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Current Issue
March, 2019
Volume 45, Number 1
  
18 December 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




Indian Christians hold candles during a demonstration against a suspected attack on a church in Amritsar on 2 December. (photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

Christian enclave in India fears violence as Hindus press for conversions (Washington Post) A few months ago, Hindu nationalists swept into a small village where several families had converted to Christianity more than a decade earlier. They held a fire purification ceremony with the villagers, tore a cross off the local church and put up a poster of the god Shiva. The space was now a temple, they declared. Then right-wing Hindu groups announced a Christmas Day ceremony where they planned to welcome hundreds of Christians and Muslims back to Hinduism. After a nationwide furor, organizers postponed the ceremony on Tuesday. But one of them, Rajeshwar Singh Solanki, said in an interview Thursday they will demonstrate against any church baptisms performed on the holiday. He said his group’s ultimate aim is to ensure that Islam and Christianity “cease to exist” in India. Christians in Aligarh say they are afraid of what might happen on their holiest of days…

Islamic State turns monastery into a prison (Fides) In the city of Mosul, captured by jihadist militants of the Islamic State in June, Christian churches continue to be turned into prisons. Last weekend, fighters transferred at least 150 prisoners, blindfolded and handcuffed, to the ancient Monastery of St. George, which belonged to the Order of St. Anthony Sant’Ormisda of the Chaldeans. The prisoners, previously held in the prison in Badush, were evacuated in anticipation of a possible attack by the anti-Caliphate coalition…

Latin patriarch of Jerusalem issues Christmas message (Fides) Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem has taken the opportunity of the traditional Christmas message to reconsider with eyes of faith the events that recently marked the lives of the peoples in Holy Land — an account in which pain and hope, despair and consolation intertwine, in a time marked by the visit of Pope Francis, the new Gaza war and the attacks against places of worship…

Jordan struggles to house refugees as Islamic State fears grow (Vatican Radio) The United Nations has launched an appeal to raise $8.4 billion for the coming year, to help nearly 18 million people affected by the war in Syria. On Thursday, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, Antonio Guterres, said that people who have been displaced within Syria “have exhausted their savings and resources.” He added that neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are bearing the brunt of the refugee crisis and “are at breaking point…”

Jordan submits Palestine U.N. resolution draft (Al Akhbar) Palestinian leaders on Wednesday sought Arab backing for a draft U.N. resolution that would set a two-year deadline for reaching a final settlement with Israel and pave the way for a two-state solution. The draft resolution calls for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation” of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and “fulfills the vision” of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the shared capital. Meanwhile, in Washington, the State Department declined to say whether the United States would use its veto power…

Egypt court jails 40 Morsi supporters convicted of torching churches (Al Akhbar) An Egyptian court sentenced 40 backers of President Muhammad Morsi to up to 15 years in jail Thursday for violence including torching churches, a judicial source said. Followers of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement have been the target of a relentless crackdown by the authorities since he was deposed in July 2013 by ex-army chief and current President Abdel Fattah al Sisi…



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