Syrian Christians, building cemeteries instead of schools

Damascus, Syria, Oct 28, 2014 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As the civil war in Syria continues its fourth year, Christians who remain in the country’s capital are finding it harder just to get by – even with the help of the Maronite local Church. “The number of people taking the sacraments is falling from year to year – very sharply,” Samir Nassar, Maronite Archbishop of Damascus told Aid to the Church in Need Oct. 24, explaining that he is unable to keep track … [Read more...]

Egyptian Christians feel safer, though Islamism still looms

Cairo, Egypt, Oct 23, 2014 / 08:26 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While problems still exist, Christians in Egypt feel “much safer” under the presidency of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former military officer who played a key role in the coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, a Catholic official said. “The mood has improved considerably. The security situation is getting better. There is greater stability,” Father Rafik Greiche, press officer for the … [Read more...]

‘Don’t abandon us’ – Church in Mosul ‘no longer exists’

Mosul, Iraq, Oct 23, 2014 / 04:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Reflecting on his recent trip to the Holy Land and to Iraqi Kurdistan, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City said that for all practical purposes, the bishops of Mosul no longer have Churches to shepherd. “When we were in Erbil, we met with the Archbishop of Mosul, who along with his priests and all of the faithful of the archdiocese, have been driven out,” Archbishop Coakley told CNA in an Oct. 16 interview. “He … [Read more...]

For DRC bishops, end to president’s term limit would be ‘a step backward’

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oct 23, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines has written to the US state department urging that it support efforts of the Congolese bishops to oppose the suggested end to presidential term limits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “As we are both painfully aware, Constitutions have been changed previously in other countries as a means to monopolize political power and a nation’s natural … [Read more...]

After surviving Ebola, Liberians have another challenge – marginalization

Gbarnga, Liberia, Oct 21, 2014 / 12:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- "How is it that we have again become the marginalized of the earth?" That is what people ask Bishop Anthony Borwah of Gbarnga, in Liberia, the country most affected by the outbreak of Ebola. Recalling that the west African country is still recovering from a pair of civil wars that lasted from 1989 until 2003, Bishop Borwah told Time magazine recently, “the poor are again asking the existential questions that … [Read more...]

Hard winter looms for Iraq’s ‘betrayed’ Christian refugees

Erbil, Iraq, Oct 18, 2014 / 04:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite efforts by northern Iraq’s Catholic bishops to ensure that Christians and other refugees can survive the winter, housing shortages and a significant lack of financial support pose serious threats. “The Church is pretty much alone in caring for them; so far the Iraqi government has not done anything for them. The tents of the refugees are set up on parish properties,” said Karin Maria Fenbert, an official with the … [Read more...]

Will Boko Haram honor a ceasefire? Probably not.

Abuja, Nigeria, Oct 17, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A reputed ceasefire and agreement to return scores of abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria merit skepticism given Boko Haram’s violent ideology and the previous failures of the Nigerian government, one observer says. “We have heard that these girls have been rescued by the military - twice in the last six months. We have also heard of ceasefires twice in as many years. As with all information coming out of government circles, … [Read more...]