Widespread slaughter, expulsion, kidnapping and rape of Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities in territory controlled by the Islamic State may well constitute a genocide, but the Canadian government will not join a growing international movement and formally call it a genocide before there is a proper, third party investigation.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - One year after the Islamic State’s invasion of Iraq forced more than 120,000 Iraqi Christians to flee ancient homelands with little except their clothes, most continue to live in poverty and chaos.

Published in Canada

IRBIL, Iraq - The head of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches visited Iraq to convey Pope Francis' blessing and concern for Church officials and the displaced living and working in difficult circumstances.

Published in International

OTTAWA - As Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) Canada marks its 10th anniversary this year, it is making an urgent appeal for continued help for imperilled families under Islamic State siege in Iraq and Syria.

Published in Canada

Four years into Syria’s civil war, Canada’s Catholic development agency is petitioning Ottawa for more aid, Canadian diplomatic contributions to a peace plan and stronger efforts to choke off the money that keeps both the Assad regime and ISIS fighting.

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JERUSALEM - Six months after the end of the most recent war in Gaza, there is still a "grave humanitarian crisis" in the narrow strip wedged between the Egyptian and Israeli borders, where more than 1.8 million Palestinians live closed off to the world because of an international embargo.

Published in International

BEIRUT - A pontifical aid organization has begun sending aid to families who fled their homes when Islamic State militants raided a cluster of Assyrian Christian villages on the Khabur River in northeast Syria.

Published in International

BEIRUT - Officials of a pontifical aid agency said they saw much that needed done in Lebanon -- if they could get beyond crisis mode.

Published in International

Fr. Paul Wattson had one great insight that drove him. That single flash of wisdom resulted in missionary projects, pioneering media work, millions of dollars raised for charity, a new religious order, a breakthrough journey from the Anglican tradition to the Catholic Church and, most famously, the Church Unity Octave which grew gradually into the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Published in International

OTTAWA - The Catholic Near East Welfare Association of Canada has received a $226,630 grant from the federal Office for Religious Freedom to combat religious persecution in parts of Ukraine. 

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Catholic actor and evangelist Elisa Lollino looks out from the stage to find silence and stillness has descended upon her audience. 

Published in Call to Service

OTTAWA - The Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has put out an urgent plea for help aiding Iraqi Christians targeted in a “brutal civil war.”

Published in Canada

The old city of Jerusalem may seem like a great place to visit or make a pilgrimage to, but it actually comes with its share of social problems, according to Carl Hétu.

“There’s a lot of poverty, a lot of school dropouts, a lot of drugs, alcohol, violence and theft within the old city,” said Hétu, the Canadian national director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, an organization that helps support the pastoral mission and institutions of the Catholic Church in the Mideast.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - The Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) is monitoring the plight of Christians in Syria and is poised to help should their position deteriorate.

CNEWA Canada national secretary Carl Hétu said the agency is carefully sifting reports from the Syria, especially in the city of Homs, a key battleground between Syrian and rebel forces. Many Christians live in Homs, Hétu said, and many have fled the city because of the shelling.  

“We heard some reports that people were actually forced to leave,” whether by forces supporting the Assad government or rebel forces, he said. “Some say it was Islamists. It’s not clear. There are different stories coming out.”

CNEWA, as well as Caritas Lebanon and the Islam Relief Fund of Canada, is accepting donations to help Syrian refugees, Hetu said.

For more information, see www.cnewa.ca.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - The violence plaguing Syria has forced the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) to put many of its projects there on hold, even though Christians so far do not seem to have been specifically targeted.

But support for Iraqi Christians who fled to Iraq, many of whom struggle to survive in the slums of Damascus, is still ongoing, said CNEWA Canada national director Carl Hétu.

Published in Canada
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