In Iraq, Pope Francis returns important prayer book to Syriac Christians

The manuscript from the Middle Ages was nearly destroyed by ISIS.   While on his historic trip to Iraq, Pope Francis had the opportunity to meet with members of the Syriac Church. At the town of Qaraqosh, the pontiff returned an important prayer book that was saved from ISIS’ hands. The manuscript had been safeguarded and… Continue reading In Iraq, Pope Francis returns important prayer book to Syriac Christians

Pope meets dad of Syrian boy whose lifeless body on the beach moved the world

A handout picture released by the Vatican media office on March 7, 2021, shows Pope Francis talking to Abdullah Kurdi, father of Alan, the Syrian boy who made global headlines when his drowned body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015, in the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region Arbil. 3-year-old Alan who was found on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, along with his brother Ghalib and mother Rehanna, on September 2, 2015 and his image became a tragic symbol of the 2015 refugee crisis.

Francis expressed God’s deep participation in the man’s suffering.   Along conversation took place between Pope Francis and the father of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy who became a symbol of the tragic crossings of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015. Alan drowned off the Turkish coast together with his mother and brother as… Continue reading Pope meets dad of Syrian boy whose lifeless body on the beach moved the world

Jesus’ baptism site in Jordan, not Israel, Catholic archbishop clarifies

“Bethany Beyond Jordan” is the accepted place where Christ was baptised and a UNESCO World Heritage site.   The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has reaffirmed the location of the baptism of Jesus Christ as on the eastern side of the Jordan River, in Jordan. The Catholic Church has identified “Bethany Beyond Jordan,” a UNESCO World Heritage… Continue reading Jesus’ baptism site in Jordan, not Israel, Catholic archbishop clarifies

Pakistani Catholic family fights against forced conversion of their daughter

Thirteen-year-old Arzoo Raja’s father talks to Aid to the Church in Need about his family’s struggle.   One of the biggest stories in Pakistan in 2020 was that of Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Catholic resident of Railway Colony in the southern Pakistani city Karachi, who was allegedly abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to… Continue reading Pakistani Catholic family fights against forced conversion of their daughter

Pope prays for Lebanon, asks international community to help

Francis takes up general audiences after July break, turning his attention to Catholic social principles.   Pope Francis prayed for Lebanon in the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut on Tuesday. “Yesterday in Beirut, near the port, there were massive explosions causing dozens of deaths, wounding thousands and causing serious destruction,” the pope said at… Continue reading Pope prays for Lebanon, asks international community to help

Hagia Sophia filled with sounds of Islamic prayer at formal conversion into mosque

Turkish president attends opening ceremony as Christian icons are covered.   After 86 years as a secular museum displaying the glories of both a Byzantine and Ottoman past, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, is once again a mosque.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who spearheaded the conversion of the historic building into a place for Islamic… Continue reading Hagia Sophia filled with sounds of Islamic prayer at formal conversion into mosque

Aid group commits $5.5M to support priests and nuns serving communities most vulnerable to COVID-19

The much needed money will help them continue carrying out their spiritual and social ministries. To help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the international pontifical charity serving the persecuted and suffering Church around the world, is providing $5.5 M in emergency funding to priests and nuns… Continue reading Aid group commits $5.5M to support priests and nuns serving communities most vulnerable to COVID-19

Syria, a country in agony, is “living an anticipated Lenten fast”

Owing to the economic crisis, which is a consequence not only of the war but also of the economic embargo imposed on the country by the Western powers, the ordinary people are facing rationing of various basic essentials. According to Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus, the continuity of the humanitarian aid projects within Syria… Continue reading Syria, a country in agony, is “living an anticipated Lenten fast”

Aid Organizations for Mideast: We sense something happening (Interview)

Youth are torn between discouragement, anger, and hope. Many young adults are on the streets … “If we drive a population to despair, we drive it to violence,” reflected Monsignor Pascal Gollnisch, director general of L’Œuvre d’Orient, a French organization that supports Eastern Christian “bishops, priests, and religious congregations that help everyone, regardless of their religious… Continue reading Aid Organizations for Mideast: We sense something happening (Interview)

Singer Demi Lovato is Baptized in the Jordan River: “I’ve Never Felt More Renewed in My Life”

Demi Lovato recently posted an intimate faith moment on Instagram. What are your thoughts about it? The singer and actress revealed she was “raised Christian” and has Jewish ancestors. She said after being “offered an amazing opportunity to visit the places I read about in the Bible growing up,” she was “baptized in the Jordan… Continue reading Singer Demi Lovato is Baptized in the Jordan River: “I’ve Never Felt More Renewed in My Life”

Surface of what is believed to be Jesus’s tomb uncovered in Jerusalem

Tomb has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 but most likely for centuries before that Scientists have exposed the original surface of what is traditionally considered to be the tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  The tomb has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555… Continue reading Surface of what is believed to be Jesus’s tomb uncovered in Jerusalem

More than 1,500 landmines cleared at Jesus baptism site on Jordan River

Fifty years after the monasteries at the Qasr al Yahud baptism site became an active war zone, the Defense Ministry and British anti-mine organization HALO Trust are finally making progress in clearing the estimated 6,500 landmines and booby traps that line the holy site. Since work began in the spring, a team of 22 specialized… Continue reading More than 1,500 landmines cleared at Jesus baptism site on Jordan River

Terrorists responsible for St. Mark's Cathedral attack finally named

When St. Mark’s Cathedral was attacked, 25 people – primarily women and children – were killed. At least 25 people were killed and another 49 were injured in the explosion. The investigation continues but many witnesses reported a bomb was placed in the women’s seating section of the cathedral by a woman who then left… Continue reading Terrorists responsible for St. Mark's Cathedral attack finally named

Spanish judge dismisses charges against Eucharist thief

Critics of a Spanish judge say he wrongly dismissed charges against an artist who stole consecrated Hosts for an exhibit that disrespected the Catholic faith. The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers announced it would file an appeal and be prepared “to go to the highest court necessary in the face of what is becoming a… Continue reading Spanish judge dismisses charges against Eucharist thief

TOUGH CLASS: The one class these children take to determine if they live or die

As children return home to their villages in northern Iraq, they are expected to take a very important class. How they do in that class will determine if they live or die No class in the world is as serious as the one offered to Iraqi schoolchildren returning to their liberated villages outside of Mosul.… Continue reading TOUGH CLASS: The one class these children take to determine if they live or die