18 May 2018
This week, we revisit Izbet Chokor, a village of Christians and Muslims about 60 miles southwest of Cairo. The village, with about 1,500 people, is home to two mosques and three Coptic churches. And, as journalist and videographer Don Duncan put it in his story from 2016, “Its residents coexist in peace, living and working closely together.”
How do they do it? The video below offers one explanation. And as one resident said, “The sense of community here is very good. The relationship between Christians and Muslims has been excellent for many decades here, even after the revolution.”
This week, Egypt marked a sad homecoming, as the remains of Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS in Libya three years ago were finally returned to Cairo for a proper burial. This video about the village of Izbet Chokor reminds us that peace and harmony are not impossible to achieve in that troubled part of the world — but there is still much work to do.
11 May 2018
Tags: Egypt Interreligious Christian-Muslim relations
One of the great resources published in ONE magazine was a comprehensive series on the Eastern churches. The driving force behind it — and the author of the series — was the magazine’s editor and CNEWA’s director of communications, Michael J.L. LaCivita.
When the series concluded in 2012, he reflected on the wide world he’d written about and offered some thoughts on the Eastern churches CNEWA is privileged to serve.
You can find the entire series here.
But check out his video below.
27 April 2018
Tags: Christianity Eastern Christianity Eastern Churches
In the March 2018 edition of ONE, we feature a poignant Letter From Iraq by Sister Clara Nacy, superior general of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena.
Last year, CNS’s gifted photojournalist Paul Jeffrey offered this glimpse at some of the sisters who are ministering to displaced Iraqis — and this account helped give more context and background to the struggles so many Iraqi Christians have been facing.
20 April 2018
Tags: Iraq Iraqi Christians Sisters
With Cardinal Timothy Dolan, CNEWA’s chair, recently speaking about his encounter with refugees in Lebanon — and chronicling this week’s pastoral visit to the region with some richly detailed videos — we thought it a good time to look back on a short piece we produced and posted three years ago.
Marlene Constantin, a CNEWA project manager in Beirut, described efforts to help Syrian refugees in her country, and did it with both poignancy and power.
13 April 2018
Tags: Syria Refugees
To conclude this week, we want to share an interview from 2013 with our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, in which he reflects on the tremendous impact of religious sisters in the world CNEWA serves. “They are on the front lines,” he said — and this inspiring video illustrates that beautifully.
A conference at the Vatican this week underscored the importance of sisters:
How can the work of women religious in justice, peace and anti-trafficking efforts be more effectively included into policies at government and international level?
That question was at the heart of a seminar on Wednesday organised by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, together with the International Union of Superiors General and Solidarity with South Sudan.
Participants spoke of the work of sisters serving in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, seeking to build peace and to empower other women in some of the most deprived and violent countries and socio-economic contexts.
Sisters working to combat trafficking, prostitution and the insidious cyber porn industry, talked of the need to educate girls and boys, as well as working together with governments and all sectors of society to protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators.
Other sisters shared dramatic and moving stories of staying alongside those who suffer in wars and conflicts, sometimes being targeted, robbed, raped or even killed themselves.
You can see more examples in the March 2018 edition of ONE — with stories of religious sisters ministering to people in a variety of ways in Jordan, Iraq and Ethiopia.
But check out the video below for an intimate glimpse at these dedicated women.
6 April 2018
Tags: Sisters human trafficking
Recent reports indicate the influx of refugees is having a dramatic impact on Lebanon. We’ve been exploring this phenomenon for several years, and in 2015 journalist Raed Rafei profiled Iraqi Christian refugees struggling to stay afloat while being In Limbo in Lebanon:
An estimated 1.5 million refugees, mainly from Syria, reside in Lebanon today, placing a tremendous strain on the country’s infrastructure, as well as its delicate social and political balances. A funding crisis among United Nations aid programs has led to a significant decrease in the level of assistance that refugees receive in the country. And recent popular unrest threatens to make living conditions even worse.
“It’s very hard for Iraqi refugees here,” says Michel Constantin, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. “Their options are very limited.”
Speaking from the organization’s Beirut office, Mr. Constantin says about 3,000 Iraqi Christian families, most from the Chaldean and Syriac communities, have come to Lebanon since August 2014. Most of these refugees now struggle with high costs of living, few opportunities and uncertain prospects.
Through these hardships, churches and church institutions have been a constant source of comfort and material aid, accompanying displaced families through the most difficult time of their lives.
For this Friday’s video, we offer you this dramatic glimpse at a handful of those thousands: an Iraqi Christian family trying to start over in Lebanon. Read the full story here.
16 March 2018
Tags: Iraq Lebanon Refugees Iraqi Christians
This Friday, we look back at a colorful and poignant visit two members of our staff made to the Caucasus last year. It was a remarkable and revealing trip. They encountered places of great history and faith — but also great need.
Watch the video above for more.
Related: ‘This Is the Only Light’
9 March 2018
This week, we feature an interview we did in 2015 with one of our photographers, Ilene Perlman.
Ilene has visited some of the most colorful and exotic corners of CNEWA’s world, and here she describes some of those places she’s seen and photographed. The diversity and drama she’s encountered have made for some of ONE’s most memorable images.
Among other things, the interview is a feast for the eye. Enjoy.
2 March 2018
As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, and pleas for peace are heard again and again, we were reminded of a story in our magazine from 2014: a Letter from Syria by the Rev. Ziad Hilal., S.J.
He described the terrible and terrifying conditions the people were facing, especially the children, yet concluded: “As a priest, I would like to say our role as a church is to push people toward hope, which should never be abandoned — no matter how unbearable circumstances may seem.”
Last year, he was interviewed for America magazine and echoed that sentiment:
Of course, one gets scared considering all the deaths and violence that are directly affecting this life, but our solid belief helps us defeat this fear, knowing that God is with us no matter what. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ teaches us: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (Jn 14:27). Hope is always stronger than fear.
For this Friday’s video, we offer this profile of Father Ziad that accompanied his letter. Pray for the Syrian people and all those, like Father Ziad, who are seeking to help them.
23 February 2018
In the video above, Msgr. Kozar describes visiting the “unreached” in the northern half of India.
This Friday, we travel with Msgr. John E. Kozar to India, where with words and pictures he recounts a visit he made a few years ago. As he described it in the pages of ONE:
By way of a little background, CNEWA’s work in India focuses on assisting and accompanying the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic churches. These churches trace their heritage to the time of St. Thomas the Apostle. As mission-minded churches, its members reach out all over the world, dynamically serving as proclaimers and evangelizers.
But we have concentrated much of our support for these churches in the south — specifically in the state of Kerala. Thanks be to God, the churches in Kerala have flourished; many young men are drawn to the priesthood, and young women, though perhaps in slightly fewer numbers, are becoming sisters. Little by little, the church in southern India is becoming more and more self-sufficient.
But now the great call of these churches is to reach out to the real mission territory of India: The spiritual sons and daughters of the Apostle Thomas have undertaken a new missionary thrust to evangelize the “unreached” in the northern half of India.
Check out the video for an intimate glimpse at life in this corner of the world.