INDIANAPOLIS – As the U.S. bishops discussed immigration at their annual meeting this week, one Syriac Catholic bishop begged them not to forget Christian refugees in Syria and the Middle East.

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WASHINGTON – Ancient artifacts. Centuries-old legends. Prayers dating back to the time of Christ. An enemy seeking to destroy it all. And a team of dedicated scholars trying to save the memories before it’s too late.

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – A new report estimates that between 50 and 80 per cent of Christians have fled the countries of Iraq and Syria since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

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ROME, Italy – When Fr. Ragheed Aziz Ganni was confronted by armed men after celebrating the Eucharist at his Chaldean Catholic parish in Mosul, they asked him why he was still there and why he hadn't closed the church as they had demanded.

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MOSUL, Iraq – As government forces pry apart the Islamic State's three yearlong grip on Mosul, Muslims and Christians have united to rebuild a damaged monastery.

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Even as the fighting rages in Iraq, the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need is restoring damaged houses and helping displaced Christians return to their villages on the outskirts of Mosul, the country’s second largest city.

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PHOENIX – Chaldean immigrant Maureen Antwan wants two things for her children – for them to keep the faith and do well in school.

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WASHINGTON – The next few months will determine whether Iraqi Christians can return to their homes in areas where Islamic State had been routed, according to Msgr. John E. Kozar, international president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

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As civilian deaths mount in Mosul and as Pope Francis appeals to combatants to spare innocent lives in the “beloved Iraqi nation,” a small ray of hope has emerged not 85 km away in the city of Irbil.

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IRBIL, Iraq – The Chaldean Catholic patriarch is supporting a more than 80-mile peace march during Holy Week to urge an end to violence in his homeland and throughout the Middle East.

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MOSUL, Iraq – The desolation of a burned Iraqi church left Argentine-born missionary Father Luis Montes with the firm conviction that Satan is at the root of the attacks, and Christians must pray for the conversion of ISIS.

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VATICAN CITY – With the battle for major ISIS strongholds heating up in Iraq, Pope Francis has voiced his closeness to the country, praying for the safety of people on the ground, particularly civilians caught in the crosshairs of the fighting.

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WASHINGTON – Within hours of President Donald Trump's new executive order March 6 banning arrivals from six majority-Muslim nations, Catholic and other religious groups joined secular leaders in questioning the wisdom of such a move, with others vowing to oppose it outright.

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MOSUL, Iraq – After years of darkness, hope has returned to Telekuf-Tesqopa. Located 26 kilometres from Mosul, the village is rebuilding after being liberated from ISIS.

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WASHINGTON – Receiving a prestigious human rights prize, an Iraqi lawmaker who gained international attention for her oppressed Yazidi religious minority decried the Trump administration's “unfair” executive order on immigration.

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