09/02/2014VIETNAM - IRAQ - UKRAINE Vietnamese Catholics pray with Pope Francis for Christians in Iraq and peace in Ukraine by Paul N. Hung More than 4,000 people attend Mass for oppressed minorities and victims of violence perpetrated by the Islamic state. For priest in Thái Hà, "only the love of Jesus can overcome hatred." Prayers provide an opportunity to defend religious freedom in Vietnam and the country against Chinese imperialism. Hanoi
- In response to an appeal by Pope
Francis, who asked for prayers on behalf of persecuted Christians in Iraq
and for peace in Ukraine,
more than 4,000 faithful met in Thái Hà...
09/02/2014VATICAN Pope: Christian identity is not "academic degrees", but being moved by the Holy Spirit "If we Christians do not fully understand the things of the Spirit, if we do not give or offer witness then we no identity". "Often, so often, we find among our faithful, simple old women who perhaps didn’t even finish elementary school, but who can speak to us of things better than any theologian, because they have the Spirit of Christ".
09/01/2014LEBANON - IRAQ - SYRIA Islamic State threatens coexistence even among Muslims Jihadist militias are increasingly sectarian in their actions. Attacking shared religious symbols, like the tomb of Jonah and the shrine of Saint George in Mosul, means destroying cultural, historical and social bridges. Conflict is not only inter-confessional but is also increasingly intra-confessional within Islam, between Sunnis and Shiites.
08/31/2014VATICAN Pope: Conform to Christ and not this world, and follow His path At the Sunday Angelus Pope Francis warns against becoming "worldly" and "tasteless salt”. "Watered down Christians" are like watered down wine, "you do not know whether it is wine or water". Read the Gospel every day. Gospel, Eucharist, prayer help us to safeguard the newness of Jesus. Tomorrow World Day for Safeguarding Creation.
08/30/2014SYRIA - PHILIPPINES Syria, Islamists attack Philippine contingent in Golan Heights: among them a priest The group of 75 peacekeepers have been blocked in the hills for few days by the al-Nusra Brigade. The rebels launched a direct attack this morning. The Military Ordinary of Manila says: "There is also a priest among the peacekeepers, sent to take care of the spiritual needs of the troops. Let us pray for all of them".
08/29/2014SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS UN warns of 3 million Syrian refugees, "the world's largest humanitarian emergency" Almost half of the people forced to leave their homes since the conflict began in March 201. Lebanon is hosting the largest number of refugees, more than 1.1 million; other 6.5 million are internally displaced. The Islamic State has brought violence against civilians "to a new level" and hinders the distribution of aid.
08/28/2014IRAQ - ISLAM The barbaric cruelty of the Caliphate puts Islam to the test by Samir Khalil Samir The bloodthirsty and dramatic violence of the Islamic State has met with lukewarm condemnation but above all the silence of the Muslim world. The causes: an education system that rejects critical thought in preference of memorization; a religion that paralyzes reason and intelligence (as Muslims themselves state). The hideous cruelty of the former Isis goes against the Koran and the life of Muhammad. But are the humus in which the violence "in the name of God" appears justified. Islam needs to be profoundly renewed through a radical transformation of the educational method.
08/26/2014IRAQ - SYRIA - UNITED STATES Damascus ready to collaborate with US and UN to stop Islamic State The United Nations reports that after seizing Mosul militants killed hundreds of Shia inmates from Badoush prison. In addition, they carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, kidnappings, human trafficking, enslavement and sexual violence.
08/25/2014SYRIA Syria, Islamic State win air base in battle causing hundreds of victim The jihadi militias have taken Taqba air base from Damascus, the last government stronghold in the province of Raqqa. More than 500 died in the battle. Gunfire and chants from the mosques hailed the Islamists victory in the city. Severed heads of Syrian soldiers on display in the main square to shouts of "Allah Akbar".
08/24/2014VATICAN Pope appeals for peace in Ukraine. Peter's blind faith and hearts of "rock" or "sand" At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls situation of conflict that create "so much suffering among the civilian population". A bishop writes a letter to the pope, "describing this pain." As for Peter, Jesus expects a "reliable", faith on which to build the Church. "What is your faith like? We should all find the answer in our hearts. What does the Lord find in our hearts? A stable heart like stone, or a heart like sand, that is incredulous, doubtful, suspicious?". He makes the pilgrims repeat Peter's profession three times: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God."