UN under fire over Christian persecution

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by Bernadette Kehoe ACN’s report states that anti-Christian persecution reached a high water mark in 2015-17 with an increase in the number of attacks on Christians UN under fire over Christian persecution The persecution of Christians is worse than at any time in its history, but it is being…

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Iraqi-Kurdish war could be deadly for Christians, warns adviser

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A displaced Iraqi woman prays the rosary in 2014 inside St. Joseph Church in Irbil, Iraq. The church gave refuge to thousands of people who were displaced by the Islamic State. CNS photo/Daniel Etter, CRS By Catholic News Service LIVERPOOL, England – Two millennia of Christianity in Iraq could be wiped out…

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Syriac Catholic bishops lament threat to presence in Middle East Share this story By Doreen Abi Raad • Catholic News Service • Posted October 11, 2017 HARISSA, Lebanon (CNS) — Syriac Catholic bishops meeting in Lebanon for their annual synod lamented the suffering of the Syriac church and other sister churches and the “grave threat” to the future of their presence in the Middle East. In their final statement for the Oct. 3-7 gathering, the bishops said they studied the current situation in the region and “the suffering of the Syriac church and other sister churches as a result of the terrible crises and conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the instability and disturbances in the Holy Land, and the tragedies of Christians in Egypt.” “These situations cause pain and persecutions that lead to forced displacement and uprooting from the land of parents and grandparents, with a grave threat to the future of our presence in the East and the continued martyrdom of God … in this part of the world where we were born and God wanted us to be,” the bishops said. Pointing to Syria, the prelates expressed their satisfaction with a “gradual return to security and stability after more than six years of war imposed” on the country. They called on the international community “and all those with good will to make efforts to achieve a just political solution and to accelerate the return of displaced persons to their homes,” so they can contribute to the reconstruction of their country. Discussing Iraq, they expressed joy at the liberation of Mosul and areas of the Ninevah Plain from the Islamic State. They also said it was important to show unity “to advance the homeland and rebuild what has been destroyed by terrorism and extremism.” The bishops also affirmed their support “for the efforts of reconciliation and unity among all factions of the Palestinian people, their right to establish their state and the return of Palestinian refugees to their land according to the U.N. resolutions.” As for Lebanon, the bishops noted that the country continues to suffer from political, economic, social and security crises and “the burden of 2 million refugees, which increase annually by tens of thousands.” *** Coverage of international religious freedom issues by Catholic News Service is supported in part by Aid to the Church in Need — USA.

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By Doreen Abi Raad • Catholic News Service • HARISSA, Lebanon (CNS) — Syriac Catholic bishops meeting in Lebanon for their annual synod lamented the suffering of the Syriac church and other sister churches and the “grave threat” to the future of their presence in the Middle East.…

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Meeting Middle East Christians is where Western stereotypes go to die

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John L. Allen Jr. Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Catholic, are close political allies despite the religious divide. (Credit: AP.) Many Westerners express sympathy for Christian victims of the genocide conducted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but might find actually listening to them a surprise. They’ll…

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Chaldean Synod: ‘Solidarity and Pride’ of Iraqi Christians, witnesses of peace, faith and unity

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Patriarch and bishops express “appreciation” for the role of the armed forces in the fight against terrorism. The desire to celebrate “the liberation of the entire territory”. At a “critical and difficult time” a renewed appeal to dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. Prayer for vocations. ROME: In a “critical and difficult” time for Iraq, the…

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Is This the End for Iraq’s Dwindling Christian Population?

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Dire circumstances have gotten far worse than that for one of the world’s oldest communities of faithful believers by Fr. Benedict Kiely Just when a glimmer of hope was beginning to emerge for the battered and bruised Christians of Iraq who have suffered so much over the past three years, a new crisis…

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ESSAY: CHRISTIANS AND YAZIDIS IN IRAQ STAND ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION

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CHRIS SMITH Astonishingly, for three years US Government bureaucrats have refused to help endangered religious minority communities like Christians and Yazidis survive the genocide ISIS began in 2014. These communities stand on the brink of extinction. As a witness from Iraq testified at a congressional hearing I chaired Tuesday (3rd…

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