Christians Face Disaster in Iraq: Patriarch Sako

April 27, 2014 Featured News
Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako - Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and Primate of the Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church

27/4/14 Kirkuk (AFP) — Iraq’s dwindling Christian community faces “disaster,” and if no action is taken they will number just a few thousand in a decade, the country’s most senior church leader told AFP. Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said the daily migration of Christians from Iraq was “terrifying” and blamed a range of factors, including […]

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Syria Troops Retake Christian Town of Maalula

April 15, 2014 Featured News

15/4/14 Beirut (AFP) — Syrian regime troops retook the ancient Christian town of Maalula on Monday, a day after President Bashar al-Assad said the conflict was turning in his government’s favour. “The army has taken full control of Maalula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamun,” a security official told AFP, […]

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Scores Killed and Scores Injured in Iraq Attacks

March 18, 2014 Featured News

  18/3/14 Baghdad (AFP) — Heavily-armed militants attacked the home of an anti-Qaeda militiaman north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing and decapitating his wife and two sons and killing another person in a brutal pre-dawn assault. The militia leader, Abu Salim, was not in the house at the time of the attack, which involved more […]

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Armenian monastery finds unlikely saviour in Arab sheikh

November 25, 2013 Featured News
Sheikh Sultan III bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi

Agence France-Presse – 25/11/13 Standing next to a newly refurbished bell tower, priest Aristakes Aivazyan says it needed divine intervention to save Armenia’s medieval Haghartsin monastery. But it also took a lot of money from a very unlikely benefactor — the Muslim ruler of the resource-rich Arab emirate of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi. […]

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Pope Leads Prayers for Syrian Peace

September 8, 2013 News

VOA News – 8/9/13 Pope Francis has led a prayer vigil for peace in Syria, a country ravaged by civil war and facing possible U.S. military action in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Addressing tens of thousands of people at the Vatican Saturday, the […]

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Details Emerge On Kidnapped Syrian Bishops

August 21, 2013 Featured News

  Mohammad Ballout Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) 21/8/13 Are the two bishops missing or martyred? What is Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio‘s relation to the matter? What about his mission to mediate with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in order to reveal the bishops’ fate? What about his disappearance and possible death? There […]

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Egyptian military chief vows to rebuild Coptic Churches

August 17, 2013 Featured News

17/8/13 The Egyptian defense minister has ordered the repair and reconstruction of  all churches that suffered damage in the country’s violent demonstrations since  the Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power last month. Defense minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi intends to fix the damage to  Coptic churches at Rabaa Adaweya and Nahda squares, […]

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‘Peaceful’ Brotherhood Protesters Torching Coptic Christian Churches

August 15, 2013 News

 Andrew C. McCarthy - 15/8/13 In the familiar pattern, the Western media are focused on the military raids against Islamic supremacists in Egypt but ignoring the latter’s use of violence and of women and children as human shields. After all, the “protesters” say they are “peaceful.” When not similarly ignored, Islamic supremacist aggression against Egypt’s Christians […]

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Putin urges Ukraine to join forces with Russia

July 28, 2013 Featured News

28/9/13 KIEV (AFP) – President Vladimir Putin on Saturday urged Ukraine to join forces with former fellow Soviet state Russia, saying Russians and Ukrainians were “one people.” The Russian president’s remarks, made as he visited Kiev, highlight an ongoing tug-of-war Moscow has with Brussels over Ukraine’s moves to seek closer ties with the EU. In […]

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The last of the Armenians

June 22, 2013 News

22/6/13 Once a flourishing community in Bengal, Armenians have dwindled in number to such an extent that only one man now represents the entire community in Dhaka. He is known by his Anglicised name of Michael Joseph Martin. When Martin, now in his late seventies, dies, it will throw into doubt the future of the […]

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Cleric fights to save rural Romania from fracking

June 8, 2013 Featured News
Vasile Laiu, the Christian Orthodox archpriest of Barlad, takes part in a protest against shale gas exploition next to a pancarte reading in Romanian

8/6/13 Barlad, Romania - As Orthodox priest Vasile Laiu gazes over the picturesque hills of eastern Romania, he prays they will be spared the shale gas wells and drilling rigs dotting some US landscapes. For months the 50-year-old cleric has been one of the most outspoken opponents to plans by US energy giant Chevron to drill […]

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Kidnap of Syrian bishops sparks global concern

April 24, 2013 Featured News

23/4/13 DAMASCUS — The kidnapping of two Syrian bishops, reportedly by Chechen fighters, sparked international concern on Tuesday, as rebels battled regime and Hezbollah forces in Homs province, a watchdog said. In Israel, meanwhile, a senior military intelligence official said President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons, including sarin, against rebels on several occasions in […]

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Syrian bishops in hands of ‘Chechens’: church sources

April 24, 2013 Featured News

Agence France-Presse – 23/4/13 The kidnappers of two Orthodox bishops seized in northern Syria are Chechen fighters, sources in the Syriac and Greek Orthodox dioceses in Aleppo said on Tuesday. “The news which we have received is that an armed group… (of) Chechens stopped the car and kidnapped the two bishops while the driver was […]

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Serbia buries 13 victims of shooting spree

April 13, 2013 Featured News

FOCUS News Agency – 13/4/13 Velika Ivanca. Church bells rang out in the tiny Serbian village of Velika Ivanca on Friday, as hundreds of tearful mourners buried 13 people gunned down in Serbia’s worst massacre in two decades, AFP reported. Mourners carrying flowers and candles and mostly dressed in black queued to pay their respects to the six […]

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Bells toll for last Serbs in Kosovo capital

February 19, 2013 Featured News
A sprinkling of Kosovo Serbs attend a religious service at the Saint Nicolas Orthodox church in Pristina on February 10, 2013. After the 1999 NATO bombing campaign that forced out Belgrade security forces, some 200,000 Serbs fled the territory fearing reprisal attacks by extremists.

  19/2/13 AFP – The bells of Pristina’s sole Orthodox Church toll for a liturgy that will bring brief spiritual peace to a small group of Serbs, remaining members of a dwindling community in Kosovo, five years after it broke away from Serbia. At the Saint Nicolas church, three elderly Serbs listen to the mass […]

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Icon-writing, a path to recovery for prisoners in Poland

February 16, 2013 Featured News
A Bialystok Prison jailer checking prisoners going for orthodox icon painting classes. Photo courtesy: AFP

Maja Czarnecka – 16/2/13 Bialystok, Poland, Feb 16, 2013 (AFP) — Behind the bars of a prison on Poland’s eastern fringe, a dozen women serving time are lost in concentration as they learn the intricate art of icon-writing in the Orthodox Christian tradition. The centuries’ old craft, which typically displays the Virgin with the baby […]

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Ancient church frescoes created by renowned icon painter Onufri stolen in Albania

January 20, 2013 Featured News

20/1/13 TIRANA (AFP).- Several frescoes by a master painter were vandalised and some of their parts stolen from a 16th-century Orthodox church in southern Albania, an official said Wednesday. “Several frescoes were savagely damaged with axes and knives while some of their parts were stolen,” Arber Kadija, a culture ministry official, told AFP. Fragments of […]

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Syrian Christians ‘pray for peace’

December 25, 2012 Featured News

25/12/12 AFP – In the heart of Damascus, more than 1,000 people attended Christmas mass on Monday, praying for peace to return to Syria, after almost two years of bloodshed. “I pray that peace and safety returns to the hearts of all Syrians,” said Heba Shawi, 24, a Catholic attending mass at Notre Dame church […]

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Two Sudan Coptic priests arrested after ‘baptism’

December 24, 2012 Featured News

By AFP Khartoum-23/12/12 Two priests from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sudan have been arrested after the religious conversion of a Muslim in the Islamist-run state, church sources said. “I understand there was someone from the Arab origin that accepted Christ and was baptized by them,” leading to their arrest within the past few days, […]

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Russia church leader embarks on Holy Land visit

November 9, 2012 News

8/11/2012 MOSCOW (AFP)—Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday will make his first visit to the Holy Land since becoming head of the powerful church in 2009, in a trip which underlines his global influence as a religious leader. Kirill’s first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories will be held “under the sign of […]

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