07/24/2014VATICAN - SUDAN Pope meets Meriam, thanks her for her courageous witness of faith Today at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis received the Sudanese woman, jailed in recent months for her faith, together with her husband and two sons. "Francis wanted to express his closeness, concern and prayers for all those who suffer for their faith," said Father Lombardi. Vatican
- During a friendly meeting,
which lasted about half an hour in a
serene and tender atmosphere,
the Pope thanked Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag
for her testimony...
07/24/2014SUDAN - ITALY Meriam free at last in Rome where she could meet the Pope Sentenced to death for apostasy, the young Sudanese Christian woman arrived in Italy on an Italian government plane. Her story had sparked protests across the non-Muslim world. "Today is a day of celebration," said Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "The Pope has been informed," said Father Lombardi.
07/24/2014INDONESIA Purwokerto: Muslims in parish hall to break Ramadan fast by Mathias Hariyadi A priest from Banjarnegara Regency, the "heartland" of Islamic Indonesia, calls on "all people of good will" to eat together after sunset. Gus Khayatul Maki, the local leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, attends the event, speaks in favour of pluralism and religious tolerance. In Java, a priest involves more than 90 young people in a two-day event dedicated to interreligious dialogue.
07/24/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza war, the death toll grows; 150 Palestinians imprisoned and stripped naked The Palestinian death toll rises to 718; 32 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed. Among these there is also a Thai migrant who worked in a garden centre near the Strip. Palestinians stripped naked because they were suspected of "terrorism". Uproar over unnecessary humiliation. Khaled Meshaal rejects any cease-fire. UN denounces use of schools in Gaza as a weapons depots. Ban on flights to and from Tel Aviv lifted, but the air traffic yet to return to normal.
07/24/2014PHILIPPINES Mindanao's only Christian municipality does not want to be part of Islamic region The peace agreement between the government and Muslim guerrillas provides for the creation of an autonomous region, to be governed under Islamic rules. Wao, the only municipality with Christian majority, wants out. "We respect their culture and desire for freedom lived, but want to stay out. The government should list to us."
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."
07/23/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza War: U.S. and Europe suspend flights to Tel Aviv The flight ban lasts 24 to 36 hours. Fears of accidents similar to MH17 in Ukraine. For Israel, the suspension is a “prize” for Hamas. Michael Bloomberg on a flight to Tel Aviv. 637 Palestinians killed and more than 4 thousand wounded. Among Israelis, 29 soldiers killed, two civilians.
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".
07/21/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Ban Ki-moon: Israel in Gaza, "an atrocious action". So far 502 Palestinians and 18 Israeli soldiers killed Yesterday, the most violent day: 140 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers killed. Half of the Palestinian victims are women, children and the elderly. Two Israeli civilians killed as a result of rockets fired from Gaza. The UN Security Council has called for respect of international law and the protection of civilians. Netanyahu: no other choice against "terror"; Abbas: "crimes against humanity".
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".