IRBIL, Iraq – Chaldean Catholic bishops, meeting for their annual synod, pleaded for peace in the Middle East and for the liberation of areas seized by the Islamic State group so that the displaced can return to their homes.

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said those bombing civilians in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo will be “accountable to God” for their actions as he renewed his appeals for peace amid an intensifying civil war in that country.

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DAMASCUS, Syria – Christian patriarchs residing in Damascus urged the international community to "stop the siege of the Syrian people" and to lift international sanctions, which they say are deepening the suffering.

Published in International
August 18, 2016

Break the silence

Is the West’s tepid response to the religious cleansing of Syrian and Iraqi Christians a sign of naivety, greed or maybe cowardice? Or is there a Machiavellian strategy to ease religious tension in the region by silently watching a 2,000-year-old Christian presence simply fade away?

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AINKAWA, Iraq – Iraqi Christians appear divided about whether they will be able to return home after Islamic State militants are flushed out of the battle-scarred Ninevah Plains region. They say their safety must be guaranteed at all costs.

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VATICAN CITY – Innocent men, women and children are paying the ultimate price in the continuing conflict raging in Syria, especially in Aleppo, where they are caught in the crossfire between rebel and government forces, Pope Francis said.

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As Armenian Catholics, the Moubayed’s don’t want to disagree with the Pope. But as Syrians who fled their home in Aleppo last year while the bombs came closer and closer, the married couple are not so sure peace is possible.

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ROME – Despite intense bombing and severe food shortages, several Carmelite nuns are refusing to abandon the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo and have appealed for urgent aid.

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WASHINGTON – Security tops the list of what Christians of Iraq and Syria want before they'll consider returning to areas they fled when the Islamic State and other extremist groups took over.

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MANCHESTER, England – The Catholic Church in England and Wales has joined a government project to resettle an estimated 20,000 refugees from the Syrian war.

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AL-QAA, Lebanon – Boulos al-Ahmar had just driven the ambulance to the scene of the explosion when more bombs detonated, killing him. When Majed Wehbe heard the first explosions near his home, he ran to the scene to help, only to arrive in time for the next set of explosions. 

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MONTREAL – It was a record year for donations to Aid to the Church in Need, but it is not exactly something the organization is celebrating.

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VATICAN CITY – The world community needs to get serious about ending the conflict in Syria and call out those who claim to support peace while making money off of arms sales, Pope Francis said.

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OTTAWA – Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) Canada national director Carl Hetu reports Catholic aid agencies contributed $150 million in 2015 to help the people of Iraq and Syria.

Published in International
June 23, 2016

Protection for all

Give credit to the federal government for recently acknowledging that the systematic murder, rape and enslavement of the Yazidi people of Iraq and Syria constitutes genocide. But why stop there? 

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