12/27/2014IRAQ For Chaldean Patriarch, Christmas is the source of hope for Iraqi Christians "displaced" like Jesus by Louis Raphael I Sako* In his homily, Mar Sako noted the Christian community's "difficult and painful circumstances," but also pointed out that the festivity is cause for renewed hope. He looks forward to a future of peace, harmony and coexistence, but to reach that goal, the country needs a strong political system and the foreign policy of the United States and the West must change. Erbil
(AsiaNews) - Iraqi Christians celebrated
the birth of Jesus in "difficult and painful circumstances," away from their homes
and cities, like displaced people. However, the festivity brought "new
12/25/2014VATICAN Pope; May Christmas bring the hope of peace to those suffering in the Middle East and the world, especially the children In his 'Urbi et orbi' message, Francis turned his thoughts to the victims of war in the Middle East, Nigeria, Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as to those who suffer from tensions in Ukraine. " May Jesus save the vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers; children, so many abused children. May he give comfort to the families of the children killed in Pakistan last week. May he be close to all who suffer from illness, especially the victims of the Ebola epidemic".
12/25/2014VATICAN Pope: May the world and each of us accept "God's tenderness" at Christmas "The question the Child asks us with his presence is: Do I let God love me? And again, do we have the courage to accept with tenderness the difficult situations and problems of those next to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, more efficient perhaps but lacking the Gospel's warmth? How much does the world need tenderness today! God's patience, God's closeness, God's tenderness."
12/24/2014ASIA Tears (and Best Wishes) for Christmas by Bernardo Cervellera At Christmas God shows us that he has not tired of us. Despite so many wars, injustice, torture, persecution, God has not stopped trusting in man and comes to his aid. The world lives of sterile immobility and apocalyptic terror. With Jesus' birth the world began to change and there are witnesses of hope in Iraq, in Hong Kong, in the Middle East. The revolution of solidarity.
12/23/2014TUNISIA - ISLAM Despite suspected ties to the old regime, Essebsi is the new president of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi wins more than 55 per cent of the vote. More than 3.1 million voters cast their ballots with a turnout of around 60 per cent. The new president dedicates the victory to "the martyrs of Tunisia," stating that he "will be president for all Tunisians". His challenger admits defeat and pledges cooperation for the sake of "national unity". The economy and Islamism are the main challenges.
12/23/2014LEBANON The war against Sunni terrorism is Lebanon's main news for 2014 by Fady Noun Talks to trade Islamist detainees for 30 captured soldiers and police officers are evidence of how the authorities are unable to elaborate a clear strategy to free the hostages, powerless vis-à-vis the execution of soldiers. This failure underscores the country's sectarian divisions in which each group tries to free its own hostages. It also shows how the legal state has failed to enforce its authority militarily, especially since its military forces lack the necessary equipment and intelligence to mount operations against jihadist strongholds.
12/23/2014SYRIA The Islamic State claims to have captured "religious extremists" In a video IS militants accuse "a cell" that aimed to destabilize the internal security of the Islamic State in preparation for “an attack by the international coalition of the Free Syrian Army "and by the Damascus regime. Those captured accuse "Caliph Al-Baghdadi of being an infidel”, because he takes money from the infidels."
12/22/2014ASIA - OPEC Oil price war aimed at non-OPEC countries The United States, Mexico, Russia, and Norway are among the countries targeted. Non-OPEC countries are blamed for an overproduction of 2 million barrels a day. Prices are expected to go up again in the second half of 2015.
12/22/2014SYRIA Aleppo: Christmas among Christian families broken by war, praying for peace by Giorgio Istifan A young Christian from Aleppo victim of the Syrian conflict tells his story. He went from leading a normal life with a wife and daughter to one of unemployment and separation. The war has split his family; now he can see his wife and daughter only a few hours a day. Yet, the conflict has boosted his faith. For Christmas, he calls on Christians around the world to pray "for us, Christians of Syria."