Off the hookah: owner explains why he named his bar “ISIS”

As you can imagine, it’s causing him all sorts of problems. Now this Queens Coptic Christian is going to the media to clear things up. From the In My Backyard Desk, via the New York Daily News:   Despite its menacing name, there are no beheadings on the menu at this Queens smoke spot. The [Read More...]

“We believe in the sanctity of life…and counteract the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence and conflict”

From the Vatican’s news site:  The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, based in New York, U.S.A., yesterday published a declaration of principles, signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain, as well as by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for [Read More...]

“Let us pray this evening for reconciliation and peace…”

“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12, 18, 21, 25). The biblical account of the beginning of the history of the world and of humanity speaks to us of a God who looks at creation, in a sense contemplating it, and declares: “It is good”. This, dear brothers and sisters, allows us to enter [Read More...]

Horror: ISIS releases video it says shows beheading of British hostage

Details:  The Islamic State has released a video claiming to show the beheading of British captive David Haines. The father-of-two, an aid worker, was abducted by militants in Syria last year. He appeared at the end of a video showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff earlier this month. In the video, which has [Read More...]

Pope sends condolences to family of Steven Sotloff

From Vatican Radio:   Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow for the death of slain US journalist Steven Sotloff, urging people everywhere to reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion. His words came in a telegram of condolences addressed to Sotloff’s family and signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of [Read More...]

A sister writes from Iraq: “The sisters and priests are a sign of hope among the people”

 Sister Maria Goretti Hanna, O.P., and Good Shepherd Sister Marie-Claude Naddaf meet with workers creating shelters for refugees in Erbil, Iraq. (photo: CNEWA) From CNEWA’s blog, One-to-One,  a letter from a nun in Iraq paints a picture of what they are confronting: St. Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians, “And when I [Read More...]

A nun writes from Iraq: “We entered the fourth week of displacement…there is nothing promising at all”

From the CNEWA blog One-to-One: From Iraq, we received a heart-breaking letter from Sister Maria Hanna, superior general of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, an Iraqi community of women religious with whom we collaborate closely. “We entered the fourth week of displacement. Yet, there is nothing promising at all,” she writes of [Read More...]

ISIS reportedly beheads another American journalist, posts video of execution

Details from The New York Times:  The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has beheaded Steven J. Sotloff, the second American executed by the Islamic militant group, and posted a video of it on the Internet, the SITE Intelligence Group, a research organization that tracks jihadist web postings, said Tuesday. The execution of Mr. Sotloff, [Read More...]

Pope phones priest working in Iraqi refugee camp

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis called a priest at a refugee camp in Iraq to express his closeness to the persecuted Christians who have taken refuge there and to promise his continued support. Pope Francis reportedly called Fr Behnam Benoka on August 19, a day after returning from his apostolic journey to South Korea. Fr [Read More...]

Muslim leaders in UK issue fatwa condemning those who join ISIS

Details, from HuffPo:  Muslim leaders in the UK have issued a fatwa condemning British jihadis who fight alongside the Islamic State terrorist group, saying they are “betraying their own societies”. The fatwa, which The Sunday Times (£) said had been issued by imams, is the strongest condemnation yet of Britons joining Islamic extremists by the Muslim [Read More...]