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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VATICAN CITY - The world continues to be silent in the face of widespread persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, Pope Francis said.

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MANCHESTER, England - When the Islamic State overran the Iraqi town of Qaraqosh last August, one of the priests there jumped into his car and joined the exodus of Christians on the road east in the hope of reaching the safety of Kurdish-controlled territory.

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AMMAN, Jordan - Arab Christians are viewing with growing concern and revulsion an uptick in kidnappings of both their clergy and civilians as violence worsens in Syria and Iraq.

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BEIRUT - Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, representing Pope Francis, and Cardinal Bechara Rai, the Maronite Catholic patriarch, traveled to Irbil, Iraq, to meet with Christians who had fled from Islamic State forces.

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NEW YORK - Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Iraq, called on the world's government to oust Islamic State militants from northern parts of the country so thousands of displaced Christians can return home.

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