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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A serious-looking Pope Francis on Wednesday (June 10) spoke with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, in a meeting focused on conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East that pose complex and contrasting diplomatic challenges for the two leaders.

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WASHINGTON - Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic who represented Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's government on the world stage as foreign minister and deputy prime minister, died June 5 after suffering a heart attack.

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VATICAN CITY - One of the largest churches in Mosul, Iraq, will be transformed into a mosque.

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TORONTO - When the Islamic State attacked the city of Mosul in June 2014, members of Toronto’s Jesus the King Council of the Knights of Columbus knew they had to respond.

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OXFORD, England - French Catholics have urged church support for a campaign to stop Western companies from buying oil from Islamic State, in effect funding the mass killing of Christians.

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AMMAN, Jordan - Church bells are ringing once again in the Assyrian Christian villages dotting the Khabur River in northeastern Syria after Islamic State militants were routed by a combination of forces.

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