07/25/2014ASIA Air disasters: 2014 could beat 2005 in terms of fatalities So far this year, 680 people have died, higher than 12-month totals for the past three years. With 916 deaths, 2005 was the worst year. IATA points out that about 100,000 flights take place every day without incident with passenger trips on airlines exceeding three billion last year.
07/24/2014LEBANON - IRAQ For Syriac Orthodox patriarch, "Mosul must be retaken" by Fady Noun "The planned expulsion of Christians is a barbaric act," said Ignatius Ephrem, "unprecedented in the history of relations between Christians and Muslims." There are states that support those groups, but "these acts will inevitably rebound sooner or later on those who support them."
07/24/2014IRAQ - UN Baghdad Patriarch to Ban Ki-moon: UN cannot stand by in silence as Christians are being massacred Mar Sako writes to the Secretary-General of the United Nations: "The situation worsens, the international community must intervene to stop the violence against religious and ethnic minorities. We need everything, from water to medicines." An appeal to save the religious heritage: "It will be difficult to rebuild ancient monasteries and churches burned by extremists."
07/21/2014LEBANON - IRAQ Patriarch Rahi: "What do moderate Muslims say" about what is happening to Christians in Mosul? by Fady Noun "We hear no one cry out" against the brutal behavior that contradicts 1,400 years of history of the Islamic world. The Syriac-Catholic patriarch calls on the Vatican to organise a meeting to deal with the situation with the apostolic nuncios from the countries involved, and consider joining forces with the diplomatic efforts of the Patriarch of Moscow.
07/21/2014IRAQ Patriarch of Baghdad: Christians are part of Iraq, this storm will pass by Mar Louis Raphael I Sako In an open letter addressed to "all men of good will and those who care for the Iraqi nation", Mar Sako reminds Muslim brothers that the actions of the self-styled Islamic State are contrary to the Koran and greatly damage the shared history all Iraqis of commitment for the nation. "We shared good memories and bad memories, mixing our blood for our land." The invitation to Christians to "calculate their options well, come together in love gathering around their church, being patient, enduring and praying until the storm passes".
07/21/2014IRAQ Baghdad’s Muslims show solidarity with Christians by Thomas Tammo Men and women of the Islamic faith joined the Chaldeans in front of the church of St. George after the Sunday Eucharist. Some carried a placard bearing the words: "I am an Iraqi Christian”. They condemned the Isis violence in Mosul. The Patriarch of Baghdad: "Thanks to you there is still hope for a new Iraq."
07/20/2014VATICAN Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
07/18/2014VATICAN - ISLAM Christians and Muslims should work fraternally for "justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person" The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issues a message for the Muslims of the world to mark the end of Ramadan. "Despite being aware of our differences, [. . .] We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person."
07/18/2014IRAQ Baghdad patriarch: as the time for dialogue is no more, Christians flee Mosul Yesterday ISIL issued an order for Christians to convert, pay the poll tax or leave the city. As they flee, Christian families are stripped of all their worldly possessions: cars, papers, money. Dialogue or words are no longer possible. Helpless witness to an unfolding tragedy, Mar Sako acknowledges, "Our hands are tied."
07/18/2014INDIA For Catholic doctor, violence against women can destroy India A member of the Pontifical Academy for Life talks to AsiaNews about the gang rape of a novice in Bangalore. "The fight against this culture of violence must start with respect for life, especially for the girls for whom violence begins in the womb with female feticide and infanticide," he said.
07/15/2014IRAQ Baghdad Patriarch calls on parliament to save the country from division Iraq's National Assembly meets again today. It has failed so far to find a shared line and elect the country's 'three presidents'. Mar Sako says that parliamentarians have an "historical and moral responsibility" to save the nation from the "danger" of division. He includes a prayer to be recited before parliament starts work.