VATICAN CITY - To help bring lasting peace to a nation scarred by civil war, Pope Francis was scheduled to speak with and bless leaders from South Sudan gathered for a spiritual retreat at the Vatican.

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SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan – The United States has a responsibility to help Jordan as it struggles to support hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and must actively seek to end Syria's long civil war, American human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy told a conference on forced migration.
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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Catholic bishops in Sierra Leone called on citizens to refrain from actions to destabilize the West African nation and to come together before next year's elections in the same spirit that helped end the country's civil war and overcome its Ebola epidemic.

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ALEPPO, Syria – Christians who fled Aleppo because of the four year battle for the city are now returning, and in the face of such challenges as poverty, destruction, and a shortages of basic goods, they persevere with the help of the local Church.

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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A nearly 40 year-old murder case was reopened this week to properly prosecute the suspected killer behind the Salvadorian archbishop's martyrdom.

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YAMBIO, South Sudan – As civilians are increasingly targeted in South Sudan's civil war, a bishop urged prominent community leaders to unequivocally condemn revenge killings, violence against civilians, and hate speech that ignites tribal sentiments.

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YANGON, Myanmar – The Catholic Church is helping to rebuild Myanmar as it emerges from six decades of military rule and isolation through peace-building efforts and education, Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon said in a recent interview with National Catholic Reporter.

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ROME, Italy – Six years after the start of the Civil War, Syria's apostolic nuncio said that the country is in a “bloodbath” – a situation so desperate it leaves you with the impression of being in hell.

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FRONTERA COMALAPA, Mexico – In the early 1980s, parishioners at the Santo Nino de Atocha parish in this town on the Mexico-Guatemala border opened their church and homes to refugees fleeing civil war in Guatemala. Three decades later, they're preparing for another influx of asylum seekers – this time from countries farther south as Central Americans seek safety from the gang violence gripping El Salvador and Honduras.

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JUBA, South Sudan – The call by South Sudan's president for a national day of prayer was met with derision by one of the country's bishops, who called it a “political prayer” and a mockery.

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AMMAN, Jordan – A famed Italian Catholic cathedral organist is believed to have been the first Western musician to perform in Syria since the start of the civil war nearly six years ago.

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VATICAN CITY – Conveying Pope Francis' closeness to the Syrian people, a Vatican delegation visited Aleppo following the end of the hostilities that left thousands dead and the city in ruins.

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis met with the current and former presidents of Colombia, two leading figures in the country at opposite sides of a controversial peace agreement that puts an end to a decades-long civil war.

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DAMASCUS – Fr. Alejandro León is a Salesian missionary who has lived more than 13 years in the Middle East, and in Syria since 2011 – precisely when its civil war began. He has said that being there during the war is “ a sign of mercy and the love of God,” even though it involves risking his own life and often being close to death.

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OXFORD, England – Clergy in the Central African Republic say their first cardinal will continue to work to reunite the country after years of civil war and speak up for the continent's poor.

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