VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis once again urged solidarity with migrants who risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea for Europe, and assured prayers for the victims of a deadly crossing in early February.

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VATICAN CITY - Even as their theological dialogues continue in the search for full agreement on doctrinal issues, divided Christians are called to work together for justice and peace, especially in the Middle East, Pope Francis said.

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OTTAWA - A Canadian bishop who travelled to Gaza with the annual Holy Land Co-ordination visit to the Middle East Jan. 11-12 says fear is the biggest obstacle to mutual recognition of human dignity in the region.

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OXFORD, England - An international report has warned that Christians face worsening mistreatment worldwide and called for "urgent action" by Western governments and church leaders.

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From imprisonment to torture to beheadings, more Christians worldwide live in fear for their lives than at any time in the modern era.

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BEIRUT - Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East lamented the suffering of their people in violence-wracked areas and offered words of hope while calling for prayers for their safety.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis deplored the "abuses and inhuman acts" of Islamic State militants, and called on all religious leaders to condemn them "unanimously and unambiguously." He also said he hoped to travel to the Middle East to comfort persecuted Christians there.

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OTTAWA - In a time of severe crisis around the world, Parliamentarians must show integrity and humility in public life, said Cardinal Thomas Collins.

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VATICAN CITY - Gathering at "a time of severe tension and conflict," particularly in the Middle East, 24 Catholic and Muslim leaders and scholars urged dialogue to promote greater respect and understanding and condemned all acts of violence committed in the name of religion.

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MANCHESTER, England - The heir to the British throne suggested that Islamic leaders must speak out against the persecution of Christians by Muslims if they are to guarantee freedom within their own countries.

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UNITED NATIONS - Peace in the Middle East "can only be sought through negotiated settlements and not through unilateral choices imposed with the use of force," said Archbishop Berardito Auza, the Vatican's UN nuncio.

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VATICAN CITY - The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions" in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis opened a three-day summit on the violence and persecution underway in the Middle East, saying arms trafficking was the root cause of many problems in the region.

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From the moment news broke that U.S. journalist James Foley had been beheaded by Islamic State extremists in the Middle East, many Christians, especially Foley’s fellow Catholics, began calling him a martyr, with some even saying he should be considered a saint.

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BEIRUT - Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs of the Middle East denounced attacks on Christians and called upon the international community to work toward eradicating terrorist groups.

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