Seeking truth and justice

Palestinians Paint Murals in Jerusalem, Looking Israeli Occupation in the Eye

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

A total of 150 colorful murals are planned for Silwan, and when completed, will drastically alter the neighborhood’s appearance: ‘The staring eyes say to people we see them and they should see us too’

by Nir Hasson, HAARETZ Correspondent

“Here there is graffiti of a bird, a very beautiful bird,” the young guide from the Ateret Cohanim Jewish settler organization explained to a group of Israeli visitors. During the Sukkot holiday in October, they strolled through the narrow streets of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, followed by heavy Border Police security. The guide explained that the bird is “one of the symbols of Palestinian liberation, of freedom” and said “I’d say it’s beautiful in the way that Hitler’s paintings are beautiful.”

The tour run by Ateret Cohanim, which works to evict local Palestinians from their homes, is designed to showcase the growing Jewish settlement there. One of the visitors asked the guide about the big beautiful mural being not far from the Jews’ homes, “It’s a symbol that, even if it looks very, very aesthetic, we know what it says. Now let’s go into the ancient synagogue where there’s a place to sit and have a drink,” the guide replied.

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Annual report for the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh writes in his newsletter Palestinian Christians

The new annual report for the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability is 29 pages long (lots of accomplishments) and was just posted on our website. Click to download the report:

As the preface says: “This report highlights the amazing accomplishments in the calendar year 2019 in education (of thousands), conservation (protection of natural areas), research (30 publications), and community service would not have been possible without you to whom this report is presented: donors (individuals and institutions), staff members, volunteers, executive board, and partners (in governmental and nongovernmental entities).”

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Samia Khoury’s Reflection on January 19, 2020

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury shares her reflections on a Sunday in East Jerusalem.

As the weather was so bad on Sunday, I did not even contemplate going to church and opted to watch the weekly service from one of the Christian churches on Palestine TV. January 19, being the Armenian Christmas, the service was from St. James’ Armenian Cathedral in the Old City of Jerusalem. So as I was listening to the chanting and not understanding one word, my thoughts took me back to the day my mother passed away in the early hours of January 19, thirty four years ago, when the funeral was on that afternoon.

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The church in Gaza: home of kindness and brotherhood

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

Apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
” We are not a large number, but we are like salt… This salt gives food a new flavour, and that is our role as Christians. First, we must stay here and bring dynamism, dialogue, encounters and courage for the future to rebuild a society as strong as it was before, as we have always done in the past.”

The Christian presence in the Holy Land is characterized by the depth of its roots. The Church has been at the service of the human being throughout the centuries regardless of religion or belief. In Gaza, Sister Delphina, head of the Community of the Sisters of Charity, who assists about seventy disabled Muslims in their homes, tells us: “I live for them every day, and the greater the effort we make for them, the greater the joy … I feel what every mother feels for her children.”

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Cardinal’s book on celibacy barely acknowledges Eastern Catholic tradition of married priests

Posted on Jan 23, 2020

Cindy Wooden – Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The controversy surrounding retired Pope Benedict XVI’s contribution to a new book on priestly celibacy demonstrates just how much both substance and appearances matter.

And, as far as substance goes, the book paid scant attention to the uninterrupted presence of married priests in all but two of the Eastern Catholic churches.

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Middle East Council of Churches releases statement on fate of kidnapped bishops

Posted on Jan 23, 2020

23 January 2020

The Middle East Council of Churches issued a statement related to the case and fate of two Archbishops, Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped on 22 April 2013.

“Over the past couple of months, many worrying reports and claims regarding the case and fate of the two Archbishops Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim who were kidnapped on April 22, 2013 in the western countryside of Aleppo – Syria, went viral in media outlets,” reads the statement.

Middle East Council of Churches releases statement on fate of kidnapped bishops

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Macron berates Israeli security men in tussle at Jerusalem church

Posted on Jan 22, 2020

By John Irish

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – “Go outside,” French President Emmanuel Macron demanded in English in a melee with Israeli security men on Wednesday, demanding they leave a Jerusalem basilica that he visited before a Holocaust memorial conference.

The French tricolor has flown over the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem’s walled Old City since it was gifted by the Ottomans to French Emperor Napoleon III in 1856.

France views it as a provocation when Israeli police enter the church’s sandstone complex, in a part of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

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Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.—Where Would He Stand Today on the Palestine-Israel Situation?

Posted on Jan 22, 2020

By: John Mason/Arab America Contributing Writer

Martin Luther King (MLK) famously wrote from a Birmingham, Alabama jail where he was imprisoned for protesting segregation, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Had MLK lived longer—he was shot down by an assassin’s bullet in 1968—we wonder how he might have characterized the extreme situation today of Palestinians under Israeli occupation. We also wonder what he might have said about today’s U.S. lopsided policy favoring Israel.

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The Activists Who Have Saved 1,000 Pets from Syria’s War Zones

Posted on Jan 17, 2020

by Stephen Starr | OZY

When Sedra Ayoub Agha and her family fled Damascus in August 2015, she was heartbroken. Not only because she was fleeing her life and home, but also because she had to leave her beloved cats, Rose and Jack, behind. These irreplaceable companions had helped Agha through the loss of another feline that went missing when the war started in her neighborhood. “We left the area, but she jumped out of the car because she was scared,” says Agha. The cat was never found. “I was very sick because of the sadness. That’s why my father bought Rose and Jack for me.”

People fleeing war often have no choice but to leave their pets behind. Without their primary caretakers, cats and dogs often end up on the street, abandoned or abused. But even shelters are at risk. Ernesto’s Sanctuary in Aleppo was destroyed in November 2017, killing several cats and a dog (the clinic was later revived in another part of the city). The dire situation has spurred a brave group of pet lovers to take action.

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Formal Reception in Honor of the Diplomatic Body in Syria

Posted on Jan 16, 2020

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II affirmed that despite the insistence of many to create violence and war in Syria, good will is going to prevail and peace will reign again. He greeted those who offered many sacrifices for their countries and spoke about the sanctions imposed on Syria.

January 16, 2020 – On the occasion of the New Year 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II invited their Excellencies the Ambassadors, Charge d’Affaires and Diplomatic Representatives of Foreign Missions in Syria to a Formal Reception at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma.

The reception was attended by His Excellency Dr. Faysal Mokdad, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, as well as the ambassadors or heads of missions of various countries.

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Holy Land Coordination Bishops release final statement after visit to local Christians

Posted on Jan 16, 2020

Photo: Bishops of the 2020 Holy Land Coordination  (Photo: Mazur/cbcew.org.uk)

Bishops of the 2020 Holy Land Coordination (Photo: Mazur/cbcew.org.uk)

STATEMENT – From January 11 to 16, 2020, the bishops of the Holy Land Coordination an carried out its annual visit to local Christians in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah. At the end of the visit, the bishops drafted a statement in which they express concerns and hopes, urge governments to take responsibility for enforcing international law and protect human dignity and invite Christian faithful from all over the world to pray for this reality.

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How Christian Writers Helped Spread Arabic Language

Posted on Jan 15, 2020

By: Emily Devereaux/Arab America Contributing Writer

Language as a Tool

Language is an important medium in religion. Some religions may rely on spoken word as a means to pass down traditions and beliefs, but Christianity emphasizes sacred scriptures. Many Christian early writers translated the messages of the Bible into other languages; the purpose was to reach a wider audience. The Bible was first translated into Greek from its original language. [The Hebrew Bible was mainly written in Biblical Hebrew, with some portions (notably in Daniel and Ezra) in Biblical Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek.]

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Small West Bank school holds firm despite settler attacks

Posted on Jan 15, 2020


by Taghreed Ali*

Yanoun, Nablus — “Knowledge is light and ignorance is darkness,” says the writing on one of the walls of Yanoun Primary School. Given the school’s dismal physical condition — rundown, damaged walls, rickety tin roof and lack of a playground — the words would seem to provide little comfort to its students or teachers, but they take solace in being able to learn and teach within the school’s four walls.

The co-educational school, affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education, is located in the West Bank village of Yanoun, in southeastern Nablus governorate. As it is in Area C, Israel has full administrative and security authority over the area based on the Oslo II Accord (1995). This means that the school must obtain permission from Israeli authorities to make renovations, something they have never been granted.

Although the village takes its name from the Canaanite word for “calm” or “serene,” life in Yanoun has been anything but. Situated amid five Israeli settlements — Gedonim, Givat ‘Alam and settlements 777, 776 and 778 —Yanoun has had to battle for survival.

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Gaza Exodus: Helping Christians caught in a crisis

Posted on Jan 14, 2020

By Courtney Mares

Gaza City, Jan 14, 2020 / 12:47 am (CNA).- With fewer than 1,000 Christians in a population of 1.8 million, the Christian population in Palestine’s Gaza Strip today is less than half of what it was 10 years ago.

“They are — of all the Christian groups in the Holy Land — certainly by far the group that’s facing the most difficulty,” Robert Nicholson, president and founder of the Philos Project, told CNA.

Nicholson is currently leading an initiative to help Gazan Christians. He insists the world does not need to wait for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to help the dwindling Palestinian Christian population.

“Christians are often forgotten in this conflict,” he said. “They are really caught between forces that are much bigger than them … They’re looking for stability, they’re looking for freedom.”

“Strengthening these communities need not necessarily be tied to politics,” Nicholson said.

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‘Jeopardy!’ Producers Explain What Happened With Bethlehem-Palestine Flap

Posted on Jan 14, 2020

Please scroll down for the original post.

Update from an Al-Bushra reader:

“The Church of the Nativity, a World Heritage Site, is located in Bethlehem in the Israeli-controlled (!!) West Bank. Many countries including the U.S. and most of the European Union do not recognize Palestine as a state.”

I believe the United Nations does recognize “The State of Palestine” which has observer status in the U.N.  Isn’t that correct?? So do 137 counties.* So the above statement by Jeopardy is incorrect by omission of these facts.  Isn’t that correct?  “Israeli controlled” in the above statement is a euphemism for “illegally occupied by Israel.”  Jeopardy is fudging in their statement. Moving both contestants back to their previous status is also unfair because Katie Needle gave the correct answer and deserves her winnings.  Of whom is Jeopardy afraid?

From Arab America

Muslims, who accept the belief of the virgin birth of Jesus, though not his divinity, was incensed by the Jeopardy incident, as well. One, Imraan Siddiqi, who is executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations Arizona chapter, told Al-Jazeera, “The incident highlights how pervasive the erasure of Palestinian history is. This just shows how normalized the occupation and cleansing of the Palestinian people from the historical record has become.”

Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike, unless they live in the immediate vicinity of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, must apply to the government of Israel to visit this holy site. Some applications are arbitrarily denied.

This excerpt from People:

Twitter users were quick to weigh in last week, saying the game show sided with Israel on debates surrounding the longstanding geopolitical conflict.

“Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies (Katie Needle got the correct answer & was robbed),” one user tweeted. “@Jeopardy owes an apology for endorsing Israel’s universally-condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands.”

“Hey @Jeopardy — the Church of Nativity is in Bethlehem, which is located in the West Bank which — under international law — is occupied by Israel,” another wrote. “The occupied land is also known, under international law, as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

That user added, “also Katie is a real one.”

Needle responded to that tweet, writing, “Thanks! Palestine should be free.”

Original Post from Deadline

By Erik Pedersen, Managing Editor, Deadline

The producers of Jeopardy! said today that a “human error” in post-production was responsible for a contestant’s answer being ruled incorrect in Friday’s episode.

Read their statement below, followed by a video of the question and answer that they say should have aired instead.

The show created an uproar on social media after a $200 “answer” in “Where’s That Church?” category that read, “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.” Contestant Katie Needle buzzed in first and replied, “What is Palestine?” Host Alex Trebek said that was incorrect. Another contestant then rang in and answered “What is Israel?,” and that was affirmed.

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Baptism Site: Faithful converge from East and West to meet in the river

Posted on Jan 14, 2020

by Saher Kawas

BAPTISM SITE – On January 10 and 12, 2020, the faithful and pilgrims in the Holy Land made their annual pilgrimage to the Baptism Site (Al-Maghtas) on the west and east banks of the Jordan River, to commemorate the Baptism of the Lord.

Last Friday, January 10, the Catholic Church, whose building complex is found within a stone’s throw from the east bank of the Jordan River, marked its 20th anniversary of the start of the pilgrimage to the Baptism site in the modern era. Speaking at a press conference before the ceremony, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, referenced the “huge change” that the Baptism Site has witnessed over 20 years, calling it one of the most important Christian pilgrimage sites in Jordan.

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Record number of tourists and pilgrims in the Holy Land

Posted on Jan 10, 2020

We always pray and hope that diplomacy, that is to say, the ability to dialogue, will prevail over the use of violence, even where there has already been violence. Consequently, it is necessary to mend, to establish relationships or to find a way out of a situation that seems to have the conflict as its only dynamic. -Br FRANCESCO PATTON,ofm, Custos of the Holy Land

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Good Shepherd Collective joins others for spring rehabilitation action

Posted on Jan 9, 2020

Image: Good Shepherd Collective

Good Shepherd Collective

by Cody O’Rourke, Communications and Fundraising

The beginning of the New Year culminated in an act of joint resistance in the South Hebron Hills. The Good Shepherd Collective partnered with the Sumud and Protection Committee (Atwuani), Youth of Sumud (Atwuani), the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, and other groups to organize a spring rehabilitation action near the Avigail settlement. Some 150 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals took part in the joint action, planting trees, building paths to the spring, and cleaning the area.

The Avigail outpost was erected illegally on Palestinian land in 2002 as means to continue the settlers’ corridor that runs through the South Hebron Hills, connecting Jerusalem to Beersheva, cutting through the West Bank, and further pushing indigenous communities into concentrated ethnic enclaves.

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Statement on Israeli Settlements

Posted on Jan 7, 2020

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a coalition of faith-based organizations working for peace in Israel/Palestine of which the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is a member, released the following statement on November 20 on recent decisions regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The following article was published in the January-February 2020 issue of NewsNotes.

On November 18, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will no longer consider Israeli settlements a violation of international law. As an advocacy organization that focuses on respect for human rights and international law, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) asserts that no official statement or act by the U.S. government can unilaterally erase decades of international law, including the 1998 International Criminal Court statute that recognized Israeli settlements as a war crime. This U.S. announcement sends a dangerous signal to the Israeli authorities that continued and increased violations of Palestinian human rights are acceptable to the United States government and will continue to go unaddressed.

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Egypt’s president says interfaith bond saved country

Posted on Jan 6, 2020

Image: A child tries on new shoes at a street shop display for customers to buy new shoes and clothing, in preparation for the Coptic Christmas celebration, at a residential and industrial area of eastern Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Hamada Elrasam)

A child tries on new shoes at a street shop display for customers to buy new shoes and clothing, in preparation for the Coptic Christmas celebration, at a residential and industrial area of eastern Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Hamada Elrasam)

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi appeared at Coptic Christmas Eve Mass [Coptic Christmas: 7 January] on Monday and praised the links between the country’s Christian and Muslim faithful, saying they have prevented the country from descending into sectarian strife like its neighbors.

El-Sissi, who is a practicing Muslim, arrived at the cathedral in the middle of the Mass and was met by Coptic Pope Tawadros II on the doorstep before greeting churchgoers. Egyptian State television aired his appearance at the new cathedral, just finished last year, and showed people crowding around him to shake his hand, filming with mobile phones.

“God saw fit for us to live in difficult circumstances…. But as long as we’re together … no one can do anything to us,” he told the crowd.

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Who Is Archbishop Atallah Hanna…?

Posted on Jan 6, 2020

By: Ramzy Baroud * in TeleSUR

Atallah Hanna has served as the Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem since 2005. Since then, he has used his leadership position to advocate for Palestinian unity in all of its manifestations.

Image: The archbishop of Jerusalem, Atallah Hanna, poses in an interview with Efe in Santiago, Chile on October 19, 2016.

The archbishop of Jerusalem, Atallah Hanna, poses in an interview with Efe in Santiago, Chile on October 19, 2016.

“They will run and not grow weary,” is a quote from the Bible (Isaiah, 40:41) that adorns the homepage of Kairos Palestine. This important document, which parallels a similar initiative emanating from South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle years, has come to represent the unified voice of the Palestinian Christian community everywhere. One of the main advocates of Kairos Palestine is Archbishop Atallah Hanna.

Hanna has served as the Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem since 2005. Since then, he has used his leadership position to advocate for Palestinian unity in all of its manifestations. Expectedly, Hanna has been on Israel’s radar for many years, as this kind of leadership is problematic from the viewpoint of a hegemonic political and military power that requires utter and absolute submission.

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Catholic leaders speak out as tensions escalate between the U.S. and Iran

Posted on Jan 6, 2020

by Ryan Di Corpo*
January 06, 2020

Catholic leaders and organizations have condemned a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3 and the saber-rattling between the United States and Iran it has provoked. Johnny Zokotvich, the executive director of Pax Christi USA, deplored what he characterized as the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as an act opposed to “everything we stand for as people of faith” and as “incompatible with the message of Jesus.”

In a statement released on Jan. 3, Mr. Zokovitch demanded that U.S. political leaders “seek real diplomatic and humanitarian solutions to the current crisis and refrain from further military confrontation with Iran.”

Pope Francis, without directly naming the United States or Iran, prayed for peace from St. Peter’s Square on Jan. 5. “War only brings death and destruction,” he said. “I call on all parties to keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-control and avoid the shadow of enmity.”

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Ancient wine measuring table unearthed in Jerusalem

Posted on Jan 6, 2020

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israeli archaeologists unveiled an ancient table Monday used to measure wine and olive oil, which they said helps prove a market once stood at the site in occupied east Jerusalem.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said the 2,000-year-old table was unearthed in the City of David National Park, between the Old City and the flashpoint Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan.

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The U.S. killing of Soleimani could have devastating consequences for Iraq’s Christians

Posted on Jan 3, 2020



Following the news reports last night that eventually confirmed that a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 2 had killed Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, and associates including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, I found myself hoping that someone in the Trump administration was remembering the perilous status of the Christian remnant in northern Iraq.

Christians in Nineveh province have just begun over the last year or so to trickle back to communities that had been devastated first by ISIS then by the Iraqi and U.S. coalition forces that drove ISIS—if not out of the country, then at least back underground. The forces which helped defeat ISIS over two years of fighting included the same Shiite militia that had been targeted by the Trump administration over the last week.

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Remembering Hava Keller, a pioneer in the anti-occupation struggle

Posted on Jan 3, 2020

Forwarded by her son Adam Keller

Hava Keller, who died at the age of 90 this week, was one of the few Israelis who spoke publicly about her role in the Nakba, and was at the heart of several groundbreaking anti-occupation and feminist movements.

+972 Magazineby Oren Ziv* | January 2, 2020

Hava Keller, a veteran anti-occupation activist, passed away in Tel Aviv on Tuesday at the age of 90. Keller was one of the founders of the feminist anti-occupation group Women in Black, as well as Gush Shalom and Women for Political Prisoners. She was also an activist with Ta’ayush and other left-wing groups.

Image: Hava Geller, right, takes part in a vigil marking the 20th anniversary of the Women In Black movement, Jerusalem, December 28, 2007. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hava Geller, right, takes part in a vigil marking the 20th anniversary of the Women In Black movement, Jerusalem, December 28, 2007. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Over the past three decades, Keller had been a consistent presence at left-wing protests, always standing curbside with a sign and driven, according to friends’ recollections following her death, by an unshakeable belief in human rights.

Keller was born in 1929 in Łódź, Poland. Her family fled the country in December 1939, assisted by German friends in the city, and made their way to Lithuania. In January 1941, a few months before the Nazis occupied the country, Keller’s family left for Tel Aviv along with other Jews who had received a permit to go to Palestine.

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Faith Statement on Escalating Violence with Iran

Posted on Jan 3, 2020

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joins FCNL and other partners in issuing a faith-based statement opposing additional violent aggression towards Iran. This statement, with the full list of signatories, will be officially released shortly.

As people of faith, we condemn the United States’ dangerous aggression towards Iran, including the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deployment of additional troops to the region. We urge the Administration to step back from the brink of war.

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WCC urges “maximum restraint” in escalating conflict between US, Iran

Posted on Jan 3, 2020

03 January 2020

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is deeply concerned by the possible consequences for the Middle East region of today’s US air strike that killed general Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s most prominent military commander, at Baghdad airport in Iraq. The attack is a major escalation in the confrontation between the US and Iran.

Image: WCC urges “maximum restraint” in escalating conflict between US, Iran (Photo: Paul Jeffrey/World Council of Churches)

WCC urges “maximum restraint” in escalating conflict between US, Iran (Photo: Paul Jeffrey/World Council of Churches)

“General Soleimani was no innocent victim of war, having been the architect and promoter of armed violence in many parts of the region, but this attack and anticipated reactions to it threaten even wider and more disastrous conflict in the region,” observed WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “As destabilizing as general Soleimani’s activities have been, the consequences for the people of the region of more intensive conflict are incalculable.”

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Cardinal Koch offers hopeful overview on unity of churches in the East and West

Posted on Jan 3, 2020

22 December 2019

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave a public lecture at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy on 16 December.

Entitled “Towards the unity of the Church in East and West: Paths to overcome the divisions between the Roman Catholic Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Orthodox Church,” the lecture drew many people interested in ecumenism.

Image: Cardinal Koch offers hopeful overview on unity of churches in the East and West  (Photo: WCC)

Cardinal Koch offers hopeful overview on unity of churches in the East and West (Photo: WCC)

Koch reminded the audience that, fifty years ago, the historic meeting between the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem in 1964 expressed the reciprocal desire to restore love between the two churches.

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WCC expresses profound sorrow and prayers for Archbishop Atallah Hanna

Posted on Jan 3, 2020

02 January 2020

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed concern and sadness over the threats against Archbishop Atallah Hanna, he was poisoned in his church residence in Jerusalem in December.

The Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna was reportedly hospitalised on 18 December after being poisoned by chemical substances.

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Iraqi patriarch to Pope Francis: Chaldean Church is ‘a church of martyrs’

Posted on Jan 1, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City, Aug 6, 2019 / 08:40 am (CNA).- The Chaldean Catholic Church is a Church of martyrs, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Babylon told Pope Francis this week.

“Our Chaldean church, since the early centuries, was a missionary church which announced the gospel reaching as far as China, and gave so many martyrs and continues to give today,” Sako wrote in an Aug. 4 letter to the pope.

“It has always been a church of martyrs throughout its history.”

Sako, who was elevated to cardinal last year, wrote that Muslim citizens of Iraq are also suffering and losing their lives.

“We hope that our common suffering is a sign of hope for a better future,” he noted.

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