AMMAN, Jordan -- The Chaldean Catholic Church concluded a weeklong synod in Ainkawa, a Christian enclave in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, in which laity from the church's various dioceses in the Middle East and the diaspora also participated for the first time.

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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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BEIRUT -- The first time a band of Islamic State militants "visited" the monks, they presented the monks with a kind of suggestion, in a nonthreatening manner: "Why don't you become a Muslim?"

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee March 2 unanimously passed a bipartisan measure condemning as genocide the killing of Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities by Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

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PARIS - A day after Islamic extremists massacred 130 people in Paris last month, a Muslim-Catholic couple married in Lyon. It had to be a civil ceremony because the Muslim family refused to enter a church. Shocked by the attacks, some relatives even asked whether they should go ahead with the ceremony at all.

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VATICAN CITY - "This is not human," Pope Francis said after a night of terror in Paris left more than 120 people dead and more than 200 people injured.

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VIENNA - Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad implored moderate Muslims to reject "terrorism in the name of religion" and step up to challenge the actions of Islamic State militants against minority communities in Iraq.

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WASHINGTON - Prayers from around the world and an unwavering faith in God have continued to provide a strong foundation for John and Diane Foley after their son, journalist James Foley, was murdered in Syria by Islamic State militants Aug. 19.

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MANCHESTER, England - Christina Khider Abada was seated beside her mother, Ayda Abada, on a bus when captors from the Islamic State snatched her three-year-old daughter and took her away.

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SEOUL, South Korea - Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.

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