Indian migrants in Holy Land walk to Bethlehem for peace

Bethlehem, West Bank, Dec 16, 2014 / 12:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 2,000 Indian migrant workers in the Holy Land took part in a brief pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity over the weekend as part of their preparations for Christmas. As they walked the five miles between the cities on Dec. 13, the faithful prayed the rosary for the intention of peace in Palestine and Israel. The pilgrimage is held annually by the Indian Chaplaincy in the Holy … [Read more...]

Does the West ignore Iraqi Christians because they lack economic stake?

Beirut, Lebanon, Dec 14, 2014 / 06:06 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- The leader of the Syriac Catholic Church has lashed out at Western governments, charging that they ignore the plight of displaced Christians in Iraq because they represent no economic stakes. In an interview in the French capital with international charity Aid to the Church in Need, Patriarch Joseph III Younan of Antioch and All the East said the Western world had been largely silent about the situation facing Christians … [Read more...]

Medical shortages hinder Ebola relief, survivors grieve

Freetown, Sierra Leone, Dec 11, 2014 / 08:07 pm (CNA).- Bishops in West Africa have appealed for more help for a hospital in a region suffering many Ebola infections, as the disease’s survivors lament its destructive impact on their loved ones and their communities. “The Ebola situation is still very grim. Our health workers are at great risk and some have lost their lives,” said Father Paul Sandi, secretary general of the Catholic Conference of the Gambia and Sierra … [Read more...]

For Holy Land youth, sports center to be ground for dialogue, peace

Jerusalem, Israel, Dec 4, 2014 / 02:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Franciscans in the Holy Land have launched a new project to bring together young people from different cultural and religious backgrounds to share in the “common language” of sports. Father Quirico Calella, O.F.M., director of Acre’s Terra Santa School, said there is “a real need” for a multicultural and multi-purpose sports center like the planned Tau Sports Center. “In the evening, the various … [Read more...]

How Christian division hampers peace, reconciliation in Holy Land

Jerusalem, Israel, Dec 3, 2014 / 12:47 pm (CNA).- The lack of unity among Christians is one of the factors that keeps them from playing a mediatory role in the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, according to the head of the Franciscans in the Middle East. “Here in the Holy Land, we Christians are irrelevant. There are too few of us. In addition, we are confessionally divided,” Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., Custos of the Holy Land, told Aid to the Church in … [Read more...]

Syrian refugees pursue education for their children, in hope for the future

Amman, Jordan, Nov 30, 2014 / 04:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Refugees of the Syrian civil war say their new life has many burdens, but they hope that education for their children will ensure a brighter future. “When we remember the old days, we ask: how could we complain so much?” Nariman el Kourdi, a Syrian refugee living in the Jordanian city of Ramtha, told reporters through a translator Oct 27. El Kourdi now lives in the Bwoida village in Ramtha, a northwestern Jordanian city … [Read more...]

Pope’s visit could draw attention to refugees in Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, Nov 30, 2014 / 03:08 pm (CNA).- The head of a charitable agency in Turkey voiced hope that Pope Francis’ visit will shine a light on the dramatic plight of refugees there, who fled the Syrian civil war and other regional conflicts. “There are 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey; in Istanbul alone, there are 700,000. When you walk around downtown Istanbul, there are plenty of poor kids who beg,” said Rinaldo Marmara, president of Caritas Turkey. He … [Read more...]