Relief and gratitude after release of priest abducted in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb 23, 2015 / 02:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Friends and colleagues have pledged their support for a Jesuit priest released after eight months of captivity in Afghanistan, where he had been working to help refugees. “You cannot imagine our relief that he is now home, safe and sound,” Father Peter Balleis, S.J., international director of the Rome-based Jesuit Refugee Services, said Feb. 22. “We are aware of the tireless efforts at many levels to achieve … [Read more...]

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Coptic Catholics consecrate first church in Sinai, against backdrop of martyrdom

Ismailia, Egypt, Feb 20, 2015 / 02:01 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- “The Church in Egypt has been strengthened by the murder of our brothers in Libya.” Such was the reaction of Coptic Catholic Bishop Youssef Aboul-Kheir of Sohag to the beheading of 21 Orthodox Coptic men in Libya by Islamic State affiliates. The guest workers in Libya "suffered a holy death with prayers on their lips. They went to their deaths just like the early Christians,” the bishop told … [Read more...]

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Why this bishop is staying in Libya after the ISIS massacre

Tripoli, Italy, Feb 19, 2015 / 02:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- “I should stay! How can I leave the Christians alone?” These are the words of Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, in response to the Islamic State’s threats that it plans to take over the country and continue beheading Christians, as it did this past weekend, killing 21 Coptic Christians. In statements to Vatican Radio, Bishop Martinelli said, “We could go, it’s true. Probably at … [Read more...]

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Near Bethlehem, Israeli barrier threatens Christians’ future

Jerusalem, Israel, Feb 18, 2015 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Palestinian Christians, a monastery, a convent and a Catholic school near Bethlehem are all at risk from the Israeli government’s planned security barrier in the West Bank’s Cremisan Valley, the U.S. bishops have told members of Congress. “The proposed routes of the separation barrier would effectively confiscate the Palestinian agricultural and recreational lands of over 50 Christian families. This threatens the … [Read more...]

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Meet the Christians in Syria who want to stay, despite the war

Homs, Syria, Feb 17, 2015 / 02:01 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- “Fortunately, the battles are over for now. There was fierce fighting in Al Nabek all through Advent. No one was able to flee. The people were trapped. Peace was then finally restored in the week before Christmas. But you never know.” Sister Houda Fadoul sounds relieved. The Syrian Catholic nun presides over a congregation of women religious near Al Nabek, a city of around 50,000 inhabitants, located 50 miles south … [Read more...]

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In run-up to presidential vote, Nigerian bishop slams government corruption

Abuja, Nigeria, Feb 13, 2015 / 03:54 pm (Aid to the Church in Need).- Bitterly condemning “the ugly tide of corruption” in Nigeria’s government, the Bishop of Sokoto has highlighted the challenges awaiting the next administration in the wake of an election postponed due to the violence of Boko Haram. Presidential elections had been slated for Feb. 14, but were postponed until March 28. In a memorandum sent to international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, … [Read more...]

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Franciscan Holy Land pilgrimage aims to revitalize priests’ ministry

Jerusalem, Israel, Feb 11, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An upcoming twenty-day Holy Land pilgrimage for priests and religious aims at being a renewal program to help them become more effective in ministry, according to one of the pilgrimage's coordinators. “The main highlights of the program are a thorough orientation by Biblical experts, a detailed pilgrimage in the footprints of the disciples to the nooks and corners of Holy Land and a encountering a spiritual retreat … [Read more...]

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