“Truly a miracle”: Kidnapped Syrian priest describes his escape from ISIS

Miraculous, indeed, via Catholic News Agency:  A Syrian priest who was captured by Islamic State militants in May thought he would die for his faith. Now, he credits the Virgin Mary and the help of a Muslim friend for his escape. “This is the miracle the Good Lord gave me: while I was a prisoner [Read More…]

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French Catholics in Lourdes take in refugees from Middle East

From John Burger at Aleteia:  Pope Francis in September asked Catholics in Europe to put up immigrant families fleeing the horrors of war in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. In the village of Lourdes, France, it was already happening. About 15 Iraqi Christian families have arrived in the pilgrimage town over [Read More…]

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Egypt to begin construction of “Church of the Martyrs” to honor slain Christians in Libya

Details:  Work will begin in the coming days in Minya on a church that was planned to honor the deaths of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians who died in a brutal sectarian attack by militants in Libya earlier this year. Plans and licences for the ‘Church of the Martyrs’ have been finalised to begin the work, [Read More…]

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Pope reveals he wears cross of martyred Iraqi priest

From AFP:  Pope Francis revealed Thursday that he now wears a cross that belonged to a Iraqi priest who was wearing it when he was slain for his faith. He said he had been given it by another Iraqi priest he met on St Peter’s square. “It is a cross this priest had in his [Read More…]

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Vatican welcomes first refugee family

From Vatican Radio: A Vatican statement on Friday (18th September) said a Syrian refugee family, is already being hosted by the Vatican with the help of the city state’s Santa Anna parish community.  The family, consisting of a father, mother and their two children, come from Damascus and belong to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. [Read More…]

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Archdiocese announces plans to sponsor 100 refugee families from Syria and Iraq

From The Toronto Star:  The Archdiocese of Toronto plans to sponsor 100 refugee families from Syria and Iraq with the launch of its Project Hope campaign. The archdiocese is asking its parishioners and 225 Catholic churches to step forward to help raise $3 million over the next 100 days as well as form 100 refugee [Read More…]

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How can you help refugees from the Middle East?

Stories like that of young Aylan Kurdi have riveted the attention of the world on the plight of refugee families fleeing Syria, Turkey and the Middle East. But his story is the tragic tip of a large and overwhelming iceberg. Recently, The Guardian put this crisis in perspective: What does this emergency look like? Half of [Read More…]

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“Churches are being used for prisons, ISIS have been breaking all the crosses and statues of Mary”

View image | gettyimages.com A sobering glimpse inside a town in northern Iraq that is now empty of Christians, from Christian Today:  Qaraqosh had been home to Iraq’s largest Christian community, with at least a quarter of the country’s Christian population living in the city and its surrounding towns. Its exodus prompted further concerns about [Read More…]

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Report: “Scores of Christians” kidnapped by ISIS in Homs, Syria

Details:  Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have abducted scores of people, including several Christian families, after seizing a strategically located town in the central Syrian province of Homs, an activist group has said. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday that at least 230 people [Read More…]

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Awesome: Turkish couple spends their wedding day feeding Syrian refugees

Details:  A Turkish couple who got married last week invited 4,000 Syrian refugees to celebrate with them. Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat tied the knot in Kilis province on the Syrian border, which is currently home to thousands of refugees fleeing conflict in the neighbouring country. It’s traditional for Turkish weddings to last between Tuesday [Read More…]

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