UNITED NATIONS – While religious freedom in much of the Middle East is under siege and the civil war in Syria seems to have no end in sight, Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, and others called the United Nations to action.

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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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BRUSSELS – Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai urged the international community and the European Parliament to stop the wars in the Middle East through dialogue, and he called for a return of the displaced to their countries of origin.

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WARSAW, Poland – Russia's Catholic Church has launched a joint project with Russian Orthodox leaders to rebuild churches and monasteries destroyed during the war in Syria.

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A German Catholic leader’s defense of religious freedom has triggered a backlash following anti-Muslim statements by far-right politicians in the country.

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VIENNA – An Austrian bishop said the government may not use Church property to build a border fence to keep out refugees.

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis led Christians in praying for Catholic and Orthodox clergy and religious kidnapped in Syria and around the world.

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IRBIL, Iraq – When the Islamic State group rolled across Iraq's Ninevah Plain in 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled for their lives to Kurdish-controlled areas of the country. They still wait in limbo in crowded camps, facing an undefined future. The only certainty they enjoy is knowing that whatever happens to them, a group of Dominican nuns will be at their side.

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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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WASHINGTON – If Christians and other religious minorities disappear in Iraq and Syria, "pluralism and stability leave with them," the head of the Knights of Columbus told a U.S. congressional commission April 19.

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis' trip to Lesbos, Greece, April 16 comes at a frightening and critical time for tens of thousands of refugees and migrants waiting and wondering where they will end up, said members of Catholic aid agencies.

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February 22, 2016

It is genocide

Speaking on Ash Wednesday Cardinal Thomas Collins said the start of Lent was not a day that Christians in Syria could line up for the blessing of ashes. Instead, the ashes in their lives are what remains of the churches and homes they fled at gunpoint.

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There’s more than political interest, strategic advantage, and military considerations in the decision to end Canadian bombing runs over Syria and Iraq in favour of more military trainers on the ground and additional spending on aid and development.

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VATICAN CITY - Meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Pope Francis expressed his hopes that Iraq and other war-torn countries would have leaders strong enough to bring once-divided peoples together.

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MANCHESTER, England - A European bishops' commission has welcomed a move by the European Parliament to classify atrocities and religious cleansing by the Islamic State as genocide.

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