Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
23 January 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro

An Iraqi woman prays during a 2011 Christmas Mass at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
in Baghdad. (photo: CNS/Saad Shalash, Reuters)

Archbishop Sako considers the future of Christians in the Middle East (Fides) The situation in the Middle East “is worrying, as are certain things that one hears on the Arab Spring by certain leaders,” says Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk Louis Sako in a recent appeal. According to the archbishop, the “mixture of ethnicities, religions and languages” present in the Middle East inevitably leads to tensions and conflicts, because in that region of the world “a criterion of citizenship able to integrate everyone, regardless of religion or ethnicity … has never been established.” Disruptive processes now taking place in Iraq, which may eventually also affect Syria, “worsen the situation”; because of institutional gaps, safety is uncertain and little prevents the activities of criminal and extremist groups…

Eritrean coup is said to have failed (New York Times) Eritrea, a sliver of a nation in the Horn of Africa that is one of the most secretive and repressive countries in the world, was cast into confusion on Monday after mutinous soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information and took over the state-run television service, apparently in a coup attempt. According to several people with close contacts inside Eritrea, the coup attempt failed, with government troops quelling the would-be rebellion and no one rising up in the streets. But many analysts said it was only a matter of time before President Isaias Afwerki, Eritrea’s brash and steely leader for the past 20 years, is confronted again — and most likely from within…

Sunday prayer for peace in the Holy Land shared across 3000 cities (Fides) On Sunday, 27 January, 3000 cities around the world will pray for peace in Holy Land in the context of the fifth International Day of Intercession, promoted in 2009 by some Catholic youth groups. The International Day of Intercession for Peace in Holy Land, according to the organizers, “has become over the years a sign and inspiration for those [with a] strong desire that in Jesus’ land peace and justice reign, which may be a sign of unity and growth throughout the world”…

Lebanon’s mufti decries ‘fake democracy’ (Daily Star Lebanon) On Wednesday, Grand Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Mohammad Qabbani slammed the “dictatorship” of political leaders who have made Lebanese live in a “fake democracy.” In a statement on the occasion of Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, he said: “To this day, we are still looking for reasons behind our disputes, making this another cause for our weakness, and we have even boasted for a long time that we and no one else enjoy democracy in this Levant. … But we remain prisoners of a fake democracy that carries with it the ugliest forms of complex dictatorship, horrible sectarianism practices, and wait-and-see and speculative policies”…

In Lebanon, CNEWA seeks aid for Syrian refugees (Terra Santa) For those who speak Italian, here is an interview in the Italian magazine, Terra Santa (or The Holy Land Review), with CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, Issam Bishara.

Tags: Lebanon Middle East Christians Middle East Eritrea Chaldeans