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Latest news: Middle East - Africa

Christians returning to Homs, Syria, even though Islamic State looms

Apr 1, 2015 - 02:01 am .- In the wake of the Syrian regime’s taking full control of the ancient Christian city of Homs almost a year ago, a measure of normality has returned for local residents – including a remnant of the Christian population.

Three weeks as an Islamic State captive – one woman tells her story

Mar 31, 2015 - 04:02 am .- The woman was just 19 years old when she was captured by militants from the Islamic State. Caring for her young son and pregnant with her second child, she was separated from her husband and told she would be forced to marry an Islamic State fighter.

With #BringBackOurGirls no longer trending, Nigerians aghast at 'inaction' from donors

Mar 30, 2015 - 02:08 am .- Almost a year after the terror group Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian school girls, humanitarian workers are fighting what they call global inaction in the face of the humanitarian crisis.

Pope's delegation offers comfort, communion to Iraqi refugees

Mar 28, 2015 - 06:00 pm .- Hoping to awaken the world conscience on Iraq, a Pontifical delegation traveled to Erbil and Dohuk to foster local communion and shed light on the dramatic plight of Christians in the country.  

Palestinian president may visit Vatican a second time for canonization Mass

Mar 26, 2015 - 02:04 am .- Nearly a year since taking part in a prayer for Middle East peace in the Vatican Gardens, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has been invited to the Vatican a second time, for the canonization Mass of two Palestinians.

A 'spiritual oasis' – Southern Arabian cathedral celebrates 50 years

Mar 23, 2015 - 05:33 pm .- The Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Arabia, which serves the more than 2 million Catholics in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen, last week celebrated the 50th anniversary of its cathedral parish.

Congolese bishop condemns priest's murder as an 'infernal act'

Mar 19, 2015 - 02:04 am .- A bishop from the Democratic Republic of the Congo has condemned last month’s murder of one of his priests in the strongest possible terms.

Ebola cases are dropping, but it's 'still too early to rejoice'

Mar 18, 2015 - 03:14 pm .- As the number of Ebola cases continue to fall in West Africa, survivors of the nightmarish outbreak are expressing cautious optimism, saying they still need much support.

With rise in extremist threat, Pope assures Nigerian bishops of his closeness

Mar 18, 2015 - 12:08 am .- Pope Francis has sent a letter to the bishops of Nigeria telling them not to be discouraged by problems caused by an increase of extremist violence in the country, and said he prays for them every day.

Read the words of an Orthodox bishop kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago

Mar 15, 2015 - 06:02 am .- On April 22, 2013, both the Greek and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim, were kidnapped in Syria near the Turkish border. Their driver, Deacon Fatha' Allah Kabboud, was killed.

Will Pope Francis visit the fragile Central African Republic later this year?

Mar 13, 2015 - 05:21 pm .- The Archbishop of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, said on Thursday that Pope Francis will visit his country in November. The Pope has expressed his desire to visit the nation, which has been engaged in a civil war for more than two years, but the Holy See says nothing is yet official.

March 15, 2015: A day of fasting, prayer for war-torn Syria

Mar 12, 2015 - 04:01 am .- As the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian civil war approaches, the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has called for a world day of prayer and fasting for peace in his country.

Malawian bishops visit flooded areas, showing solidarity and delivering aid

Mar 12, 2015 - 12:02 am .- Malawi's bishops are making solidarity visits to areas in the country's southern and central regions to deliver aid items collected for those affected by devastating floods in January which displaced more than 230,000 from their homes.

After devastating floods, Malawi bishops urge disaster management policies

Mar 6, 2015 - 02:03 am .- In light of heavy flooding in the country earlier this year, Malawi's bishops have held a workshop for journalists to help them explore climate challenges and to mobilize public policy changes.

African bishops aim for observer status at African Union

Feb 27, 2015 - 12:08 am .- The African bishops took the first step on Monday toward having representation at the African Union, with the appointment of a liaison between the AU and the ymposium of African bishops conferences.

Relief and gratitude after release of priest abducted in Afghanistan

Feb 23, 2015 - 02:35 pm .- Friends and colleagues have pledged their support for a Jesuit priest released after eight months of captivity in Afghanistan, where he had been working to help refugees.

Coptic Catholics consecrate first church in Sinai, against backdrop of martyrdom

Feb 20, 2015 - 02:01 am .- “The Church in Egypt has been strengthened by the murder of our brothers in Libya.” Such was the reaction of Coptic Catholic Bishop Youssef Aboul-Kheir of Sohag to the beheading of 21 Orthodox Coptic men in Libya by Islamic State affiliates.

Why this bishop is staying in Libya after the ISIS massacre

Feb 19, 2015 - 02:48 am .- “I should stay! How can I leave the Christians alone?”

Near Bethlehem, Israeli barrier threatens Christians' future

Feb 18, 2015 - 03:35 pm .- Palestinian Christians, a monastery, a convent and a Catholic school near Bethlehem are all at risk from the Israeli government’s planned security barrier in the West Bank’s Cremisan Valley, the U.S. bishops have told members of Congress.

Meet the Christians in Syria who want to stay, despite the war

Feb 17, 2015 - 02:01 am .- “Fortunately, the battles are over for now. There was fierce fighting in Al Nabek all through Advent. No one was able to flee. The people were trapped. Peace was then finally restored in the week before Christmas. But you never know.”

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