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.

Published in International
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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AMMAN, Jordan - Catholic clergy lamented the destruction of Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, St. Elijah, and urged the international community to do more to stop such assaults.

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AMMAN, Jordan - With crises in Syria and Iraq deepening, Catholic bishops on a solidarity visit with the "forgotten" Christians of the Middle East are urging stepped-up peace efforts to resolve conflicts tearing apart the troubled region.

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ROME - The survival of Christianity in the Middle East has reached such a critical point that the chances of dialogue and reconciliation in the region are being threatened, said Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

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TORONTO - Many members of the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Union (ACSSU) have grown up in Canada watching from a distance as civil wars tear apart their homelands and force their relatives and friends to flee. As tensions rise and more people are displaced, ACSSU members believe they can make a difference.

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BEIRUT - Syriac Catholic bishops, meeting in Lebanon during their annual Synod, called for a diplomatic solution to achieve peace in Syria and Iraq.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called on the international community to find a way to bring peace to Iraq and the Middle East and prayed that Christians there would no longer be forced to flee their homes.

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Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighbouring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said.

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CERGY-PONTOISE, France - When the first wave of Syrians and Iraqis arrived at this northwestern Paris suburb, Nabil Seghari signed up to volunteer with the Catholic charity spearheading the welcome efforts.

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Updated 03/09/15
MARKHAM, ONT. - Christians in the Middle East should not be considered as collateral damage of the wars in Syria and Iraq, says Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II during his first apostolic visit to Canada.

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OTTAWA - One year after the Islamic State’s invasion of Iraq forced more than 120,000 Iraqi Christians to flee ancient homelands with little except their clothes, most continue to live in poverty and chaos.

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