Aleppo archbishop calls for solidarity with Christians in Syria

New Haven, Conn., May 7, 2016 / 05:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The future of Christianity in the Middle East remains uncertain, and it is critical that the international community remain engaged, said a Melkite Catholic archbishop from Syria.Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo delivered these comments during a two-day visit to Connecticut that culminated with meetings at the international headquarters of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven.The visit began Sunday night with a talk … [Read more...]

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Christians in Nigeria are essentially ‘target practice’ – here’s one bishop’s response

Washington D.C., May 5, 2016 / 03:29 am (CNA).- For Bishop Matthew Kukah, persecution is not just the history of the Church. It’s a reality that he lives every day.In the diocese of Sokoto, located in northern Nigeria, ministry includes not only the normal sacramental and pastoral concerns of any other diocese. It also includes regularly responding to violence and attacks against the small Christian minority living in the majority-Muslim area.Christians living in northern Nigeria today … [Read more...]

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Iraqi Christians grateful, yet uneasy following foiled Islamic State attack

Alqosh, Iraq, May 4, 2016 / 02:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After Islamic State militants broke through Kurdish army forces Tuesday, killing one American and three Kurdish fighters, local Christians voiced gratitude that the attack failed, but remain shaken and on edge should there be another assault.  “The people of Alqosh and other cities nearby have been very afraid. But we thank God that this time the battle was won,” Fr. Ghazwan Baho told CNA.Fr. Baho is the parish priest in … [Read more...]

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Fr. Tom still missing, but bishop hopeful about his release

Aden, Yemen, May 4, 2016 / 10:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two months after being kidnapped in Yemen, Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil remains missing, although a bishop involved in his case remains hopeful about his timely release.“The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly about ten days ago. I was told that Father Tom is alive, and that his return to freedom could be imminent,” said Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.“But since … [Read more...]

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South African bishops rebuke government for spending billions on weapons

Cape Town, South Africa, May 4, 2016 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic bishops of South Africa have criticized the government for excessive weapons spending given the country’s major social problems. “We insist that, in the absence of discernible external military threat to our country, and in a country which is struggling to recover from high levels of unemployment and extreme poverty, it is ethically irresponsible and unnecessary to spend billions of scarce resources … [Read more...]

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Nigerian bishop warns against embracing violence after attack by herdsmen

Nsukka, Nigeria, May 3, 2016 / 04:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While the Diocese of Nsukka in southeastern Nigeria is still searching for answers following the massacre of dozens of Christians, Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah has urged locals to embrace peace even in the face of such “persistent provocation.”“The Catholic Diocese of Nsukka is in mourning for her dead children and in pains for the displaced ones. We are also living in fear because we do not know where and when the … [Read more...]

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Why Iraq wasn’t what I thought

Erbil, Iraq, May 1, 2016 / 04:02 pm (CNA).- Loai Behnam Toubia pulls up his shirt, uncovering a thick, dark scar – probably 10 inches long – that tears vertically down his large, round belly.With a cockeyed arm he points to three smaller scars that decorate the left side of his misshaped abdomen, marking the times he was shot when ISIS opened fire on his car last year.I stand in the dust surrounded by rows of boxy prefab trailers listening to his story. I focus on the scar … [Read more...]

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