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Current Issue
July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
  
21 December 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




People gather near a light display on 17 December, ahead of Christmas in Moscow. (photo: CNS/Tatyana Makeyeva, Reuters)

A “roofless crib” in Damascus (Fides) This year the task of preparing the Christmas Nativity scene in the Cathedral of Damascus was given to the youth who had started meeting together after eight years of violence and dispersion. In the representation of the Nativity, the figures of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and Infant Jesus in the manger are exposed outdoors, not covered by the roof of a stable or a hut. The youth have stated that this represents the 13,000,000 Syrian refugees who are homeless and have no roof of their own…

Syrian bishop: U.S. pull-out further step towards to ending the conflict (AsiaNews) The withdrawal of U.S. troops “is further confirmation that the conflict in Syria, albeit in a slow and laborious way, is heading towards an end,” says Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo. The Jesuit and former president of Caritas Syria says he hopes the country now can seek a long-term solution…

Turkey’s Erdogan delays operation against Kurdish forces in Syria (Washington Post) Turkey will delay a planned offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, citing talks with the U.S. president and other officials after the administration’s decision this week to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country…

U.S. genocide law triggers mixed feelings among Iraqis (Al Monitor) A new US law designed to protect religious minorities and punish the Islamic State for its atrocities is getting a mixed reception from Iraqis, who are uncertain about how it will be applied on the ground. Murad Ismael, the executive director of the Yazidi rights group Yazda, praised the Trump administration’s support for religious minorities as an “excellent principle.” Other groups, however, bristled at the new law’s focus on Yazidis and Christians. U.S.-based Mandaean activist Nazar al Haidar, for example, told Al Monitor that his community is not explicitly covered by the law…

Orthodox believers rally to protest Ukraine parliament vote (New Jersey Herald) Over 1,000 believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church rallied outside the country’s parliament Thursday to protest its demand that their church’s name is changed to reflect its ties to Moscow. Parliament passed a bill earlier Thursday demanding that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church explicitly indicate its link to the Moscow Patriarchate in its name. The Ukrainian church has been part of the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries, but a bitter tug-of-war following Russia’s annexation of Crimea has encouraged moves within Ukrainian orthodoxy to create a separate church with no direct links to Moscow…

Indian nun: Survivors ‘need to be heard’ at Vatican abuse summit (Crux) A Vatican summit on clerical sexual abuse from 21 to 24 February will emphasize the fact that “victims need to be heard,” says a member of pope’s main child protection organization. The crucial steps, says Indian Sister Arina Gonsalves, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, are to “recognize the truth of what has happened and … meet abuse survivors in their home country ahead of the February summit in order to learn firsthand the suffering that they have endured…”



Tags: Syria Ukraine Sisters Yazidi