Twitter…

Syrian refugees set up home in Iraq’s Domiz camp – in pictures (The Guardian) More than 160,000 Syrian refugees are seeking safety in Iraq, most of them in the Kurdish region. Domiz refugee camp, the only Iraqi camp for Syrian refugees, is severely overcrowded and about 90,000 refugees are scattered around nearby towns. With the number of people leaving Syria showing few signs of diminishing, securing food, water and adequate sanitation is an ever-increasing problem…

Georgia’s mighty Orthodox Church (BBC) The Orthodox Church remains the most trusted institution in Georgia. In a February survey carried out by the Caucasus Resource Research Center, 95 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of its work. Beka Mindiashvili, a former theologian who is now head of the Tolerance Center at the public defender’s office, attributes such high confidence in the church to the 80-year-old patriarch, Ilia II. “He possesses all the right attributes. He is charismatic, he speaks slowly and each word is regarded saintly, holy,” Mr Mindiashvili says. “He is a person for everybody. To a simple person, he speaks simply; to a politician, he speaks politically; to an intellectual, he speaks of Umberto Eco and of classical music.” There were only about 50 priests when Ilia II became patriarch in 1977. Today there are approximately 1,700… [Check out ONE’s profile of the Orthodox Church of Georgia]

Suspect arrested in connection with vandalism of West Bank monastery (Jerusalem Post) An ultra-Orthodox man was arrested Sunday for a September “price-tag” attack on a 19th-century Christian monastery in the West Bank, allegedly carried out in solidarity with other nationalistic Jewish settlers, police said Monday. Graffiti left on the Latrun Monastery by the suspect referred to Migron, an unauthorized settler outpost evacuated by the Israeli government last year. The words “Jesus is a monkey” were also painted in Hebrew on a wall, and the monastery’s doors then set ablaze. The crime was promptly condemned in September by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the perpetrators had threatened freedom of religion and must be punished…

Maronite patriarch praises Lebanese army (Naharnet) Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter voiced on Tuesday his “complete support” for the army in its efforts to preserve Lebanon’s unity and peace. He called on the Lebanese people “regardless of their political or sectarian affiliations to support this national institution.” The patriarch further stressed: “The army helps unite the people and acts as a guarantor of peace for the nation … against the repercussions of the regional crises and internal developments.” Patriarch Bechara Peter’s remarks came amid a growing controversy over extending the tenure of Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji in light of the recent clashes in the southern city of Sidon, where 18 soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in clashes with armed supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al Asir on 22-23 June…



Tags: Violence against Christians Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter Refugee Camps Georgian Orthodox Church Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II

1 July 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this video, Jamal Elshayyal reports protesters in Egypt have stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in a show of anger at the president and his allies. (video: Al Jazeera)

By the millions, Egyptians seek Morsi’s ouster (New York Times) Millions of Egyptians streamed into the streets of cities across the country on Sunday to demand the ouster of their first elected head of state, President Mohamed Morsi, in an outpouring of anger at the political dominance of his Islamist backers in the Muslim Brotherhood. The scale of the demonstrations, coming just one year after crowds in Tahrir Square cheered Mr. Morsi’s inauguration, appeared to exceed even the massive street protests in the heady final days of the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in 2011…

Christians join protests in Egypt (Vatican Radio) In Egypt, protesters stormed the Cairo headquarters of President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group Monday morning, a day after the largest protests the nation has seen since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak two years ago. Demonstrators are calling on the President to step down, and for new elections to be held. Many Christians have joined the protests, saying discrimination and violence against minority faiths have increased since Morsi took office. “Most of the Christians do not want the president,” says Father Rafic Greiche, the spokesman for the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Egypt. “We have to be clear about this.” The full interview with Father Greiche can be found here…

Egypt ministers resign amid unrest (Al Jazeera) Five Egyptian ministers have tendered their resignations from the president’s cabinet, a senior official has said, as protests against the president’s rule filled the streets of cities throughout the country. Earlier on Monday, the state news agency, MENA, said the ministers were considering resigning in sympathy with the protesters who were calling for the resignation of Morsi…

Military offensive on refugee camps in northern Syria (Fides) The refugee camp in Bab al Salam was the subject to an air raid by the Syrian Air Force where seven people were seriously injured, including a child. The raid took place on the night of 25-26 June, the second air attack suffered by the refugee camp in recent weeks. Mirta Neretti, a volunteer, says: “Our contacts in the camp fear that this is the beginning of an escalation … to force refugees to flee,” thereby freeing the land for further military excursions. “The 17,000 refugees in the camp, [including] 5,000 children, are completely helpless and exposed to all sorts of violence…”

Syria neighbors block thousands from fleeing (Daily Star Lebanon) Syria’s neighbors have closed or tightened restrictions at several border crossings, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded within Syria’s dangerous frontier regions, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. According to the statement, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey have all restricted the flow of people trying to flee a conflict which has killed 100,000 people and, according to the United Nations, has already driven 1.7 million more to take sanctuary outside Syria. Only Lebanon, which has limited control over its own borders and is now hosting over half a million refugees, had remained open to refugees, the New York-based rights group said…



Tags: Egypt Refugees Syrian Civil War Refugee Camps Egypt's Christians

28 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 2005 photo, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians process to Lalibela to visit its subterranean complex of 11 rock-hewn churches, considered one of the holiest sites in the world. Every Christmas and Temqat — the Ethiopian commemoration of the baptism of Christ — as many as 50,000 pilgrims throng the small town, some traveling hundreds of miles on foot from distant parts of Ethiopia and beyond to attend the celebrations. (photo: Leah Niederstadt)

Rock churches of Lalibela, the Jerusalem of Ethiopia (CNN) Lalibela, a small town in northern Ethiopia, is home to 11 spectacular churches carved both inside and out from a single rock some 900 years ago. The chiseled creations have turned this mountain town into a place of pride and pilgrimage for worshipers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, attracting 80,000 to 100,000 visitors every year. Even though Lalibela sits in a remote region of Ethiopia, the faithful will walk for days, even weeks, to get here, many of them traversing the rugged mountains barefoot. Ethiopia is home to one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, dating back to the early fourth century. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church used to be a part of Egypt’s Coptic Church, but established its own patriarch in 1959. Today, nearly two thirds of the East African country’s population is Christian, with most belonging to the Orthodox Church…

Pope meets Orthodox delegation from Ecumenical Patriarchate (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Friday with a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is in Rome to attend celebrations for Saturday’s feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Traditionally, as spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sends a delegation to Rome each 29 June, while a Catholic delegation travels to Istanbul each 30 November to mark the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Orthodox world. In his meeting with the Orthodox representatives, Pope Francis spoke of important progress in the official dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, which has already produced many joint documents. The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue is currently studying the key question of primacy and collegiality in the church of the first century, one of the main obstacles on the road to unity and reconciliation between the Eastern and Western Churches…

Polish and Ukrainian bishops sign appeal for reconciliation (Polskie Radio) Polish and Ukrainian church leaders signed an appeal for reconciliation in Warsaw on Friday, marking the 70th anniversary of the Volhynia massacres, which took place in a Nazi-occupied region that had been divided between Poland and the Soviet Union prior to the Second World War. Archbishop Jozef Michalik, head of the Polish Roman Catholic Episcopate, and Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, leader of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, were the chief signatories of the document. The declaration calls on Poles and Ukrainians to “open minds and hearts to mutual forgiveness and reconciliation…”

Shelling claims lives in the Old City of Damascus (Fides) According to the Melkite Patriarchate in Damascus, whose headquarters is situated a few hundred meters from the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, the fatal explosions on 26 June in the Old City were not a suicide attack but the launch of two mortar shells. The area affected is a few meters from the Greek Orthodox cathedral in Maryamiyya and also from the Shiite Al Ishane charitable building. But the dynamics of the episode suggests that it was not a targeted attack…



Tags: Pope Francis Ethiopia Syrian Civil War Ecumenism Lalibela

27 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Although Christians make up only 2 percent of the population in Iraq, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees reports that they make up 40 percent of the 1.6 million Iraqis in search of asylum abroad. Of those who remain in the country, many are internally displaced. This video includes interviews with Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis and Redemptorist Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil discussing the struggles Iraqi Christians face and the pastoral pressure created by their migration. (video: CRTN and Aid to the Church in Need)

Strengthening young Iraqis’ Christian identity (Aid to the Church in Need) Since the war in 2003 Iraq has lost more than half of its previously 900,000 Christians. More than 1,000 Christians were killed in bloody attacks and hundreds of thousands fled abroad. Nevertheless, Christian life goes on in Mesopotamia. German Father Jens Petzold even founded a monastery here last year, at the invitation of Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael. Since February 2012, a Syrian Catholic community has been building a monastery in Iraqi Kurdistan. Many Christians from Baghdad and the south of Iraq have fled from the terror attacks in Baghdad to the autonomous Kurdish regions…

Delegation from Ecumenical Patriarchate to visit Rome (VIS) The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity issued a press release today stating that a delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will visit Rome from 27-29 June 2013 as part of the traditional exchange of delegations for their feasts of patron saints — 29 June in Rome for the celebration of the Apostles Peter and Paul and 30 November in Istanbul for the celebration of St. Andrew the Apostle…

Religious minorities in danger in Syria (AINA) In Syria’s conflict, now characterized as overtly sectarian, every religious and ethnic group has experienced catastrophic loss and pain. Reportedly over the past two years of war, over 93,000 combatants and civilians, of diverse religious identities, have been killed, 1.5 million have become refugees, and 4.5 million more have been internally displaced. Though no religious community has been spared suffering, Syria’s ancient Christian minority has cause to believe that they confront an “existential threat,” according to a finding of the U.N. Human Right Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria, last December. And this group, in contrast to Syria’s Alawites, Shiites and Sunnis, has no defender…

Suicide blast near major Damascus church kills at least 4 (Washington Post) A suicide attacker blew himself up near one of the main churches in the Syrian capital Thursday, killing at least four people, according to state-run TV news. The blast struck in the vicinity of the Greek Orthodox Virgin Mary Church in the predominantly Christian neighborhood of Bab Sharqi in central Damascus. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in Damascus, which has been hit by a wave of suicide attacks that have killed and wounded scores of people…

Two thousand villages flooded; Indian friars and nuns assist (Fides) The flash floodings in Uttarkand are “a national tragedy that affects many of our people,” said a statement by the Religious Conference in India, which combines orders and religious congregations. “As religious Indians, along with all the church, we are deeply moved and we respond with prayer and with all possible actions to support the victims.” The devastating floods have wholly or partially affected over 2,000 villages in the districts of Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudraprayag. More than 100 people in the village of Guptkashi and nearby villages have died, while at least 2,000 are missing. The area affected by the floods is situated in the Diocese of Bijnor, where Bishop John Vadakel, with assistance from Caritas India, has initiated a coordinated effort for humanitarian aid…



Tags: Syrian Civil War Violence against Christians Ecumenism Indian Catholics Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I

26 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 2010 photo, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, greets Ahmad Mohamed al Tayeb, president of Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, as they arrive for a press conference in Washington. (photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee holds meeting in Rome (VIS) The Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee held its 19th meeting in Rome on 18-19 June 2013. The assembly was presided over jointly by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Dr. Hamid bin Ahmad al Rifaie, president of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue. After listening to the papers presented by Catholic and Muslim scholars and exchanging views about the theme of the rise of secularism in society, the participants agreed that Christianity and Islam affirm the inseparability and complementarity between the material and the spiritual domains and that our responsibility as believers is to reconcile these dimensions of life…

Report describes grim prospects for Christians in Syria (AINA) A new report on Syria’s Christians has been published by Open Doors International. The report is titled Vulnerability Assessment of Syria’s Christians and it paints a grim picture for the future of Christians in Syria. This report contextualizes, analyzes and interprets current developments in Syria, with a particular emphasis on the position of its Christian population, in light of this population’s distinct vulnerabilities. In Aleppo particularly, and now in Homs, it is clear there has been disproportionate suffering of Christians and that they are particularly at risk from the war…

Patriarch Kirill urges creation of new fund for Christians in Syria (Fides) An amazing collection of money in all the churches of the Patriarchate of Moscow will be allocated to the Syrian people. The initiative was launched yesterday, Tuesday, 25 June, by the Patriarch Kirill with a statement released by the Synodal Department for information of the Patriarchate in Moscow. “In that biblical land, where Christians and Muslims have lived side by side,” stressed the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, “the relics are now desecrated, churches violated, Christians are forced to abandon their homes, they are often persecuted and tortured and killed”…

Syria death toll tops 100,000, activists say (Haaretz) More than 100,000 people have been killed since the start of Syria’s conflict over two years ago, an activist group said Wednesday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking the death toll in the conflict through a network of activists in Syria, released its death toll at a time when hopes for a negotiated settlement to end the civil war fade. It said a total of 100,191 had died over the 27 months of the conflict. Of those, 36,661 are civilians, the group said…

Patriarch Irinej attends spiritual music festival commemorating Edict of Milan (inSerbia) Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej said late Tuesday that spiritual music festival dubbed “Musical Edict” in Nis is a contribution to marking 17 centuries of the proclamation of the Edict of Milan. Participation of choirs from different parts of the world proves that Nis, the birthplace of Constantine the Great, has become a metropolis that had an important role in the past, but also has one in the present. Speaking about marking 1700 years of the proclamation of the Edict of Milan, Patriarch Irinej said that, according to plan, there are different events organized in various important historical towns in Serbia, across all dioceses…



Tags: Syrian Civil War Patriarchs Catholic-Muslim relations Patriarch Kirill Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

25 June 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk, patriarchal exarch of all Belarus, prays the Divine Liturgy in the Minsk Holy Spirit Cathedral on 23 June 2013, also known as Trinity Sunday, or the celebration of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. The Belarus Orthodox Church is another name for the Belarusan Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. (photo: Belarus Orthodox Church)

Belarus Orthodox Church head decries capital punishment (Belarus Digest) The business-oriented weekly newspaper Belarusy i Rynok reports that the head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk, patriarchal exarch of all Belarus, spoke out against the death penalty during a roundtable that recently took place. Apart from the Orthodox Church, the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, legislative and judiciary authorities, delegates from the Council of Europe, diplomats and human right activists participated in the event. “We, Christians, cannot legitimize capital punishment since this is the sin of murder,” he said, adding that “we sinful people” do not have the authority to make such decisions about another’s existence…

A series of attacks shake Iraq, including a church hit in Baghdad (AsiaNews) A dozen bombings on Monday in and around Baghdad killed at least 41 and wounded 125 others. Many of the attacks struck outdoor markets or restaurants in the Iraqi capital, including the neighborhoods Al Nasser, Karrada, Al Jihad and Nahrawan. Bombings were also reported in Mosul and Tikrit. Christian-owned shops and businesses were among the casualties, along with religious buildings. Last night, masked men attacked St. Mary Assyrian Church in the east of Baghdad. The attackers stood front of the building and fired wildly at the guards standing outside, seriously wounding two of them…

The Coptic Orthodox Church thanks armed forces for keeping the peace (Fides) In view of the demonstration against the government of Morsi convened on 30 June — the first anniversary of his rise to power — by opposition forces, the Coptic Orthodox Church published a message of thanks and appreciation for the Egyptian army. The high military instances had publicly stated its intention to remain at the service of the people and to want to avoid the ruin that hangs over the entire country. The Coptic Orthodox Church applauds military’s efforts to balance force and security…

Will Ethiopia’s ‘grand’ new dam steal Nile waters from Egypt? (Christian Science Monitor) Africa’s largest hydropower project, a new 6,000-megawatt dam on the Blue Nile, has sparked a row between Egypt and Ethiopia. But it could increase the overall water flow in the Nile in the long run, through the creation of a reservoir roughly half the size of Rhode Island…



Tags: Egypt Ethiopia Iraqi Christians Coptic Orthodox Church Belarus





1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 |