OTTAWA - Iraq’s once-thriving Christian community has been reduced by 85 per cent in the past decade and is still “on the run,” Carl Hetu told the House of Commons foreign affairs committee. 

Published in Canada

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.

Published in International

BEIRUT, Lebanon - A Vatican official who just returned from a visit to Syria said "the humanitarian situation is worse than I thought."

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WASHINGTON - More than 100 Muslim leaders -- clerics and laypeople alike -- have signed on to a letter criticizing the Middle East Muslim military group ISIS, short for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

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VATICAN CITY - Twelve Chaldean religious men and priests living in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden have been suspended from exercising their priestly ministry for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq.

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ROME - Just as the so-called Monuments Men salvaged European masterpieces stolen by Nazi forces during World War II, a Dominican priest is protecting priceless manuscripts from falling into the hands of rampaging militants in northern Iraq.

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VATICAN CITY - The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions" in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis said.

Published in Faith

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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VATICAN CITY - Gathered with Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family issued a message of solidarity, support and prayers for all families suffering the impact of war and violence, especially in Iraq and Syria.

Published in International
October 9, 2014

A just response

In cases of unprovoked violence the use of reasonable force may be justified to stop an aggressor.

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WASHINGTON - More than 120 Muslim scholars from around the world joined an open letter to the “fighters and followers” of the Islamic State, denouncing them as un-Islamic by using the most Islamic of terms.

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As Amir Harrak watched the news this summer, the Toronto scholar saw a history, culture and language that he devoted his life to understanding being turned to dust. Churches, monasteries, mosques blown up, libraries full of ancient manuscripts burned and the people who still speak and live according to the language of Jesus and his Apostles dispersed. The news out of Iraq could not have been worse.

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The United Nations should create a permanent, rapid-response peacekeeping force for rapid intervention in emergencies, said Canada’s elder statesman of peace and disarmament.

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BEIRUT - Sister Marie Claude Naddaf, provincial leader of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for Lebanon and Syria, is still shaken by what she witnessed visiting Irbil, Iraq.

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TORONTO - The people came to pray and were told to act.

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