Patriarch urges protection for Iraq’s fleeing Christians

Baghdad, Iraq, Feb 26, 2013 / 12:03 am (CNA).- Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, says greater security is needed for Christians in Iraq who are leaving their homeland for fear of local disorder. “They are leaving the country because there is no stability. Another reason is the rise of fundamentalism,” the patriarch told Aid to the Church in Need Feb. 25. “Security and freedom” are the most important issues for the Church's … [Read more...]

Jailed Iranian pastor reports ‘threatening’ abuse

Washington D.C., Feb 22, 2013 / 05:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison, has spoken out about his plight, which includes physical violence, psychological abuse and death threats.“This new letter from Pastor Saeed could not be more clear or direct – he continues to face life-threatening abuse simply because of his religious beliefs,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center … [Read more...]

Tanzanian bishops stress peace as murdered priest laid to rest

CNA STAFF, Feb 22, 2013 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- The bishops of Tanzania called on the local people to work and pray for peace after the recent murder of Father Evarist Mushi on the island of Zanzibar.Bishop Tarsisius Ngalalekumtwa, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Tanzania, said in his funeral homily that the first victim of the killing is the peace that exists between Christians and Muslims in the country. He urged the community to resist the temptation to respond to the tragedy with … [Read more...]

No suspects yet in Tanzanian killing of Catholic priest

CNA STAFF, Feb 20, 2013 / 12:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).-  According to Paolo Taffuri, the coordinator of Radio Maria Africa, officials in Tanzania have not yet found those responsible for the recent death of a local priest.“When the priest was heading to Mass on Sunday, two men on a motorcycle approached him and shot him in the head, killing him instantly,” Taffuri said. “So far no arrests have been made and police are investigating the motive behind the … [Read more...]

Vatican officials arrive in Jordan as refugee crisis continues

Amman, Jordan, Feb 19, 2013 / 09:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is visiting Jordan to take stock of the serious refugee situation created by the Syrian conflict and to assess how Catholic charities are responding.“The humanitarian situation in Syria, and throughout the region is unsustainable. Some estimates speak of a million refugees, more than two and a half million displaced persons, and almost one hundred thousand deaths … [Read more...]

Syrian bishop hopes new patriarch’s experience will save lives

Rome, Italy, Feb 4, 2013 / 08:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Syrian bishop is happy with the election of Archbishop Louis R. Sako as Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church as he believes his experience at building dialogue in Iraq could save the lives of many Christians. Archbishop Sako of Kirkuk was selected Feb. 1 by his fellow Chaldean Catholic bishops as the new Patriarch of Babylon, replacing Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, 85. "He is young and involved in conversations with Muslims … [Read more...]

Church of the Nativity gets large Vatican donation

Jerusalem, Israel, Jan 31, 2013 / 07:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has promised to donate $135,490 U.S. dollars (100,000 Euros) to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during a recent visit by Church officials to the Holy Land.   The Vatican delegation, which included Undersecretary for Relations with States Bishop Ettore Balestrero, made the pledge to repair the world's oldest church after meeting with the Palestinian Authority's Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, … [Read more...]