13 July 2018
Pope Francis uses incense to bless the casket of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran during his funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican 12 July. Cardinal Tauran, who announced the election of Pope Francis, had a long career as a Vatican diplomat and later worked on interreligious dialogue. He died 5 July at the age of 75 in Hartford, Connecticut. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)
The Eritrean Catholic Church calls for prayers for peace (Vatican News) A letter to the faithful written by the Council of Catholic Hierarchs of Eritrea calls for prayers and implorations for a just and lasting peace in the region…
Gaza tunnel workers face greater risks, shrinking pay (Al Monitor) Although Hamas’ Ministry of Interior established a buffer zone on the border with Egypt in June 2017 in the framework of joint security coordination between the movement and Egypt, smugglers have continued to operate from Gaza. The tunnels represent a lifeline for food and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, which has been under siege since 2006. Ismail (a pseudonym), who works in a commercial tunnel on the Gazan-Egyptian border, told Al Monitor, “Border tunnels are still needed to get certain materials that Israel does not allow through the Kerem Shalom crossing, the only effective commercial crossing”…
Unrest in Egypt following arrest of Copt (Fides) A young Coptic Egyptian was arrested in the village of Menbal, in the province of Minya, on charges of having shared some videos considered offensive against Prophet Mohammad on social media. The arrest had been organized by local police forces, perhaps with the intention of calming down the tension and to avoid uncontrolled reactions by groups of Islamist mobs present in the area. But the measure was not enough to ensure calm: after the arrest, the houses of Christian families in the village were attacked by gangs…
Egypt’s dwindling Jewish community struggles to maintain its heritage (Al Monitor) Magda Haroun is well aware that responsibility for Egypt’s remaining Jewish heritage and history rests squarely on her shoulders. “I am the last one to close the door and turn off the lights of the synagogue,” she often tells the local press in interviews. But turning off the lights is far from what Haroun, the head of the Jewish community and the president of the oldest Jewish charity association in Egypt, really wants to do. The energetic 66-years-old, who is the youngest member of Egypt’s miniscule Jewish society, has come up with a number of new projects for her association “Drop of Milk” to maintain Jewish heritage in Egypt…
Patriarch calls for lifting of West’s sanctions against Syria (AINA) After the Prayer Meeting in Bari, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, as well as all their Holinesses and Beatitudes, moved back to the Basilica of St. Nicholas, where they held a closed meeting concerning the situations in the Middle East. In his word, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II assured that the church is not with or against governments, but is always with the country and the people. His Holiness considered that actions should be taken towards removing the sanctions that are imposed on Syria, because they are against people who are suffering in their movement, food and medicine, etc…
20 Indian Christians hurt in attack on prayer meeting (Christian Today) Twenty Christians have been injured in an assault on a prayer meeting in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, according to International Christian Concern. Local reports say 35 Hindu radicals stormed a prayer meeting in Raikashipur village as more than 150 Christians met for prayer on 2 July…
11 July 2018
Tags: India Egypt Eritrea Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in back, and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerk embrace 9 July at the peace declaration signing in Asmara, Eritrea. Ethiopian Catholic Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel has commended the two governments for the peace pact. (photo: CNS/Ghideon Musa Aron VISAFRIC handout via Reuters)
Ethiopia’s Catholic Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel commended the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments for signing a peace accord.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed the peace pact in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on 9 July.
Cardinal Souraphiel told Catholic News Service on 10 July: “This is a historic step taken by the prime minister of Ethiopia within the first 100 days since he took office. The joyous reception of Eritreans to the Ethiopian prime minister and his delegation shows that this has been the prayers of the people. It is very pleasing to the Catholic Church that the prayers of the people of both countries have been answered.”
For decades, the two countries have been at loggerheads on issues that include the border. An estimated 80,000 people are believed to have been killed between 1998-2000 over a fierce border conflict. However, after the two countries signed a U.N.-brokered border agreement in 2000, they failed to implement it.
Cardinal Souraphiel said the “steps taken so far by both governments prove that Africans have the wisdom to solve their problems themselves. The Catholic Church will continue to pray both for Ethiopia and Eritrea.”
On 26 June, speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as Eritrean government officials arrived in the country, Cardinal Souraphiel noted that Catholics had been praying for peace since the conflict started.
“Even though it was not easy, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea continued to meet and exchange notes on the pastoral concerns of the two conflicting countries,” he said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also praised the leaders on the signing of the peace pact.
The reconciliation was “illustrative of a new wind of hope blowing across Africa,” he told reporters in the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, stressing that sanctions imposed on Eritrea might become obsolete after the deal.
11 July 2018
Tags: Ethiopia Eritrea
Netsanet prepares a cup of coffee in her humble home in an Ethiopian refugee camp. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)
In the June 2018 edition of ONE, Emeline Wuilbercq takes readers to camps in Ethiopia where the church is helping refugees waiting for a better life. Here, she tells how she met one of the women she profiled.
As journalists, we sometimes think like novelists.
Since one of our goals is to raise awareness, we look for the story that will move our readers, provide them with new information and, above all, share an amazing character with an incredible life story. Often, even if we search, we cannot absolutely control what we find in the field. And yet, it is not uncommon to have surprises. It is when you stop searching that you come upon somebody whose personality, or resilience, is striking. By accident, you can find something other than what you were looking for.
When I was a student, I remember an experienced journalist telling me that this is what we call “serendipity.” In French, we translated it as “sérendipité”, which sounds a bit weird for a word-lover. This word was invented in 1754 by the British politician and writer Horace Walpole, who defines it as “accident and sagacity while in pursuit of something else”. Many accidental scientific discoveries were made by serendipity, such as penicillin. The concept applies perfectly to journalism. In a Le Monde article published in 2012, the journalist says that serendipity is “a matter of chance, of course, but also of sagacity, curiosity, agility, mental availability to stay on the lookout for new and surprising things.” Because you always have to be alert.
That is exactly what I thought when I met Netsanet, the main subject for my story on the Mai-Ani refugee camp. There are about 40,000 Eritrean refugees living in northern Ethiopia. Ethiopia is sheltering over 900,000 of these people on its soil according to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. We were about to go 11 miles further to another camp, Adi-Harush, when veteran photographer Petterik Wiggers came to me. He has been working in Ethiopia for 20 years and knows a great subject when he meets one.
He explained to me that while I was interviewing another woman whose story was really interesting, he sat down in a small café set up by an Eritrean refugee to have a coffee. (He is consciously addicted to caffeine.) He met her with the help of a social worker from the Jesuit Refugee Service (J.R.S.) who speaks her language, Tigrinya. He quickly discovered that her story was compelling. He had no clue he would come across such a woman, but sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways!
We both decided to go back in Netsanet’s house and we had another round of strong coffee. While talking with her, we discovered all the challenges she has been through in her life: the loss of her two husbands, the escape to Ethiopia, the life in the camp… it was all remarkable and inspiring.
If Petterik had not decided to have a cup of coffee before leaving the camp, we would have never met this amazing woman you will discover in ONE. Check out our story and see for yourself what serendipity can do!
11 July 2018
Tags: Ethiopia Refugees Refugee Camps
Naveen Patnaik (center), the chief minister of India's Odisha state, is pictured with Divine Word Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar (right) and Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, on 2 July. The men discussed launching a state-of-the-art health care facility. (photo: UCANews.com)
Muslim leader issues fatwa over land transfer in Jerusalem (The Jerusalem Post) The Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, on Tuesday issued a new fatwa (Islamic religious decree) banning Muslims from “facilitating the transfer of ownership of any part of Jerusalem or the land of Palestine to the enemies…”
India may work with Catholic Church to build health facility (UCANews.com) The Indian state of Odisha has proposed working with the Catholic Church to launch a state-of-the-art health facility in impoverished Kandhamal district, where anti-Christian violence claimed 100 lives a decade ago. State Health Minister Pratap Jena said the government was open to collaborating with Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese or other church bodies to set up a hospital in the district, where maternal and infant morality rates are among the highest in India…
Gaza fighters fear war is inevitable (The Independent) Under the camouflage of an olive grove in Gaza, Abu Khalid prepares his brigade for a war he says is inevitable, but that he doesn’t want. The commander’s male and female fighters, in military fatigues and balaclavas, creep through the undergrowth clutching Kalashnikovs. Above them the Israeli surveillance drones circle with a persistent mosquito whine…
Middle East Christians dwindling despite deep roots (AFP) Christians have been rooted in the Middle East as minority communities since the birth of the religion, but their numbers are dwindling amid conflict and jihadist attacks. Today they make up only four percent of the region’s population, down from 20 percent before the First World War, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said this month…
World Council of Churches hails peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea (EcumenicalNews.com) After the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a declaration saying that the long-standing war between the two countries is over, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit hailed the agreement as opening a new door for peace in the region…
10 July 2018
Tags: India Ethiopia Palestine Israel
In Zahleh, Lebanon, refugees pass the time, awaiting the chance to either return home or settle abroad. (photo: John E. Kozar)Caption
In the current edition of ONE, CNEWA’s president Msgr. John E. Kozar writes about some of the inspiring ways that CNEWA evangelizes:
The good works of the church, which form a major plank in the platform of evangelization, give witness of how Jesus would have us live and how he would have us respond to the needs of others. The recipients of these works often recognize there is something unique about what we do, and especially why we do it. Unlike governmental or secular programs of aid, the church — and CNEWA accompanying her — reaches out to those in need because we are compelled in faith to do so.
We exercise our baptismal mandate to live the Gospel of Jesus and to share his Good News with everyone. To be more concrete: CNEWA supports, through your generous contributions, many clinics and dispensaries, which serve everyone in need. Oftentimes these people are welcomed, embraced and tended to by the loving care of religious sisters and devoted lay associates.
For some patients, of whatever religious background or faith, this might be the only expression of love and human dignity they experience. And whether spoken or unspoken, it is done in the name of Jesus.
Read more in the magazine. And watch the video below for additional insight.
10 July 2018
Tags: Middle East Msgr. John E. Kozar Evangelization
During a June visit to Lebanon, a contingent of U.S. bishops met with Orthodox Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East. Pictured with the patriarch are Maronite Bishop Gregory J. Mansour of Brooklyn, N.Y., Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Bishop A. Elias Zaidan of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles and Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City. (photo: CNS/courtesy Bishop Solis)
India’s Latin-rite bishops reflect on the ‘mission of the Church’ (Vatican News) Twenty-five Catholic bishops from all over India last week came together in the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai, to take a closer look at the Church’s core mission in the country, AsiaNews reported. The 2-7 July “Bishops’ Joint Reflection Program” was the initiative of Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India (CCBI), the official body of the country’s Latin-rite bishops, one of the three rites that make up the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the nation’s apex Catholic bishops’ body…
Hearing refugees’ stories in Lebanon heart-wrenching for bishop (CNS) During a visit to Lebanon, Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City saw the contrast between building bridges and constructing walls to deal with differences of religion. In recent years, Lebanon has struggled to provide services for 2 million migrants and refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in their homelands. Religiously, the country is predominantly Catholic and Muslim; the Maronite Catholic rite was founded near Mount Lebanon in the late fourth century. ”If you just listen to the radio or watch the news on TV, you don’t really get the exact picture” of what life is like in that part of the world, Solis said…
Anti-terrorism purge continues in Turkey (Vatican News) Over the last two-years, thousands of soldiers and officers have been purged from the military. Now, under the latest decree, published on Sunday, 18,632 people, including 6,000 members of the military, 9,000 police officers, and hundreds of teachers and academics have been dismissed from their jobs. Their passports will also be cancelled…
New Franciscan museum in Jerusalem shows life in Jesus’ time (AP) Jerusalem’s Franciscan friars have opened a new museum filled with artifacts related to daily life in Jesus’ time. The Terra Sancta Museum’s new wing, built into the ruined remains of Crusader and Mamluk buildings along the Via Dolorosa in the Old City, showcases objects discovered in excavations at biblical sites over the past century…
9 July 2018
Tags: India Jerusalem Turkey
Sister Darsana chats with residents while completing her rounds at The Trippadam Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center for Women in northern Kerala. The Bethany Sisters are doing remarkable and inspiring work with forgotten and abandoned women. Learn how they have created A Refuge to Mend and Grow in the June 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Meenakshi Soman)
9 July 2018
Pope Francis attends an encounter with Catholic and Orthodox leaders on the waterfront in Bari, Italy, on 7 July. The pope met leaders of Christian churches in the Middle East for an ecumenical day of prayer for peace in the region. (photo: CNS/Vatican Media)
In Bari, Pope prays that ’art of encounter’ will prevail in Middle East (Vatican News) Pope Francis addressed the faithful gathered in the square outside of the Basilica of St Nicholas, in the Italian city of Bari, on Saturday after meeting with Catholic and Orthodox leaders. He reflected on the Middle Eastern origins of the Christian tradition, and of the commitment undertaken by the religious leaders to walk, pray, and work together “in the hope that the art of encounter will prevail over strategies of conflict”…
Pope thankful for ecumenical visit to Bari (Vatican News) Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his appreciation for his visit a day before to the Italian city of Bari, where he prayed for peace in the Middle East. The Pope was accompanied during this “special day of prayer and peace in that region” by Patriarchs of Churches of the Middle East and their representatives...
Russia plans evacuation from Syria (Reuters) The Russian military plans to evacuate up to 1,000 people from the south-western de-escalation zone in Syria via a humanitarian corridor near city of Daraa, Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing Russia’s Centre for Reconciliation in Syria. People will be evacuated to Syria’s northern Idlib province, the center said, Interfax reported…
Russian Orthodox Church, Vatican team up to rebuild sites in Syria (TASS) The Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches have begun implementing a plan aimed at reconstruction of Christian churches and monasteries destroyed during the years of Syrian war, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, told TASS on Saturday…
‘Donor fatigue’ among threats to Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan (America Magazine) Although the war against the Islamic State is drawing to a close, thousands of Christian families from Iraq remain displaced in neighboring Jordan, where the Christian community is struggling through “embassy and donor fatigue” to provide basic pastoral and material services to Iraqi refugees. The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal agency, provides food aid and sponsors educational programs for these refugees in Amman, the capital of Jordan. In a country already coping with millions of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, however, many Iraqi Christians wish to permanently resettle elsewhere…
6 July 2018
Tags: Syria Pope Francis CNEWA Middle East
This week, we offer a poignant interview with CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, as he reflects on CNEWA’s outreach to children in need.
In a world where hunger, poverty and war are affecting more children — and where migration and displacement are continuing to impact more lives — CNEWA’s mission of love and compassion needs to be remembered and supported. Please keep our work in your prayers.
This video was first produced in 2013, but its message remains as timely and as urgent as ever.
6 July 2018
In Armenia, the Emili Aregak Center provides personalized support and resources for young people, such as this child, with disabilities in and near Gyumri. How does the center do it? Read about A Source of Light in Armenia in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Nazik Armenakyan)