Middle East - Africa News

Pope Francis addresses local authorities at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad. Credit: Vatican Media.

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis in Iraq: ‘The name of God cannot be used to justify acts of murder’

In his first speech in Iraq, Pope Francis called for an end to violence and extremism so that ordinary Iraqis... Read more

The restored Marian statue damaged by Islamic State during its occupation of Karamles, Iraq. Photo credits: Rocchi/SIR.

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis will bless this Virgin Mary statue desecrated by Islamic State

Iraqi Catholics have asked Pope Francis to bless a statue of the Virgin Mary that was desecrated by the Islamic... Read more

The Catholic University of Erbil in Ankawa, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Credit: Aid to the Church in Need.

Catholic charity gives boost to Iraqi Christian students on eve of papal visit

A Catholic charity launched a $1.8 million project helping Christian students on the eve of the historic papal visit to... Read more

Children of families that sought refuge in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, April 11, 2015. Credit: Mazur/

By Courtney Mares

Christians and Muslims alike welcome Pope Francis' trip to Iraq

Iraqi Christians and Muslims alike have expressed excitment for Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, an aid worker based in... Read more

Pope Francis blesses a Lamborghini Huracán at the Vatican on Nov. 15, 2017.

By Courtney Mares

How Pope Francis used a donated Lamborghini to help rebuild Iraqi Christian communities

Christians in Iraq’s Nineveh Plains were able to rebuild a nursery school and other facilities destroyed by the Islamic State... Read more

Archbishop Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil at the Chaldean cathedral in Erbil, Iraq, April 12, 2015. Credit: Mazur/

By Hannah Brockhaus

Archbishop Warda: With papal visit, world will see ‘joyful people’ of Iraq

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil said he hopes with Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq, the world will see a... Read more

The official logo of Pope Francis' visit to Iraq. Credit: Saint-Adday.

By Courtney Mares

Where is Pope Francis going in Iraq and why? A CNA Explainer

In a week’s time Pope Francis is expected to make history by becoming the first pope to travel to Iraq.... Read more

Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa. Credit: Diocese of Pemba's Facebook page.

By Courtney Mares

Bishop: Mozambique’s persecuted Christians living an ‘experience of the cross’

Catholics living in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province have lived an “experience of the cross” amid the escalation of terrorist violence... Read more

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

Lagos archbishop urges Nigerian president to secure release of kidnapped girl

Three years after Leah Sharibu was abducted from her school in Dapchi in Yobe State within Nigeria’s Diocese of Maiduguri,... Read more

The flag of South Sudan.

Catholic clinic in South Sudan closes temporarily as doctors test positive for Covid

A Catholic health centre of the Diocese of Wau has temporarily shut down after all three doctors at the facility... Read more

Archbishop Dominique Mathieu (center) after his consecration as archbishop of Tehran-Isfahan, Iran, in Rome’s Basilica of the Twelve Apostles. Credit: Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

By Courtney Mares

‘Offer the light of the Gospel’: Tehran’s new Catholic archbishop is ordained

A Franciscan friar was ordained archbishop of Tehran-Isfahan this week and commissioned to “offer the light of the Gospel” in... Read more

The Iraqi flag. Credit: Alyaa99 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq comes as country faces ‘multiple crises’

Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq comes at a time when the country faces severe political, socioeconomic, and security challenges. The... Read more

Good Shepherd Seminary in Kaduna, Nigeria, whence four seminarians were abducted Jan. 8, 2020.

Nigerian bishop laments continuing insecurity since seminarian's killing a year ago

One year after the burial of Michael Nnadi, an 18-year-old Nigerian seminarian abducted and killed by gunmen, the local bishop... Read more

An Iraqi Catholic wears a facemark at a Mass in Baghdad on Dec. 24, 2020. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/Getty Images/CNA.

By Courtney Mares

Iraqi government imposes COVID restrictions weeks before papal visit

The Iraqi government has announced new COVID-19 restrictions, including the closure of all places of worship, less than three weeks... Read more

Fr. Pedro Opeka. Credit: Anne Aubert/Amici di Padre Pedro via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

By Courtney Mares

Catholic missionary priest nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

A Catholic missionary priest in Madagascar known for serving the poor living on a landfill has been nominated for this... Read more

Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the Maronite Patriarch, at the Vatican March 5, 2013.

By Courtney Mares

Maronite Catholic leader calls on international community to ‘help save Lebanon’

Lebanon’s Maronite patriarch called on Tuesday for the United Nations to help resolve the country’s crisis by convening an international... Read more

Vatican releases logo of Pope Francis' trip to Iraq

As Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq becomes more likely, the Holy See Press Office released Feb. 8 the logo for... Read more

Fr. Georges Jahola in Al-Tahira church in Bakhdida in November 2016, shortly after the town's liberation. Photo courtesy of Fr. Jahola.

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis to visit Iraqi cathedral burned by Islamic State

The Great Al-Tahira Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Bakhdida was charred black inside after the Islamic State set it aflame after... Read more

Ali al-Sistani, the leader of Shia Muslims in Iraq. Credit: IsaKazimi (public domain).

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Who is Ali al-Sistani, the Muslim leader whom the Pope will meet in Iraq?

During his upcoming trip to Iraq, Pope Francis will meet with the Shia Muslim leader Ali al-Sistani, a man in... Read more

Cardinal Pietro Parolin attends an ordination at the Basilica of Sant'Eugenio in Rome, Sept. 5, 2020. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

By Courtney Mares

Vatican cardinal visits Cameroon as Catholic Church seeks to resolve Anglophone crisis

The Vatican’s Secretary of State kicked off a week-long trip to Cameroon on Thursday in which he will visit a... Read more