Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency


by Bernardo Cervellera There are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood. Erbil (AsiaNews) – A visit that is a kind of Stations of the Cross. This is … Continue reading

Syria, more than 20 thousand foreign fighters have joined the jihad


The number of volunteers who have joined the militias of the Islamic State has increased at an “unprecedented” rate. They come from more than 90 nations worldwide, at least 3,400 from the West (150 from the United States). A carefully masterminded propaganda and an “alienated” life are the main factors which lead many to join the jihadists. Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – In the last period the number of foreign militants arriving in Syria via Turkey to join the jihad has increased at an “unprecedented” rate. Worldwide more than 20 … Continue reading

The children of Mosul and the future: the “five-star” refugee camp


de Bernardo Cervellera In the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children’s choir. Fr. Douglas: “Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations … The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope.” Erbil (AsiaNews) – Before lunch we visit the refugee camp of the parish of Mar Elias, which is not Elijah the prophet, but … Continue reading

Daughters of the Virgin Mary, our Lady of Mount Carmel


We have received the request to tell about other missionaries in this loved country. Here is the first chapter. The Daughters of the Virgin Mary, our Lady of Mount Carmel, is a Public Association of the Faithful, founded by Father Ghadir, an Iraqi Carmelite priest in 2001. The Daughters of Mary are consecrated lay women who profess poverty, chastity and obedience, and live the Carmelite spirituality. They can live in community or in their own homes. Similarly to Saint Paul (the Apostle) they work to make a living. (But) what … Continue reading

How are we? – News from Baghdad


News from Baghdad When we are asked how we are, we find it difficult to explain our situation. On the one hand we live in a country where – according to some estimates – there are over 20 attacks per day. The danger is real and is just around any corner. Just as an example: the other day a woman came to give thanks for her son. The youth was traveling by bus within the city and got off at his destination. At that moment a bomb exploded inside the … Continue reading

Defending Christianity in the Middle East (Part 2)


Defending Christianity in the Middle East. Rome, November 27, 2013 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians.” This was Pope Francis’ appeal last week during an audience with participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Prior to that audience, the Holy Father met with the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Middle East to discuss the violent situations faced by many in countries such as Syria and Iraq. Attacks targeted towards Christians have caused many to flee their homelands, prompting what some … Continue reading

Minorities face religious liberty threats worldwide, experts say


Minorities face religious liberty threats worldwide. Washington D.C., Nov 18, 2013 / 05:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Members of minority religious communities, particularly Christians in the Middle East, face grave persecution around the world, religious freedom experts warn. “There are parts of the world today where to be a Christian is to put your life in danger. From continent to continent, Christians are facing discrimination, ostracism, torture, even murder, simply for the faith they follow,” said Baroness Sayeeda Warsi in a Nov. 14 article in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. … Continue reading

Pope Francis: “We Must Not Resign Ourselves to Thinking of a Middle East Without Christians”


Pope Francis: “We Must Not Resign Ourselves to Thinking of a Middle East Without Christians” Appeals for Respect to Profess Ones Faith During Meeting With Congregation for Oriental Churches VATICAN CITY, November 21, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Early this afternoon, the Holy Father met with participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches who are gathered in Rome from November 19-22nd. The meeting will reflect on the theme of the magisterium of the Second Vatican Council with regard to the Christian East. After the opening address by … Continue reading

Christian Churches in Arab countries


Excerpts from Bishop Maroun Lahham contribution to the Provincial Council of the Salesian Sisters where he talks about the reality of the local churches in Arab countries. Autochthonous churches Many people are surprised to learn that Arab Christian do exist, and that these are fundamentally Arab and not Muslims who have abandoned their religion. I do not wish to analyze this aspect, but the fact is that our countries have no Christianity right from its birth. Our countries had mainly become Christian even before the end of the first century. … Continue reading

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan urged his fellow bishops to be advocates of Christians persecuted for their faith around the world,


Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, urged his fellow bishops to be advocates of Christians persecuted for their faith around the world, encouraging prayers as well as action on their behalf. “We bishops, as shepherds of one of the most richly blessed communities of faith on the planet, as pastors who have spoken with enthusiastic unity in defense of our own religious freedom, must become advocates and champions for these Christians whose lives hang in the balance, as we dare not allow our laudable battles over … Continue reading