Holy Land Christians prepare for Church unity week

Jerusalem, Israel, Jan 21, 2014 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians of varying Churches and ecclesial communities in Palestine and Israel will gather for ecumenical prayer services at the churches of various communities. The Holy Land observes a novena for Christian unity from Jan. 25-Feb. 2, following the traditional octave held Jan. 18-25. The theme of this year's week of prayer for Christian unity is “has Christ been divided”, St. Paul's affirmation of unity in … [Read more...]

Egyptian bishop backs newly drafted constitution

Cairo, Egypt, Jan 18, 2014 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic Coptic bishop has said he “very strongly” encourages Christians to accept Egypt's draft constitution for Egypt, voted on this week, citing the autonomy it grants to Christians, Muslims and Jews. “If the constitution is really taken seriously then the situation of Christians in Egypt will improve considerably,” Bishop Kyrillos William Samaan of the Coptic Eparchy of Assiut told Aid to the Church in … [Read more...]

Amid violence, South Sudan Catholics outline steps to peace

Juba, South Sudan, Jan 10, 2014 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Voicing “anguish and dismay” at the deteriorating situation in South Sudan, a Catholic bishop shared his diocese’s ten proposals to help stabilize the country after the outbreak of violence in mid-December. “As we know from experience in our history, only dialogue can take the peace process forward,” the people of the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio said in a Jan. 8 statement shared by Bishop Barani Eduardo … [Read more...]

Conflict puts Central African refugees in ‘horrendous’ situation

Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan 9, 2014 / 02:01 am (CNA).- As the refugee situation in the Central African Republic continues to worsen, Catholic Relief Services says it is working to help displaced persons and to encourage a peaceful resolution to the violence. “The humanitarian consequences have been horrendous,” Helen Blakesley, Catholic Relief Services' regional information officer for West and Central Africa, said Dec. 7. “The country was already extremely … [Read more...]

Islamism in Nigeria places Africa ‘at risk’, bishop says

Lagos, Nigeria, Jan 8, 2014 / 04:41 pm (CNA).- Christians in Nigeria face violence and persecution in their homeland as militant group Boko Haram uses inequality and instability in the country to advance its ideology, a bishop has warned. "Don’t sit by while Nigeria disintegrates," Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, Vicar Apostolic of Bomadi, said in a Jan. 1 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.   If Boko Haram succeeds, the bishop continued, “the … [Read more...]

Lebanese bishop appeals for Christian Syrian refugees

Zahle, Lebanon, Jan 7, 2014 / 02:14 pm (CNA).- Christian refugees from Syria living in Lebanon need the support of their Western counterparts, according to an Eastern Catholic bishop who is himself a native of Syria. “They live in rented homes, sometimes with multiple families in a single home or a set of rooms … most of these Christian families, however, are in need of the very basics of daily life – food, educational opportunities for their children, medical care,” … [Read more...]

South Sudanese Christians call for end to violence

Juba, South Sudan, Jan 4, 2014 / 03:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christian leaders in South Sudan have responded to new violence with a call for peace and reconciliation, urging their countrymen to reject efforts to sow division along ethnic lines. “This should not be turned into an ethnic problem. Sadly, on the ground it is developing into tribalism. This must be defused urgently before it spreads,” church leaders in Juba said in a Dec. 17 message, according to Aid to the Church in … [Read more...]