ANKAWA, Iraq -- Nahla and Valentina like to stop and pray at Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in the centre of this small majority Christian community. The grounds of the church once sheltered several hundred Christians who were forced to flee their homes in 2014 when Islamic State militants attacked Mosul and surrounding villages some 80 kilometres away.

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QARAQOSH, Iraq -- Amid the rubble and bombed out remains of four churches destroyed by Islamic State militants, Pope Francis paid tribute to Iraqi Christians who endured persecution and even death.

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While pundits in the West wonder whether Pope Francis really will brave out-of-control COVID-19 infections, shootings and bombings to visit Iraq, there’s not much doubt among Iraqis and others who know the Pope’s commitment to Christianity in the Middle East.

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FANAR, Lebanon -- Toddlers could hardly contain their excitement as they danced in the church aisles to the Holy Missionary Choir's Christmas songs during a celebration that was a bright star of hope for Iraqi Syriac Catholic refugee families.

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Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako, responding to a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad that killed Iran's top general, said "wisdom is required to avoid the 'volcanic eruption' we are about to face."

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A fresh outbreak of violence across Iraq is preventing the Chaldean Archbishop of Iraq from visiting Canada. 

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Five years after the Islamic State invaded northern Iraq and began systematically persecuting the country's Christians, the Knights of Columbus are continuing their work of supporting Iraqi parishes that are rebuilding, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in his annual report Aug. 6 at the Knights' 137th Supreme Convention in Minneapolis.

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WASHINGTON -- Iraqi Christians face "extinction" unless Islam recognizes the fundamental equality of all people and takes steps to overcome violent factions that seek to force religious minorities from the country, said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil.

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WASHINGTON -- Chaldean Christians in northern Iraq are determined to continue their 2,000-year-long mission despite the near-deadly blow inflicted by Islamic State forces and new challenges from nongovernment militias, said a priest ministering in the region.

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DOHUK, Iraq -- Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Cardinal Louis Sako is concerned by rising tensions between the United States and Iran, fearful that his country, Iraq, could be caught in the middle of any potential conflict. It has also made a proposed visit by Pope Francis to Iraq next year uncertain, he said.

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BEIRUT -- Syriac Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Nizar Semaan begins his new mission in Iraq with hope "that Christianity will flourish again" in his homeland.

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Canada’s newest bishop has taken his seat at the Good Shepherd Chaldean Cathedral in Toronto and declared his dream for Canada’s Iraqi Catholics.
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ROME, Italy – An Iraqi priest who was forced to flee his village when the Islamic State seized the area in 2014 said the hardship and persecution Christians in Iraq have experienced has taught them what it really means to fully live out their faith.

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MOSUL, Iraq – As some residents of the city of Mosul celebrate their new freedom from the Islamic State group, an Iraqi Christian leader who visited the war-torn city said Christian residents are unlikely to return.

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MARKA, Jordan – Working with displaced Iraqi Christians has stretched and strengthened the faith of a priest who came to Jordan as a refugee.

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