from ONE

Turkey
(From ONE magazine September 2010)
Heart of Byzantium

Perspectives
by Msgr. Robert L. Stern
(From ONE magazine September 2010)
Caught in the Middle

Searching for Common Ground
by Sean Sprague
(From Catholic Near East January – February 2001)
Hindu extremists continue to clash with Christians in India, often with grave results. A dialogue program hopes to effect a change.

A New Genesis in Nineveh
by Namo Abdulla
(From ONE magazine November 2011)
Iraqi Christians find safety in the Kurdish-controlled north

The Star in the East
compiled by Catholic Near East staff
(From Catholic Near East April 1990)
Hard-hit by the intifada, the town of Beit Sahour adds a new angle to the Palestinians’ struggle.

The Ending of a History
by Thomas McHugh
photos by Luke Golobitsh
(From Catholic Near East July 1990)
For persecuted Christians still living in Turkey, life is a daily struggle.

“There Must Be Justice for Both Sides”
by Hugh Schofield
(From Catholic Near East Fall 1988)
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, a native Palestinian, reflects on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Church’s view on ending it.

from News

Bomb Explodes Outside Baghdad Church on Easter
Catholic News Service (26 April 2011)
A bomb exploded outside Sacred Heart Church in Baghdad April 24 after the Easter Masses had finished and parishioners had gone home.

Midnight Masses in Iraq Cancelled
Catholic News Service (22 December 2011)
LONDON (CNS) — Chaldean Catholic officials have canceled traditional Christmas Eve midnight Masses because of security risks.

Gunmen Attack Iraqi Archbishop’s Residence
Catholic News Service (13 January 2012)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Gunmen shooting at guards keeping watch over the archbishop’s residence in Kirkuk in northern Iraq triggered a firefight, leaving two of the gunmen dead and five policemen wounded.

Assaults on Armenian Women in Istanbul Unsettle Christians, Muslims
Catholic News Service (31 January 2013)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — As a light snow fell, Bahija Geyimli exited Immaculate Conception Armenian Catholic Church after Mass in the Samatya neighborhood, the heart of Istanbul’s Armenian community. If recent attacks in the area had scared her, she wasn’t showing it.

Syrian Refugees Make Best of Life in Lebanon
Catholic News Service (22 March 2013)
AJALTOUN, Lebanon (CNS) — The scent of cinnamon from freshly prepared bowls of custard filled a communal kitchen at the Syriac Center before the daily meal preparations began.

Sectarian Strife Scaring Away Egypt’s Christians
Catholic News Service (11 April 2013)
CAIRO (CNS) — Mounting sectarian violence in Egypt is pushing tens of thousands of Egyptian Christians to look for security abroad, say Christian community members, church leaders and aid workers.

Pope Prays for Orthodox Archbishops Kidnapped in Syria
Catholic News Service (24 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Acknowledging “conflicting reports” about two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria, Pope Francis prayed for them and for an end to the war in their country.

Cardinal Dolan Seeks Prayers for Kidnapped Orthodox Clergy
Catholic News Service (3 May 2013)
NEW YORK (CNS) — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan challenged Massgoers to hold onto hope and to pray for the safety and well-being of two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria in late April while carrying out a humanitarian mission.

Syriac Bishop Decries Extremism
Catholic News Service (21 May 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Growing extremism in Syria could jeopardize the safety of all Christians, said Syriac Catholic Bishop Gregory Melki of Jerusalem.

Chaldean Patriarch Warns Surge in Violence May Divide Iraq
Catholic News Service (21 May 2013)
BEIRUT (CNS) — The patriarch of the Chaldean Church in Baghdad denounced a recent series of car bombings and shootings in Iraqi cities that left at least 54 people dead and dozens more injured.

Syrian Priest Killed in Rebel Attack on Franciscan Convent
Catholic News Service (25 June 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A 49-year-old Syrian priest and hermit was killed on 23 June, apparently when a group of rebels attacked the Franciscan Convent of St. Anthony in Ghassanieh, a village in the north near the Turkish border.

Italian Official Comments on Kidnapped Jesuit
Catholic News Service (7 August 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After more than a week with no word from Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian priest who worked for decades in Syria, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said, “it seems he has been kidnapped by an Islamist group” that is a “local version of Al Qaida,” the terrorist group.

Bishop Says Housebound Egyptians Running Out of Food
Catholic News Service (21 August 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Catholic bishop in Luxor, about 400 miles south of Cairo, said Muslims and Christians alike are afraid to leave their homes; because the shops are closed and no one is venturing outside, many are running out of food.

Indian Prime Minister Apologizes After Christian Marchers Beaten
Catholic News Service (13 December 2013)
NEW DELHI (CNS) — Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologized to church leaders for the police beating of protesters — including priests and nuns — during a march to Parliament advocating for rights for low-caste Christians.

For Some Syrian Christian Refugees, Christmas a Sorrowful Time
Catholic News Service (26 December 2013)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Some Syrian Christian refugees taking shelter in neighboring Jordan did not have a happy Christmas, fearful for their uncertain future as the violent conflict in their homeland grinds on past 33 months with no end in sight.

Egyptian Bishop Says Violence Will Not Stop Constitutional Referendum
Catholic News Service (26 December 2013)
CAIRO (CNS) — A 26 December attack in Cairo and other violence will not keep Egypt from going ahead with its planned referendum on a new constitution, said Coptic Catholic Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Giza, Egypt.

Lebanese Bishop Says He Was Target of Failed Kidnapping
Catholic News Service (26 March 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Maronite Bishop Simon Atallah of Baalbek-Der El-Ahmar said he was the target of a failed kidnapping attempt on 22 March.

Holy Land Catholic Leaders: Stop Speaking of Christian Persecution
Catholic News Service (4 April 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Repeated references to persecution of Christians, “usually referring only to what Christians suffer at the hands of criminals claiming to be Muslims, plays into the hands of extremists,” said Catholic leaders in the Holy Land.

Jesuit Who Used YouTube to Appeal for Help for Homs Reportedly Killed
Catholic News Service (8 April 2014)
ROME (CNS) — A 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit who refused to leave war-torn Syria, instead staying in Homs to help the poor and homeless, was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head, according to an email sent by the Jesuits’ Middle East province to the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

Christian Unity Honors Common Witness of Martyrdom, Pope Says
Catholic News Service (9 May 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To honor the sacrifice of those killed for their faith in the 20th century, Christians today must renew their commitment to reconciliation and full Christian unity, Pope Francis said.

Religious Leaders Pledge to Protect Middle East Christians
Catholic News Service (9 May 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Close to 200 ordained and lay religious leaders have signed a pledge to commit themselves and the United States to protect Christians in Iraq, Syria and Egypt, who they say are coming under fire for their faith.

Eastern Ukraine Bishop: Catholics Stay Home Amid Fighting, Kidnapping
Catholic News Service (30 May 2014)
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — A Catholic bishop in eastern Ukraine said church members are afraid to attend Mass in Donetsk and other towns after a priest from Poland was abducted by pro-Russia separatists.

Christians Among 500,000 Fleeing Mosul After Islamist Forces Seize City
Catholic News Service (12 June 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Church leaders in northern Iraq struggled to find shelter for Christians who were among hundreds of thousands who fled Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, after Islamist forces took over much of the town, a Chaldean Catholic archbishop said.

Christians From Mosul Say They Have Been Targeted for Months
Catholic News Service (16 June 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) —The fall of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, to Islamist militants in early June sent half a million residents scurrying for safety, but Christians from the city say they were targeted long before Iraqi security forces abandoned the major political and economic hub.

Syriac Patriarch Says Middle East Christians Feel Abandoned by West
Catholic News Service (19 June 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III said Christians in the Middle East feel “abandoned, even betrayed” by the West as a militant Islamic force occupied large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Iraqi Patriarch: Situation Perhaps ‘Darkest and Most Difficult Period’
Catholic News Service (8 July 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — The patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad called the current situation in his country “perhaps the darkest and most difficult period in [the church’s] recent history.”

Phone Calls, Evacuations: Gaza’s Christians Work Together to Stay Safe
Catholic News Service (14 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Members of the tiny Christian community in the Gaza Strip have been keeping tabs on each other and lending a helping hand to keep each other safe during Israeli airstrikes throughout the region, but nowhere in the territory is really safe, said a priest at the territory’s only Catholic parish.

Iraqi Nuns, Orphans Kidnapped in June Released Safely
Catholic News Service (16 July 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Two Iraqi nuns and three orphans kidnapped in late June have been released safely, according to the Christian rights group Middle East Concern.

Pope Calls for Prayers as Militants Chase All Christians out of Mosul
Catholic News Service (22 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the last Iraqi Christians in Mosul fled the city, Pope Francis urgently called for prayers, dialogue and peace.

Mosul Bishop Calls Expulsion of Christians a ‘Crime Against Humanity’
Catholic News Service (23 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Backed up by death threats and property seizures, the expulsion of the entire Christian community from Mosul is “a crime against humanity,” said an archbishop from Mosul.

Free From Ordeal in Sudan, Woman Condemned for Apostasy Meets Pope
Catholic News Service (24 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Meeting a Sudanese woman who risked execution for not renouncing her Catholic faith, Pope Francis thanked Meriam Ibrahim for her steadfast witness to Christ.

Patriarch Decries ‘Mass Cleansing’ of Mosul by ‘a Bed of Criminals’
Catholic News Service (25 July 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III, in Washington to meet with federal government representatives and members of Congress, decried the “mass cleansing” of Christians from Mosul, Iraq, by what he called “a bed of criminals.”

Family, Nuncio in Syria Plead for News About Kidnapped Jesuit
Catholic News Service (28 July 2014)
ROME (CNS) — On the eve of the first anniversary of the presumed kidnapping of an Italian Jesuit in Syria, his family posted a video on YouTube pleading for news about his whereabouts.

Agency Seeks Donations for Emergency Aid for Fleeing Iraqi Christians
Catholic News Service (29 July 2014)
NEW YORK (CNS) — A U.S.-based international Catholic agency on 28 July issued a plea for emergency funds to help tens of thousands of Christians forced to flee their homes in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Anglican Canon: With Focus on Gaza, Islamists Can Kill at Will in Iraq
Catholic News Service (1 August 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — With the world’s attention focused on Gaza’s increasingly desperate situation, some in Iraq feel that brutal Islamist militants can do whatever they want and literally get away with murder.

U.S. Chaldeans Decry ‘Genocide’ of Iraqi Christians, Rally for Aid
Catholic News Service (4 August 2014)
DETROIT (CNS) — Shouting slogans such as “Obama, Obama, where are you? Iraqi Christians need you!” and “Stop the violence in Iraq!” about 150 protesters marched through the streets of downtown Detroit on 1 August to call awareness to the violent persecution of Christians in their native land.

Amid Iraqi Suffering, Chaldean Catholics Urged to Keep Focus on Jesus
Catholic News Service (6 August 2014)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (CNS) — Standing in the sanctuary of Mother of God Chaldean Cathedral, flanked by an empty cross and two ominous red symbols, Chaldean Bishop Francis Kalabat led more than 1,000 people on 1 August in an earnest prayer for peace and a plea for help.

CNEWA Launches Emergency Appeal to Aid Iraqi Christian Families in Flight
press release (8 August 2014)
Ottawa — Catholic Near East Welfare Association has launched a campaign to rush emergency assistance to more than 100,000 thousand Christians fleeing their homes in northern Iraq.

Pope Asks for International Action to Help Iraq’s Persecuted Christians
Catholic News Service (8 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.

Pope to Send Envoy to Displaced Christians in Iraq
Catholic News Service (11 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Given the “grave situation in Iraq,” Pope Francis has asked Cardinal Fernando Filoni to travel to the region to meet church and government officials, but especially to meet Christians chased from their homes by militants of the Islamic State.

Christian Patriarchs Denounce Silence on Persecution in Mideast
Catholic News Service (11 August 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Mideast Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs denounced the “total international silence” on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and called for Muslim religious authorities to issue fatwas, or legal edicts, banning attacks against Christians and “other innocents.”

U.S. Bishops, Parishes Asked to Offer Special Prayer for Peace in Iraq
Catholic News Service (11 August 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ international policy committee has asked the nation’s Catholic bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq on 17 August.

Catholic Iraqi Refugees in Lebanon Recall Horror of Militant Attacks
Catholic News Service (12 August 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — The memory of that brutal June evening in his home near Mosul, Iraq, brought 48-year-old Joseph, now a refugee in Lebanon, to tears.

Iraqi Christians Beginning to Die in Hot, Crowded Camps, Witnesses Say
Catholic News Service (12 August 2014)
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — Iraqi Christians driven from their homes by Islamic State fighters are beginning to die in crowded camps, witnesses claimed.

Dialogue Leaders Decry Violence Against Christians, Sacred Sites
Catholic News Service (17 August 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic and Jewish leaders 14 August called for “effective measures” against violent acts taking place against Christians and Christians sites across the globe.

Iraqi Christians Arrive in Jordan With tearful Tales of Desperation
Catholic News Service (18 August 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — The first Iraqi Christians fleeing Islamic State militants reached the safety of Jordan, helped by King Abdullah II and Catholic aid groups.

Elderly Iraqi Christians Defy Terrorists, Flee to Camp
Catholic News Service (19 August 2014)
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians —including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer — defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

Syriac Patriarch Calls Islamic State Actions ‘Attempted Genocide’
Catholic News Service (27 August 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Returning from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III called the Islamic State invasion “pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide.”

In Their Homes, Hearts, Albania’s Faithful Defied Atheist Regime
Catholic News Service (2 September 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Walking to a cemetery on All Saints’ Day, watching television past 10 p.m., even slaughtering a kid goat on Easter were once so highly suspect in Albania, they would trigger neighborhood spies to tip off communist authorities.

Pope: Iraq’s Persecuted Christians Are True, Bold Witnesses of Christ
Catholic News Service (3 September 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Iraqi Christians are true and courageous witnesses of Christ’s message of hope, forgiveness and love, Pope Francis said.

Iraqi Christian Details How Militants Kidnapped Her 3-Year-Old
Catholic News Service (4 September 2014)
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — An Iraqi Christian woman has described how her 3-year-old daughter was abducted by Islamist terrorists.

Follow the Money: Cardinal Says ISIS Conflict Is Not About Religion
Catholic News Service (10 September 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The conflict in which Islamic State fighters are driving out Christians and other minorities must not be seen as a war between Islam and Christianity, said the head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches.

Advocate Because You Care, Not for Political Votes
Catholic News Service (16 September 2014)
Responding to editors’ requests for a regular sampling of current commentary from around the Catholic press, here is a 15 September column titled “The Cry of the Persecuted: Advocate Because You Care, Not for Political Votes” that appears on the Patheos website, www.patheos.com. It was written by Michael J.L. La Civita, who joined Catholic Near East Welfare Association in 1989 and is the papal agency’s communications director. He also is a knight commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Pope Concerned About Syriac Catholics Fleeing ‘Inhumanity’
Catholic News Service (12 December 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis expressed his concern for members of the Syriac Catholic Church who have had to flee from the “inhumanity” unfolding in the Middle East.

On Christmas, Pope Urges People to Remember Those Suffering
Catholic News Service (26 December 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The crying of Baby Jesus is not the only cry people should hear on Christmas; many children around the world are crying because of war, maltreatment and abuse, Pope Francis said.

Latin Patriarch Reminds Faithful of Suffering of Christians, Gazans
Catholic News Service (26 December 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Latin Patriarchate Fouad Twal of Jerusalem reminded the faithful of the importance of spiritual and moral salvation, which, he said, “are the basis of human progress.”

As Christians Flee Some Countries, Lebanese Numbers Swell
Catholic News Service (26 December 2014)
SED EL BOUSHRIEH, Lebanon (CNS) — Aramaic, Syriac and different Arabic dialects from Iraq and eastern Syria can be heard on the narrow hilly streets of Sed El Boushrieh. Strings of Christmas lights adorn neighborhood churches and hang from balconies of apartments, whose residents many never return to their own homes in Iraq and Syria.

In Christmas Messages, Patriarchs Lament Suffering, Offer Hope
Catholic News Service (26 December 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East lamented the suffering of their people in violence-wracked areas and offered words of hope while calling for prayers for their safety.

Indian Cardinal Criticizes Forced ‘Reconversions’ to Hinduism
Catholic News Service (29 December 2014)
NEW DELHI (CNS) — The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India criticized forced conversions of Christians to Hinduism.

Indian Christians Arrested During Protest in New Delhi
Catholic News Service (6 February 2015)
BANGALORE, India (CNS) — Church leaders criticized police manhandling of Christians who gathered 5 February at the gate of Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi to protest recent attacks on churches.

Pope Seeks Prayers for Egyptians Beheaded by Islamic State
Catholic News Service (18 February 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called for prayers for the Egyptian Christians beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya and asked that God recognize these men killed for their faith.

Patriarchs’ Lenten Messages Focus on Middle East Christians
Catholic News Service (18 February 2015)
BEIRUT (CNS) — The Middle East is suffering a “Way of the Cross” that is the greatest tragedy since World War II, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III said in a Lenten message about suffering.

Up to 100 Christians Abducted in Syria
Catholic News Service (24 February 2015)
DOHUK, Iraq (CNS) — Dozens of Assyrian Christians were abducted by Islamic State forces during a new offensive against a string of villages in northeastern Syria, aid and civil rights organizations reported.

Catholic Aid Group Pledges $2.8 Million to Help Christians in Syria
Catholic News Service (24 February 2015)
NEW YORK (CNS) — Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity helping persecuted Christians around the world, has pledged $2.8 million in emergency aid to help Christians in Syria.

Assyrian Christians Released; Many Concerned for Those Still Held
Catholic News Service (2 March 2015)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Christians in the Middle East welcomed the release of nearly 20 Assyrian Christians abducted by Islamic State militants in northeastern Syria, but expressed concern that more than 200 others remained in captivity.

As Islamic State Steps Up Attacks, Christian Leaders Call for Help
Catholic News Service (10 March 2015)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Christian leaders again called for help for Assyrian Christians as Islamic State militants stepped up their attacks against their towns in northern Syria.

Government Reps Say Christian Survival in Middle East ‘in Question’
Catholic News Service (13 March 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a joint statement, representatives of more than 50 countries have recognized that Christians are particularly endangered in the Middle East, and they called on the international community to reaffirm the human right to freedom of religion.

After Escape, Assyrian Christians Seek Refuge in Lebanon
Catholic News Service (19 March 2015)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Assyrian Christians from Syria’s besieged Khabur region who fled their homes when the Islamic State seized their villages in February are increasingly seeking refuge in neighboring Lebanon.

Faith Lives on Despite Suffering in Iraq, Syria
Catholic News Service (6 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — More than 1,000 people packed into a tent in a refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq, for the Easter vigil Mass celebrated by Italian Cardinal Fernando Filoni, former nuncio to Iraq and Pope Francis’ personal representative to those forced to flee the fury of Islamic State militants.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch: World Remains Silent About Missing Bishops
Catholic News Service (20 April 2015)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Commemorating the second anniversary of the kidnapping of two Syrian bishops, the Greek Orthodox patriarch lamented the indifference of the international community about their fate.

Ethiopian Bishops: Martyrs Were Migrants Looking for Better Life
Catholic News Service (23 April 2015)
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (CNS) — Ethiopia’s Catholic bishops condemned “in unambiguous terms” the execution of 30 Ethiopian Christian migrants in Libya.

In Paintings, Syrian Artist Shows the Pain War Has Caused His Country
Catholic News Service (6 May 2015)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The sad realities of Syria’s civil war permeate the paintings of Essa Neima, a 34-year-old Syrian national.

Recapture of Christian Towns Contrasts With ISIS Gains in Syria
Catholic News Service (22 May 2015)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Church bells are ringing once again in the Assyrian Christian villages dotting the Khabur River in northeastern Syria after Islamic State militants were routed by a combination of forces.

In Syria, Maronite Patriarch Denounces ‘Death of the World’s Conscience’
Catholic News Service (8 June 2015)
DAMASCUS, Syria (CNS) — Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic patriarch, visiting war-torn Syria, condemned “the death of the world’s conscience” in its response to the violence in the Middle East.

Islamic Militants Announce Plan to Transform Mosul Church Into Mosque
Catholic News Service (8 June 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — One of the largest churches in Mosul, Iraq, will be transformed into a mosque.

Indian Police Arrest Suspect in Death Threat Against Cardinal
Catholic News Service (16 June 2015)
NEW DELHI (CNS) — Police arrested a man in connection with a death threat against Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi.

Religious Leaders Decry Arson at Church of Multiplication in Holy Land
Catholic News Service (19 June 2015)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land issued a strong condemnation against an early morning arson attack on the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee on 18 June.

Papal Envoy, Maronite Patriarch Visit Displaced Christians in Iraq
Catholic News Service (22 June 2015)
BERUIT (CNS) — Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, representing Pope Francis, and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter traveled to Erbil, Iraq, to meet with Christians who had fled from Islamic State forces.

Christians Grow Weary Over Rising Threat of Kidnapping in Syria, Iraq
Catholic News Service (17 July 2015)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Arab Christians are viewing with growing concern and revulsion an uptick in kidnappings of both their clergy and civilians as violence worsens in Syria and Iraq.

Patriarch Calls Lives of Middle East Christians ‘Bad’ and ‘Less Bad’
Catholic News Service (22 July 2015)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Christians in the Middle East are facing difficulties ranging from “bad” to “less bad,” said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem.

Pope Begs Governments to Act to Stop Anti-Christian Persecution
Catholic News Service (31 August 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — ”Do something to put a stop to the violence and oppression,” Pope Francis asked the international community after calling attention once again to the fate of persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East.

With Armenian Catholics, Pope Remembers Persecuted Christians
Catholic News Service (8 September 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Governments who not only take no action to stop anti-Christian persecution, but remain silent, are accomplices in their deaths, Pope Francis said during an early morning Mass with leaders of the Armenian Catholic Church.

Panelists Seek Genocide Declaration Over Islamic State Atrocities
Catholic News Service (10 September 2015)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Some panelists at a 9 September forum on Islamic State atrocities want the United States and United Nations to declare the Islamic State’s actions in the Middle East a genocide.

More Must Be Done to Help Middle East Christians, Say Speakers
Catholic News Service (14 September 2015)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — More must be done to help the beleaguered Christians of the Middle East, said speakers at an 11 September dinner marking the end of the In Defense of Christians convention in Washington.

Syrian Priest Released
Catholic News Service (12 October 2015)
HOMS, Syria (CNS) — A Syrian priest kidnapped in May has been released, Agence France-Presse reported.

from Blog Content

Church Car-Bombed in Kirkuk, Iraq
Another church has been attacked in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. The bombing comes less than two weeks after a Catholic and an evangelical church were targeted.

Picture of the Day: Healing in Hamdaniya
Nasrin Abdul-Ahad Aziz, 53, and her husband Tali Mati Nasser, left, have lost several family members as a result of ethnic and sectarian violence in Iraq. They now reside in Hamdaniya, Iraq. (photo: Safin Hamed)

"War on Christians"?
CNEWA Vice President Michael J. La Civita critiques a recent Newsweek cover story on violence against Christians.

Emergency Aid for Syrian Refugees
After more than one year of unrest, the ongoing political crisis in Syria has caused tens of thousands to be caught in the crossfire between government and opposition forces.

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Picture of the Day: "Christ Is Testing Us"
Coptic Christians grieve during the funeral for seven victims of sectarian violence at Samaan el-Kharaz Church in Cairo, Egypt, last year. (Photo: CNS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)

Vandals Attack Trappist Monastery Near Jerusalem
Vandals burned the door of a Trappist monastery outside Jerusalem and spray-painted a wall with the names of illegal Israeli outposts.

"Why Are They Taking It Out on Christians?"
John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter has some analysis and context on the recently vandalized Trappist monastery near Jerusalem.

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"After President Bashar, We Don't Know What Will Happen."
CNN reports on Christians' concerns about the prospect of a post-Assad Syria.

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"The Faithful Are Desperate for a Sign of Hope"
CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar discusses the churches and people of the Middle East, and asks that we all consider sharing a sign of hope.

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Picture of the Day: Egypt’s Grief
Copts mourn after identifying a victim of sectarian and political violence. (photo: David Degner)

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Picture of the Day: Remembrance
In this image from 2005, an Assyrian Christian man kisses a cross before the liturgy begins at St. George Cathedral in Chicago. (photo: Christian Molidor, R.S.M.)

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Page One: Headlines for 8/14/13
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Picture of the Day: Egypt in Crisis
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi carry a protester injured during clashes with riot police and the army in Cairo on 14 August. (photo: CNS/Asmaa Waguih, Reuters)

Page One: Headlines for 8/19/13
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Page One: Headlines for 8/20/13
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Page One: Headlines for 8/21/13
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Page One: Headlines for 8/22/13
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The Displaced Christians of Syria
Issam Bishara, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, has compiled a brief report on the state of displaced Syrian Christians — on both sides of the nation’s border.

Page One: Headlines for 8/23/13
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Picture of the Day: Prayers for Egypt
A man prays during the Sunday liturgy at the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in the Maadi suburb of Cairo on 25 August. (photo: CNS/Dana Smillie)

Page One: Headlines for 9/9/13
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Page One: Headlines for 9/16/13
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Page One: Headlines for 9/25/13
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Picture of the Day: ‘The Family Is Suffering’
In this image from last month, people walk around a destroyed Protestant church in Mallawi, Egypt. (photo: CNS/Reuters)

Page One: Headlines for 9/30/13
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Page One: Headlines for 10/4/13
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Page One: Headlines for 10/8/13
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Page One: Headlines for 10/10/13
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Page One: Headlines for 10/11/13
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Page One: Headlines for 10/17/13
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Page One: Headlines for 10/21/13
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A Visit With the “Golden Lions” in Atlanta
CNEWA's Bob Pape visits the Golden Lions of St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta to discuss Christians in the Middle East.

Picture of the Day: Grief and Rage in Egypt
A man orates near a casket during a funeral on 21 October for one of four victims killed the previous day in an attack at a wedding outside the Church of the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox in Cairo. (photo: CNS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters)

Page One: Headlines for 10/23/13
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Page One: Headlines for 11/5/13
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Page One: Headlines for 11/8/13
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Page One: Headlines for 11/13/13
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Page One: Headlines for 12/3/13
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Page One: Headlines for 12/4/13
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In Egypt, “Democracy Alone Cannot Be the Answer”
In the pages of America magazine, Rev. Elias Mallon discusses the fight for democracy in Egypt, and how this is impacting the local Christian communities.

Picture of the Day: “We Have Now Reached a Crisis”
Britain's Prince Charles speaks to religious leaders during a visit to a Syrian Orthodox Church in London on 17 December. (photo: CNS/Toby Melville, Reuters)

Page One: Headlines for 12/30/13
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Picture of the Day: Growing Fears in Egypt
A Christian farmer works the fields near his home in northern Egypt. (photo: David Degner)

Page One: Headlines for 1/6/14
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An Update on CNEWA’s Work in Syria
Msgr. John E. Kozar, CNEWA's president, introduces a report on matters on the ground in Syria.

Picture of the Day: Laying New Roots
A Coptic farmer walks through his field near Minya, Egypt. (photo: David Degner)

Picture of the Day: A Little Help
In this 2007 photo, a 3-year-old orphan helps a nun with the dishes at the Antiochene Orthodox Monastery of St. Thecla in Maaloula, Syria. (photo: Mitchell Prothero/Polaris)

Page One: Headlines for 2/10/14
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Fear Factor: The Life of Copts in Upper Egypt
Sarah Topol shares her thoughts on reporting on the Copts of Upper Egypt.

Page One: Headlines for 3/25/14
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Page One: Headlines for 3/27/14
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Page One: Headlines for 4/15/14
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Page One: Headlines for 4/22/14
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Page One: Headlines for 7/2/14
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Picture of the Day: Sisters of Iraq
ister Najma chats with a patient visiting the clinic for a routine checkup at the Mother of Mercy Clinic in Zerqa, Jordan. (photo: Nader Daoud)

Page One: Headlines for 7/8/14
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“Such a Conflagration of Hate”
Over at Patheos, blogger Elizabeth Scalia has a comprehensive roundup of what is happening in Iraq.

Letter from Iraq:
“Many Churches Are Burned, Destroyed, Looted”

We received the following report this morning from Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana, an Iraqi-born priest of the Assyrian Church of the East now based in Germany.

Picture of the Day: A Blessing for Meriam Ibrahim
Pope Francis blesses Meriam Ibrahim of Sudan during a private meeting at the Vatican on 24 July. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

CNEWA on the Radio
CNEWA’s Communications Director Michael J.L. LaCivita will be on Relevant Radio later today to discuss the worsening crisis for Christians in the region.

CNEWA Launches Emergency Appeal
to Aid Iraqi Christian Families in Flight

CNEWA starts new emergency appeal for Iraq

Page One: Headlines for 7/29/14
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Gaza’s Beacon of Hope
Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA's regional director for Palestine and Israel, shares details of the situation in Gaza.

Page One: Headlines for 7/30/14
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Page One: Headlines for 7/31/14
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Working Together to Aid Gaza
Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA’s regional director for Palestine and Israel, shares details of the situation in Gaza.

Picture of the Day: Praying for Iraq
Chaldean Bishop Frank Kalabat carries a monstrance on 1 August as he leads nearly 1,000 Chaldeans outside Mother of God Chaldean Church in Southfield, Michigan in praying for for persecuted Iraqi Christians. (photo: CNS/Mike Stechschulte)

Christians Flee Islamist Attacks in Northern Iraq
“Jihadists have launched fresh attacks on Christian areas in north Iraq, sparking a new wave of displacement, the country's Chaldean patriarch and witnesses said Wednesday.”

Page One: Headlines for 8/7/14
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Picture of the Day: A Mission to Iraq
In this image from 2009, Italian Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, walks with a Swiss Guard at the Vatican. (photo: CNS/Danilo Schiavella)

IRAQ UPDATE:
Creating Camps for Christian Refugees

Michel Constantin, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, discusses the situation in Iraq.

Cardinal Collins Appeals for Help for Iraqi Christians
The Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Vice Chair of the CNEWA Board of Directors in Canada, has asked Canadians to provide concrete help to Iraq’s Christians, who have been targeted by militants of the Islamic State.

FAQ on Christian Persecution in Iraq
A few days ago, the Archdiocese of Toronto posted on its blog an excellent primer on the unfolding crisis in Iraq - complete with advice on how others can help. We post it below for your information and guidance.

Picture of the Day: Seeking Refuge
Emil, a Catholic Iraqi refugee, hides his face during a posed photo at the Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center.

IRAQ UPDATE:
"The Needs Are Overwhelming"

The crisis facing Christians in Iraq shows no sign of abating.

Picture of the Day: The First Communion That Wasn’t
Children prepare for first Communion in Karamless, Iraq, on 1 August.

What is ISIS?
Aleteia has posted a comprehensive primer on the Islamic State, featuring important insight and context from - among others - CNEWA's Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D.

Muslims in the Arab Press Condemn ISIS
Muslims have been speaking out in the strongest terms, condemning the crimes against humanity committed by ISIS (or, as it is increasingly called, IS) and others in the name of Islam.

Picture of the Day: Refuge
In this image from July, Christians fleeing the violence in Mosul sleep inside Sacred Heart of Jesus Chaldean Church in Telkaif, Iraq. (photo: CNS/Reuters)

Picture of the Day: Displaced in Iraq
People displaced by violence sit outside St. Joseph Chaldean Church in Ain Kawa, Iraq, on 14 August. (photo: CNS/courtesy Aid to the Church in Need-USA)

Picture of the Day: “What We Saw Was Indescribable”
Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III, left, speaks to other Christian leaders during a visit to Iraqi refugees in Erbil, Iraq. (photo: CNS/Mychel Akl)

IRAQ UPDATE:
“This Is A Cry for Help”

Archdeacon Emanuel Yaoukhana recently returned to Iraq and sent the following letter to his friends and acquaintances.

Page One: Headlines for 10/8/14
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Page One: Headlines for 2/19/15
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Page One: Headlines for 2/24/15
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Breaking in Syria
ISIS Attacks Christian Communities in Syria

More than 90 Syrian Christians, including women and children, have been captured by ISIS militants near the northeastern Syrian city of Hassake.

Page One: Headlines for 2/26/15
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Picture of the Day: Remembrance and Redemption
Samundar Singh, left, pays tribute at a memorial ceremony for Sister Rani Maria Vattalil, whom he stabbed to death in 1995. (photo: M.L. Thomas)

Page One: Headlines for 2/27/15
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Page One: Headlines for 3/2/15
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Picture of the Day: Prayers for Syria
A statement issued by the Syriac National Council of Syria, the European Syriac Union, and the Christian Coalition for Syria said Islamic State militants seized villages on the south bank of the Khabur and several villages on the north bank.

Page One: Headlines for 4/28/15
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Picture of the Day: A Church Unburnt
Egyptian sisters pray in Immaculate Conception Church in Suez, burnt by rioters in August 2013. (photo: David Degner)

Picture of the Day: Hope Grows in Egypt
A bougainvillea grows through the open window of the Good Shepherd Sisters’ convent in Suez, burned by rioters in 2013. (photo: David Degner)

Page One: Headlines for 10/1/15
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Déjà Vu: Reporting on Violence Against Christians in India
Jose Kavi reflects on his experience of reporting on anti-Christian violence in India for more than 30 years.

Picture of the Day: Reviving a Church
A construction worker examines the remaining damage to St. Sebastian’s Church in Dilshad Garden, New Delhi. (photo: Jose Jacob)

Picture of the Day: Securing Sanctuary
Under police protection, workers rebuild St. Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden, New Delhi. (photo: Jose Jacob)

Lebanon Update: Suicide Bombers Target Al Qaa
Lebanon’s northeastern village of Al Qaa, a Lebanese Christian village, was in a state of alert Tuesday as security forces expanded search operations after eight suicide bombers attacked the village yesterday — Monday, 27 June 2016.

Page One: Headlines for 8/18/16
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Page One: Headlines for 1/5/17
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‘Egyptian Christians Are Made of Steel’
A powerful video from Egyptian television is beginning to go viral, and understandably so.

Page One: Headlines for 6/1/17
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Picture of the Day: Crying Out in One Voice
Cairo protesters gather outside St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral after a bomb attack on 11 December. (photo: David Degner)

Page One: Headlines for 9/12/17
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Picture of the Day: So Recently New
Sisters Luma and Montaha, of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, visit Qaraqosh’s Church of Sts. Behnam and Sarah, damaged by ISIS. The church was built in 2008. (photo: Raed Rafei)