If stereotypes are made to be deflated, Amanda Achtman is a young woman who carries a suitcase full of needles and hat pins.

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MOSUL, Iraq (CNS) -- Christians are cautiously returning to Mosul, the once-bustling Iraqi city that for three years was the capital of the caliphate established by the Islamic State group.
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has signed into law the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018, which will provide humanitarian relief to genocide victims in Iraq and Syria and hold accountable Islamic State perpetrators of genocide.
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A new international agreement that covers all dimensions of international migration that will be signed in Morocco, Dec. 10-11 represents the alternative to fear, says Canadian Jesuit Fr. Michael Czerny.

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SAN DIEGO – Catholic leaders of the Middle East cautioned that the very existence of Christians in the region is threatened, but their faithful continue “to bear witness to the Lord Jesus amid a turbulent world interrupted by mighty waves.”

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VATICAN – Pope Francis will visit the United Arab Emirates next year, becoming the first Pope to visit the Arabian Peninsula, the Vatican announced.
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LONDON – The heir to the British throne spoke of how he was deeply moved by the testimony of an Iraqi sister who fled Islamic State militants but has returned to the Ninevah Plain to help re-establish the Christian presence.
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VATICAN – Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas renewed their commitment to peace in the Holy Land and a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the Vatican said.
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VATICAN – Leading thousands of pilgrims in prayer, Pope Francis lit a candle in remembrance of the people of Syria, especially innocent children tormented by the country's eight-year conflict.
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At Bethlehem University education is not about personal fulfillment. It’s the only way to transform a society that has been locked in conflict with Israel for 70 years, where unemployment runs at nearly one-third of the working age population (32.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the World Bank) and a quarter of the population lives on less than $5.50 per day.

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LONDON – The threat to religious freedom from Muslim fundamentalists is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon following the military defeat of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said a new report.
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Leading by example is rarely easy but neither is it a grim, joyless task — at least not for Canada’s Chaldean Bishop Bawai Soro. 

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BEIRUT – Lebanon's Catholic religious leaders appealed to the international community to stop the wars in the Middle East and to bring about a comprehensive and just peace.
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VATICAN – Appealing to the international community to help bring peace to Syria and Iraq, Pope Francis and Catholicos Gewargis III, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, also paid homage to the lands' persecuted Christians, who demonstrate that faith in Christ is a bond that is stronger than any denominational difference.
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My plan had been to write this week on the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul’s encyclical The Splendour of Truth, the sainted pope’s most controversial document. However, as often happens, events intervened and I put off writing that reflection. Maybe next time.

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