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

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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

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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

Stopping the Recruitment of Child Soldiers

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February 12th marks the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers. It’s estimated that worldwide, there are roughly 300,000 kids, forced into armies. It’s a common practice for many terrorist groups, like Boko Haram, which has a strong presence in Nigeria. CARD. PETER TURKSON President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace “They strap the bombs to these young people because the military guys are not likely to search them very stringently. They can make them suicide victims.” South Sudan is also facing this challenge. According to a UN report, … Continue reading

Missionary in Africa: Anti-Christian Sentiment Growing in Niger

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Fr. Mauro Armanino Says Boko Haram Invasion Spurs Attacks Against Christians in the Country By Staff Reporter ROME, February 11, 2015 (Zenit.org) – While several African countries have joined forces to combat the onslaught of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, a missionary in Niger says local Christians are fearing for their lives. The terrorist organization, which has wreaked havoc in Nigeria, brought their war to neighboring Niger, attacking the border city of Diffa. Niger’s Parliament approved the country’s participation in a Task Force that will combat Boko Haram. The task … Continue reading

Who are the two Polish priests martyred in Peru?

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Lima, Peru, Feb 5, 2015 / 02:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two Polish priest killed by a Communist group in Peru were among those recognized as martyrs by Pope Francis on Feb. 3. Father Michele Tomaszek and Father Zbigneo Strzalkowski of the Conventual Friars Minor, were killed Aug. 9, 1991, by the “Shining Path” terrorist group in Peru. At the time of their death, they were 31 and 33 years old, respectively. Both Franciscan priests worked in the town of Pariacoto in the Peruvian Andes, where they lived for 11 years. … Continue reading

VIDEO – Islamic Extremist group-Boko Haram, forces tens of thousands to flee from Nigeria

These Nigerians aren’t fishing. Rather, they are fleeing their hometown, escaping the violence Boko Haram is raging against them. The radical Islamic group, has forced thousands of people to flee from Nigeria into neighboring countries like Chad, Cameroun and Niger. HUSSENNA MAHAMD Nigerian Refugee “We managed to escape and we ran towards the lake. We took a boat and started rowing. The men from Boko Haram were shooting at us the entire time. They even took a boat and followed us.” The recent wave of violence comes from fighting between … Continue reading

VIDEO – Pope Francis pleads for peace in Niger: You can’t wage war in the name of God

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During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis made a plea for peace in Niger. After the recent publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, violent protests have erupted against Christians in the country. At least 10 people have been killed and 45 churches destroyed. POPE FRANCIS’ FULL APPEAL Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would like for us to pray together, for the victims of the protests that erupted these last few days in Niger. Children and churches have been targets of brutal acts of violence. Let’s ask the Lord for the … Continue reading

Syria rebels ‘burned down churches and destroyed Christian graves’

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When insurgents stormed Kessab, they posted pictures of themselves protecting ancient churches. But a visit to the Syrian town tells a different story. By Ruth Sherlock, Kessab Rain seeped into the tombs through shattered flagstones. Nearby, marble crosses lay in pieces. Plastic flowers, once lovingly placed on a grave, were torn and stamped into the earth. Beside the desecrated graveyard in the Syrian town of Kessab stood the Holy Trinity Armenian Evangelical church. Its library, pews and altar had all been burned by arsonists.   The perpetrators had shown both … Continue reading

What is the Pope doing to stop radical Islam?

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The world looked on as Pope Francis held a massive prayer gathering to stop military intervention in Syria. Privately, he helped re-establish diplomatic ties between the U.S and Cuba. Now one of his greatest challenges is stopping Islamic extremists and the violence they are waging. CARD. ZENON GROCHOLEWSKI Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education “It’s either war or dialogue. Right now the greatest priority for the Pope is for us to embrace dialogue. It’s the only solution. We have seen results, but not as many as we would like. So we … Continue reading

Papal Envoy: Iraqi Christians Might Be Able to Return Home This Year

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Says Both Church and Political Leaders Hoping for a Visit From Pope Francis ROME, January 21, 2015 (Zenit.org) – This report is contributed by Oliver Maksan of Aid to the Church in Need. The Vatican’s diplomatic representative in Iraq, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, is cautiously optimistic that the Christians driven out of northern Iraq by the Islamic State might be able to return to their homes sometime this year. He told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, however, that the process will be most challenging—even aside from the … Continue reading