Posts made in July, 2019

In Iraq, a new Catholic hospital and university bring hope to an embattled Christian community

Posted on Jul 20, 2019

Ragheb Elias Karash of ACN | Jul 17, 2019

For more than three years, the Archdiocese of Erbil hosted more than 120,000 Christians who fled the 2014 onslaught of ISIS on the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq.

Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Kurdistan, has been the prime mover behind the establishment of two major new Christian institutions in the region. In 2016, the Catholic University in Erbil opened its doors and late summer will see the formal opening of the new Catholic hospital in Erbil, the Maryamana, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

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Franciscan Parishes: the agreement with the Latin Patriarchate has been signed

Posted on Jul 19, 2019

An important step that saw 12 parishes across Israel, Palestine and Cyprus being regulated. These parishes were born from the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land but, from a pastoral point of view, are the responsibility of the local Bishop.

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Martha and Mary are alive and well in Bethany, keeping the economy on its feet

Posted on Jul 18, 2019


Women are part of an exciting new initiative in the place where Lazarus rose from the dead.

donne betaniaThe city of Bethany on the West Bank is famous for a few different reasons — from its proximity to Jerusalem (about a mile and a half) on the east slope of the Mount of Olives, to being the location of the Tomb of Lazarus, a follower of Jesus whom He resurrected four days after he died from an illness.

If you are familiar with that part of Scripture, you’ll know that two women are also an important part of that story — Lazarus’ two sisters, Martha and Mary. The sisters were extremely hospitable in welcoming Jesus to their village. Some hold that Mary is the same woman who sprinkled him with perfumed oil and wiped his feet with her hair (John 12: 1-2).

It was this important piece of the Gospel that has led a group of entrepreneurial Palestinian women to come up with an idea to promote tourism and cultural development in their region — including handmade perfumes and creams made from the natural resources of the region. It’s an idea rooted in the history of the region, and it helps to empower women by teaching them skills and offering resources to help them support their families.

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What the Catholic Church in Ethiopia is doing to help people displaced by violence

Posted on Jul 18, 2019

by Bronwen Dachs – Catholic News Service

The Catholic Church in Ethiopia is leading peace and reconciliation efforts while it does what it can to help the millions of people who have fled their homes in an upsurge in communal violence.

Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel of Addis Ababa, president of the Ethiopian bishops’ conference, heads up the 41-member national reconciliation commission.

Ethiopia’s parliament approved the establishment of the commission last December as part of reforms instituted by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took power in 2018 after his predecessor resigned. Abiy has lifted bans on political parties, released political prisoners, prosecuted officials accused of human rights abuses and embarked on economic reforms.

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Hebrew opera takes on Israeli-Palestinian conflict at French festival

Posted on Jul 18, 2019

Aix-en-Provence (France) (AFP) – It features an Israeli prime minister, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, a hit squad and a Shin Beth spy chief.

But this is not another story on the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict but an opera unusually with a libretto in Hebrew, the official language of Israel.

“The Sleeping Thousand”, an opera by Israeli composer Adam Maor with the libretto by Yonatan Levy, was premiered at the prestigious Aix-en-Provence opera festival in southern France this month.

“This opera speaks of oppression and above all, its impact on the oppressor,” Maor told AFP.

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Car bomb near church in Syria wounds several

Posted on Jul 18, 2019

.- A car bomb exploded near a Syriac Orthodox church in Qamishli Thursday, injuring about 11 people. It is unclear who is responsible for the attack.

According to AFP, the July 11 bombing “slightly dented” the metal gate of the Church of the Virgin Mary located in the al-Wasta neighborhood of Qamishli, in Syria’s Al-Hasakah Governorate on the border with Turkey.

Sana, the Syrian state news agency, reported that the blast caused “material damage to parts of the church, shops and cars.”

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Life in the Seam Zone Village of Al-Seefer

Posted on Jul 18, 2019

Christian Peace Teams, Hebron – On Saturday 1st June, during Ramadan, two CPT’ers were accompanying community partners in At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills. While there, the CPT’ers were invited to share an iftar meal with the Bedouin community in Al-Seefer and it was too good an opportunity to miss, so they were delighted to accept. The car ride round the military checkpoint through rocky terrain was hair-raising; seven passengers in an ordinary road car which was constantly buttoming on the rocks, so the CPT’ers breathed a huge sigh of relief when they arrived still in one piece!

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Passage through the Checkpoint: Experiences of Palestinian Female Residents in Hebron

Posted on Jul 18, 2019

Christian Peace Teams, Hebron – In the Israeli-controlled H2 area of al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestinian women and girls moving around their neighbourhoods encounter a number of obstacles to their freedom and security vis-a-vis Israeli military, border police, and settlers. The checkpoint, however, is an unpredictable and isolated site of male control, where no one can see what happens, or guess how long the passage might be. At one of the 21 permanently-staffed checkpoints in H2, a woman might have her ID checked, bags inspected, or encounter demands that she submit to a body search where often no female soldiers are present.

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How Evangelical Christians risk setting the Middle East on fire

Posted on Jul 13, 2019

By Jonathan Cook*

Image: Televangelist TB Joshua, a Nigerian evangelical preacher, touches a man's head as he leads a religious retreat on Mount Precipice, Nazareth on 23 June (Reuters)

Televangelist TB Joshua, a Nigerian evangelical preacher, touches a man’s head as he leads a religious retreat on Mount Precipice, Nazareth on 23 June (Reuters)

The recent arrival of Africa’s most popular televangelist preacher, TB Joshua, to address thousands of foreign pilgrims in Nazareth produced a mix of consternation and anger in the city of Jesus’s childhood.

There was widespread opposition from Nazareth’s political movements, as well as from community groups and church leaders, who called for a boycott of his two rallies. They were joined by the council of muftis, which described the events as “a red line for faith in religious values”.

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New Institutes of Coptic Studies are spreading in public universities

Posted on Jul 13, 2019

 

Alexandria of Egypt (Agenzia Fides) – With an unprecedented initiative, Egyptian political institutions have decided to invest resources to support the opening of institutes, centers and departments in public universities dedicated to the study and enhancement of the Coptic language and cultural heritage. The first institute of Coptic Studies was already inaugurated at the University of Alexandria, in collaboration with the Coptic Orthodox Church. A similar initiative is being undertaken at the faculty of artistic studies of the University of Damanhour. Even the buildings intended to house these institutions have been designed, inspired by the typical forms of Coptic architecture.

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