US urged to recognize Nigerian extremist group as terrorists

Washington D.C., Aug 21, 2013 / 05:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Several U.S. religious liberty groups are renewing calls for the federal government to officially recognize Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram as a terrorist organization for its violent attacks against Christians.“Those who continue to wantonly kill Christians solely because of their faith should not be tolerated when available steps can be taken to curb this kind of genocidal terror,” Benjamin Bull, chief … [Read more...]

Relief efforts underway as flooding wreaks havoc in Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Aug 21, 2013 / 04:46 pm (CNA).- A combination of seasonal monsoon rains and a tropical storm off the coast of the Philippines has caused massive damage to homes and property, leaving hundreds of thousands in need.“Our team is presently working day and night,” said Gilda Avedillo, program officer for Caritas Manila’s disaster risk reduction and management program.She told CNA that despite the difficulties caused by the flooding, the grace of God and … [Read more...]

Egyptian bishop: Christians live in fear as attacks continue

Luxor, Egypt, Aug 21, 2013 / 12:09 pm (CNA).- Bishop Joannes Zakaria of Luxor, Egypt, said that Christians in his country are running out of food, but are “afraid to come out of their homes” for fear of attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood.In statements to the Fides News Agency, Bishop Zakaria explained that even those who have money cannot buy food because stores are closed.“I would like to help Christians but I can’t because I myself am confined to my home,” he … [Read more...]

Benedict XVI’s students will meet to discuss God, secularism

Rome, Italy, Aug 21, 2013 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The annual meeting of Benedict XVI's students from his time at the University of Regensburg will gather next week to discuss “the question of God,” though the former Pope will not be joining them.“Since he is retired, he does not want to attend any more public meetings,” Father Joseph Fessio, founder of Ignatius Press and a member of the group, told CNA Aug. 20.“The circle of students will meet in … [Read more...]

French teens aim to learn extreme poverty during Rome trip

Vatican City, Aug 21, 2013 / 04:05 am (CNA).- A group of French teenagers arrived in Rome this month without money or possessions in the hopes of learning how to let go of material things and grow closer to God.“We've come here without money,” said 17-year-old Marie Lecointe. “It’s taught us to detach ourselves from things like beds, showers...”Lecointe came to Rome on Aug. 19 alongside nine other youths aged 15 to 20. They left Paris on Aug. 3 with barely … [Read more...]

Twenty-thousand Syrian Kurds forced to take refuge in Iraq

Faysh Khabur, Iraq, Aug 21, 2013 / 02:08 am (CNA).- Following recent clashes in Syria between al-Qaeda linked opposition groups and Kurdish forces, 20,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan – an autonomous region of northern Iraq – in the last six days.“The factors allowing this sudden movement are not fully clear to us at this stage,” said Adrian Edwards, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman, at an Aug. 16 news briefing.Around noon on Aug. 15, a … [Read more...]

Egyptian bishop says terrorists tried to kill him in his home

Luxor, Egypt, Aug 21, 2013 / 12:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In the midst of recent violence in Egypt, the Coptic Bishop of Luxor says he was terrorized Aug. 16 by Islamists who tried to break into his house and kill him. “During a demonstration in Luxor a group of Islamists tried to break into my house and tried to set fire to the whole building,” Bishop Youhannes Zakaria Badir told Aid to the Church in Need Aug. 19. “Thank God, the army intervened to our aid.” His … [Read more...]