JERUSALEM - UNESCO declared Bethany Beyond the Jordan, on the eastern side of the Jordan River, as a World Heritage site and the location of Jesus' baptism.

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ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan - Abu Bilal, a slender man in his 40s, is surrounded by cages of bright yellow canaries merrily twittering.

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AMMAN, Jordan - Christian leaders again called for help for Assyrian Christians as Islamic State militants stepped up their attacks against their towns in northern Syria.

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AMMAN, Jordan - Christians in the Middle East welcomed the release of nearly 20 Assyrian Christians abducted by Islamic State militants in northeastern Syria, but expressed concern that more than 200 others remained in captivity.

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AMMAN, Jordan - As Jordan steps up airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria to avenge the murder of its pilot, Catholic and other leaders are hoping that the tragedy can still yield good for the future.

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AMMAN, Jordan - Christian churches in Jordan condemned the Islamic State militants' killing of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot who had been held in captivity by the jihadist group.

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AMMAN, Jordan - A Catholic official warned that funding will soon run out to feed and house thousands of Iraqi Christians sheltering in Jordan after being made homeless by Islamic State militants.
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AY, Jordan - Christian clergy led by the Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem visited the family of the Muslim Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State and expressed support and continued prayers.

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AMMAN, Jordan - For most Americans, Epiphany (Jan. 6) passes with little celebration.

Traditionally, the 12th day of Christmas is marked by Eastern Orthodox, Catholics and some mainline Protestants as the day the three kings visited the baby Jesus. For Eastern Rite Christians, Epiphany (also called Theophany) emphasizes the revelation of Jesus as the son of God through his baptism and the beginning of his public ministry. Thousands of believers make pilgrimage on that day to the Jordan River where John baptized Jesus.

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AL-UM-KUNDUN, JORDAN - Iraqi refugees who fled Islamic State violence and theft of their property in Mosul said it will be difficult to ever return home, despite concerns by the Church that more Christians are fleeing their ancient homeland in the Middle East. 

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AMMAN, Jordan - Ask Syrian refugees sheltering in neighbouring Jordan about the advent of U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State militants in their homeland, and the reactions will be mixed.

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AMMAN, Jordan - Desperate to reunite with family in Europe, a young Syrian refugee recently paid thousands of dollars to a human trafficker to help him and his brother travel abroad. Instead, the pair found themselves tricked, half-way on the opposite side of the world — in China.

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Pope Francis was barely off the plane in Amman, Jordan when he began to take on the hardest and most delicate issues in the Middle East – including refugees.

AMMAN, Jordan - A steady stream of Iraqi refugees, smiling and displaying purple index fingers, emerged from a polling station in the Hashemi Shamali district, where the majority of these urban refugees live in the Jordanian capital.

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AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- As frightened Syrian refugees flood into Jordan and other nearby countries, U.N. officials at a donor conference in Kuwait appealed to the international community for desperately needed funding for victims of the 22-month crisis.

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