UNITED NATIONS – Religious organizations and local faith communities are longtime key providers of efficient, effective, compassionate aid to migrants and refugees, speakers said at a U.N. program Sept 19.

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IRBIL, Iraq – The upcoming military offensive to root out Islamic State militants from Mosul and surrounding villages will be a "huge challenge," the United Nations says, as it expects about 1.5 million people to flee the warfare in a short amount of time.

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As Canada launches another overhaul of immigration policy, the Church has an interest in maintaining open doors, whether it’s to refugees, regular immigrants or temporary foreign workers.

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OTTAWA – The head of the Toronto archdiocese’s refugee office made an impassioned plea July 18 for Canada to to protect Yazidis and other vulnerable religious minorities.

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AL-QAA, Lebanon – Boulos al-Ahmar had just driven the ambulance to the scene of the explosion when more bombs detonated, killing him. When Majed Wehbe heard the first explosions near his home, he ran to the scene to help, only to arrive in time for the next set of explosions. 

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TIJUANA, Mexico – The border city of Tijuana is filled with dreams and nightmares, happy endings and tragic beginnings, broken families and shattered promises. Mostly, though, it is filled with waiting. People waiting to leave for the United States, people waiting to return to their families, people waiting for their families to return to them.

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TORONTO – It’s only a number, but 65.3 million for Martin Mark is a heart-breaking number.

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VATICAN CITY – Assist and accompany refugees while working to build peace in the world, Pope Francis urged on the eve of World Refugee Day.

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WASHINGTON – "There is a right to seek a better place for yourself and your children, but there is also a right to stay where you are," said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick at a conference in Washington May 18.

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VATICAN CITY – While the international community should continue working for peace in war-torn countries, it also must work to help migrants escaping violence and persecution as well as those caring for them, Pope Francis said. 

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to play a part in the “rebirth” of a united Europe that opens its doors to refugees.

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ONTREAL – Seated in a quiet room, the Melkite Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, spoke slowly, in an almost muffled voice. His eyes sometimes ran astray, lingering on the buildings across the street in downtown Montreal. He detailed how Fouad Banna's family was torn apart when their house was destroyed by an attack a few months ago.

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The Jesuit Refugee Service has a very specific answer to Pope Francis’ call to put mercy on the leading edge of a Church reaching out to the peripheries. The answer is education.

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In what will be a record year for refugees finding a new home in the Archdiocese of Toronto, an 18-hour flurry of paperwork may have made the difference for as many as 700 Syrian refugees.

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM GREECE – When an aide suggested Pope Francis offer to fly some Syrian refugees back to Rome with him, the pope said he agreed immediately because it was "an inspiration of the Holy Spirit."

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