KYIV, Ukraine – In a message marking the anniversary of their country's December 1991 referendum on independence from the Soviet Union, Ukrainian Catholic bishops said Ukrainians had a "right and sacred duty" to defend themselves against "Russian aggression," but should also avoid yielding to alarm and panic.
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OTTAWA – The West is turning a blind eye as rabid nationalism poses a growing threat to religious freedom in countries such as India, Russia and China, says a new report from Aid to the Church in Need.

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KYIV, Ukraine – As the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law after Russian forces seized three of its naval vessels, Christians in the country are asking for prayer and solidarity to de-escalate the conflict.
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TALLINN, Estonia – In what is probably the least religious country in Europe, Pope Francis said he is surprised by how many people hold firm to their faith despite all the sexual abuse and financial scandals in the Catholic Church.
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VATICAN – As 32 nations get ready to vie for the World Cup in Russia, Pope Francis greeted players, organizers and soccer fans who will be following "this event that overcomes all borders."
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WARSAW, Poland – Russia's minority Catholic Church has pledged to help build a civil society after the nation's March 18 election and called on President Vladimir Putin to "justify voters' confidence" after his victory.
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AMMAN, Jordan – A Syrian Christian political leader has joined the growing ranks of international condemnation over violent attacks in Syria's northwestern area of Afrin and the Damascus enclave of Eastern Ghouta.
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VATICAN CITY – The Vatican Secretary of State's visit to Russia later this month comes at a crucial juncture for the country, and is packed with both political and religious significance.

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VATICAN CITY – Peace and an end to violent conflicts around the world should be placed above any national interests when it comes to the relationship between Western countries and Russia, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

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MOSCOW, Russia – After malware hacked as many as 200,000 computers throughout the world, the Russians have an idea: blessing the computers with holy water.

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MOSCOW, Russia – The Jehovah's Witnesses have been banned as an extremist group in a Thursday Supreme Court decision that observers feared signalled a further step back for religious liberty.

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WARSAW, Poland – As preparations get underway for this year's 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the country's small Catholic Church is keeping a low profile.

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With 10,000 dead in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, Russian tanks and missile systems massing on the eastern border, two million internally displaced Ukrainians, Crimea already under Russian rule and the Ukrainian Black Sea fleet sunk or stolen, Fr. Peter Galadza is putting his trust in the politics of the beatitudes.

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Several American-based religious denominations remain defiant in the face of new laws that would ban them from proselytizing in Russia.

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LVIV, Ukraine – Liza, 15, left Donetsk in June 2014. Her father was a pro-Ukrainian activist, and it became too dangerous for her and her mother to remain in Donetsk, which pro-Russian militants later made the headquarters of their self-proclaimed republic. 

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