Must-see video: “60 Minutes” report on persecuted Christians of Iraq

In a word: excellent. And heartbreaking. Just watch. [Read more...]

Out of the ashes: new Catholic university rises in Iraqi Kurdistan as “tangible sign of help”

Some inspiring news, via Zenit:  The first courses of Catholic University in Erbil, the capital of Northern Kurdistan, will begin this year. Recently, Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda, ordinary of the archdiocese of Erbil and a great supporter of the project, announced in a letter the imminent commencement of activity in four faculties, including a college [Read More...]

Bishop calls for month of prayer for persecuted Christians

The following letter was issued by Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence this morning: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. . . . If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it.” [Read More...]

The lives they lived: meet the Coptic martyrs of ISIS

Sophia Jones from the Huffington Post has interviewed the families of some of the 21 Coptic martyrs and posted this moving glimpse into the lives they lived:  Death is everywhere in Al Aour. When a video surfaced late Sunday showing Islamic State fighters beheading 21 men in Libya, it seemed no family here was spared. Thirteen [Read More...]

Charity is raising money for children of 21 Coptic martyrs

Details from The Catholic Herald: Egyptian charity Coptic Orphans has launched a crowdsourcing fund to support the children of the Coptic martyrs killed in Libya. The charity, which was founded in 1988 by Copts in the United States, says it has identified 12 children left fatherless when ISIS murdered the 21 men in Libya on February 15. The Christians, [Read More...]

Brother of martyred Copts: “They were a badge of honor to Christianity”

From Christian Today:  The brother of two of the 21 Coptic Christians murdered in Libya last week has thanked their killers for including the men’s declaration of faith in the video they made of their beheadings. Speaking on a live prayer and worship programme on Christian channel SAT-7 ARABIC yesterday, Beshir Kamel said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy [Read More...]

Cardinal Wuerl makes plea for persecuted Christians at Ash Wednesday Mass

From The Catholic Standard:  Making an impassioned plea at the end of his Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Cardinal Donald Wuerl urged the faithful to offer prayers and speak out for Christians being persecuted throughout the world. “Lent is a time of prayer – pray for those [Read More...]

VIDEO: Pope offers Mass for slain Copts

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis offered Mass Tuesday morning for the repose of the souls of the twenty-one Coptic Christians martyred for their faith in Christ. The Mass was attended by the Pope’s personal secretary, Abuna Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who is Coptic Catholic. As he prepared to begin Mass in the Santa Marta Chapel, the [Read More...]

Is this the site of Christ’s trial?

Jesús en casa de Anás by José de Madrazo Agudo (1803) via Wikipedia  From The Washington Post:   It started 15 years ago with plans to expand the Tower of David Museum. But the story took a strange turn when archaeologists started peeling away layers under the floor in an old abandoned building adjacent to [Read More...]

Lest we forget: Christmas in the “Caliphate” of Iraq—UPDATED

From Al Arabiya News:  After a year of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria purging Christian minorities from its self-declared caliphate, Iraqi and Syrian Christians are facing muted celebrations this Christmas. “Talk of Christmas and Christian occasions is forbidden under ISIS,” said Sulaiman Youssef, a Syrian researcher on minorities. “The group has destroyed, torched [Read More...]