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: Boko Haram behind attacks on churches, religious in Niger

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Niamey, Niger, Jan 30, 2015 / 04:01 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- Boko Haram is determined to take its jihadist campaign beyond Nigeria. Its next targets include Niger, where, as reported in an email message from a woman religious working as a missionary in the country, the group has proclaimed that “Christians must die.” Currently in hiding along with her fellow missionaries in private homes in Niger’s capital of Niamey, the sister wrote to international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. Last week’s violent protests in … 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

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

Catholic refugee relief opens hearts in Syria

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By Kevin J. Jones Beirut, Lebanon, Dec 26, 2014 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic participation in refugee and humanitarian relief in the Syrian civil war is strengthening a foundation for future peace despite the great difficulties of the region, says an official of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. “The Church is a very big player in the humanitarian efforts,” said Monsignor Giampietro Dal Toso, the pontifical council’s secretary. “The fact that we are helping the whole population without regard to religion, creeds or race … this is a very … Continue reading

A Christmas message from Aleppo’s bishop: hope for joy, peace

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Aleppo, Syria, Dec 22, 2014 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Christmas approaches, the Melkite Catholic bishop of Aleppo has written a letter to his diocese looking forward to the feast of hope, urging his people to practice charity to the less fortunate, much like in diocese around the world. But Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart’s letter also voices profound hope that peace will return to their country in the next year. “Christians all over the world are preparing the beautiful feast of Christmas with its humble and heavenly scenes bringing joy, … Continue reading

Cardinal Parolin to UN: International community must stop terrorist aggression

Cardinal Pietro Parolin echoed the Pope’s call to “take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway” in the Middle East.

The Vatican Secretary of State, addressed the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, where he warned of the growing threat of the terrorist group ISIS.

The Cardinal also said that the “transnational” form of terrorism used by ISIS requires the combined forces of many nations to stop their violence and aggression.

CARD. PIETRO PAROLIN
Vatican Secretary of State
“My Delegation wishes to recall that it is both licit and urgent to stop aggression through multilateral action and a proportionate use of force.”

Cardinal Parolin stressed the danger that terrorist groups, such as ISIS, pose to all nations by “persecuting and murdering in the name of God.”

CARD. PIETRO PAROLIN
Vatican Secretary of State
“With the dramatic situation in northem Iraq and some parts of Syria, we are seeing a totally new phenomenon: the existence of a terrorist organization which threatens all States, vowing to dissolve them and to replace them with a pseudo-religious world government.”

Cardinal Parolin emphasized the growing number of youth who have joined ISIS.

He said that the UN must focus on the cultural issues and the effectiveness of international law that bring young people to join such groups.

CARD. PIETRO PAROLIN
Vatican Secretary of State
“As a representative body of a worldwide religious community embracing different nations, cultures and ethnicities, the Holy See earnestly hopes that the international community will assume responsibility in considering the best means to stop all aggression and avoid the perpetration of new and even graver injustices.”

Cardinal Parolin concluded his address by bringing attention to the plight of world’s poor.

He also applauded the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he said do not impose lifestyles “which tend to show a disregard for human life” on poorer states.

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Up: YJA

Increasing violence in Iraq

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Ten days ago I wrote about the increasing violence in Iraq. It was before Mosul and many other cities were taken by the terrorists. What was going on was nothing compared to what happened next. But it was something we were expecting. I publish the post so it is clearer. The final conclusion gains more value. As we say: facts cannot be denied with words. It is unbelievable (or not) that the west is still denying their responsibility in Iraq’s debacle. They have the nerve to not accept their responsibilities … Continue reading