02/27/2015SYRIA Despite their uncertain fate, Mgr Audo denies rumours that 15 Christians have been killed The Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo, who contacted the vicar in Al-Hasakah, denies reports that the Islamic State group executed hostages. The Apostolic Nuncio to Damascus renews his call for caution "because it is difficult to have accurate information." The fate and number of kidnapped Christians by jihadists remain uncertain. Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Reports that Islamic State militias killed at
least 15 Assyrian Christian Syrians are not true," said Mgr Antoine Audo,
Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo. His denial comes...
02/27/2015ISRAEL Arson attack against Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem Jewish extremists are the main suspects. Disparaging phrases about Jesus were found on the building's walls, some identical to graffiti found on a mosque set on fire a few days ago. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expresses his sadness at the incident, whilst Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called it "deplorable".
02/25/2015SYRIA IS abducts 150 Christians, rapes and kills women, a "tragic situation" for vicar to Aleppo A steady stream of horrific stories is coming out of jihadist-held areas. Terrorists hold hundreds of Christians, including seniors and children. For apostolic nuncio to Damascus, "Christians feel abandoned". There is "blood everywhere" and everyone is suffering. He believes that the war on terrorism is pointless but oil, "financial and military supplies" should be cut off.
02/25/2015ISRAEL - PALESTINE Bethlehem, Israeli extremists torch and profane mosque The latest act of vandalism committed by young settlers against Muslims (and Christians) according to the logic of the "price tag", the "price to pay for the land occupied”. Graffiti in Hebrew on the walls of the place of worship. The police open an investigation. New details about the death yesterday of young Palestinian: according to a coroner it was an "execution".
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam by Samir Khalil Samir The grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
02/24/2015SYRIA IS attacks Christian villages in northeast Syria, kidnaps scores of people Sources in the Apostolic Nunciature told AsiaNews that they "were checking the reports". Scores of IS pick-ups flying the group's black flag raided villages, destroyed churches, and abducted men, women and children. IS wants to exchange civilian hostages for their fighters held by Kurdish troops.
02/24/2015ISRAEL - PALESTINE Bethlehem: Israeli army shoots at demonstrators, a young Palestinian dies The victim is 19 year old Jihad al-Jafari, supporter of Fatah movement. The incident occurred in the Dheisheh refugee camp, not far from the city. The soldiers were attacked with stones and responded by opening fire on the demonstrators. Israeli army spokesman confirms: "Our soldiers felt threatened and opened fire".
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM An Egypt in mourning prays for its martyrs beheaded in Libya by André Azzam Patriarch Tawadros has enrolled the names of the 21 young men killed by the Islamic State in the Coptic Synaxis, a sort of canonization. Their memory will be celebrated every year on 15 February. Even for the State authorities, the 21 beheaded men are martyrs. A church will be built in the village where most of the victims hailed from. The strong solidarity of Muslims.
02/23/2015SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremism For Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
02/23/2015TURKEY Bartholomew I’s Lenten message by NAT da Polis The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople asks all the faithful to engage in conversion to God and love of brother. We are like "broken pots ... every day because of the evil." Rediscovering our "likeness to God" to turn away from the "horrible crimes that we see these days hit the entire world."
02/23/2015EGYPT-LIBYA Escape from Libyan hell: Egyptian migrants tell of ordeal and Islamic State torture by André Azzam Over 10 thousand Egyptians have returned. Many of them, kidnapped by Muslim gangs, were forced to work without food and water. Several were marked on the scalp with an "S" out of contempt for al-Sisi, the Egyptian president. At least 45 of the returnees need medical and psychological care to help them deal with shock.
02/22/2015VATICAN Pope gifts "Guard your heart" booklet as an aid to conversion in Lent At today's Angelus Pope Francis gave away booklets containing "the wealth of our doctrine," the essentials of the faith: "the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, works of mercy. .. ". The booklet was distributed by volunteers and homeless people. "Those who are in need are also the ones who give us this great wealth." Lent is a time "for spiritual battle against the spirit of evil", already won by Jesus in the desert. "We go into the desert without fear, because we are not alone, we are with Jesus." This afternoon, the Pope goes to Ariccia on retreat with the Curia: "Pray so that in this desert we can hear the voice of Jesus and correct our many defects".