Middle East - Africa News

The custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, walks through empty Bethlehem streets during the solemn entrance to the Basilica of the Nativity on Jan. 6, 2024.

The Holy Land may turn into a museum or an architectural remembrance, archbishop warns

Mar 29, 2024

By Nicolás de Cárdenas

The archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain, Francisco Cerro Chávez, stressed in a recent letter the need to support... Read more

The Catholic faithful gathered in the Cenacle in Jerusalem for the Mass of the Lord's Supper that the Franciscan friars celebrated on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2024. The Cenacle is at the center of strong tensions and disputes regarding ownership and rights of access and celebration. An ancient tradition places King David’s tomb here and over the centuries Jews and Muslims have leveraged this to first expel the Franciscans and then to prevent Christian worship, which they deemed sacrilegious.

PHOTOS: Friars and faithful gather in Upper Room in Jerusalem to mark the Last Supper

Mar 28, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

On Holy Thursday, the doors of the Cenacle in Jerusalem were opened to welcome the Franciscans of the Custody of... Read more

On Holy Wednesday, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land venerated the column to which, according to tradition, Jesus was bound to be scourged. They prayed the station dedicated to the column during the daily procession that the Franciscans perform inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. At the end, they intoned the hymn “Columna Nobilis” and then, one by one, they performed an act of veneration. March 27, 2024.

Holy Wednesday in Jerusalem: Venerating the pillar of Christ’s flagellation

Mar 27, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

In Jerusalem, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land venerate the two stones that, according to Luke’s Gospel,... Read more


Holy Land priest recommends 4 ways to live a worthwhile Holy Week

Mar 27, 2024

By Walter Sánchez Silva

Father Juan María Solana, LC, director of the Magdala Center in the Holy Land, offers four ways to live worthwhile... Read more

Some Greek Orthodox monks at the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher wait for the solemn entrance of the patriarch on Saturday, March 23, 2024, for the First Vesper of the first Sunday of Lent, called the "Sunday of Orthodoxy."

PHOTOS: As Catholics enter Holy Week, Orthodox churches begin Great Lent in Holy Land

Mar 26, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

As the Catholic Church in the Holy Land entered Holy Week by literally retracing the steps of Jesus’ passion, the... Read more

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, gives the final blessing with the relic of the holy cross at the end of the Palm Sunday procession from Bethphage to Jerusalem on March 24, 2024.

PHOTOS: Palm Sunday procession in Holy Land celebrates ‘joy in being Christians’

Mar 25, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, led the procession, which departed from Bethphage on the eastern side of... Read more

The daily procession of the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Due to the restoration works inside the basilica, Franciscans, as well as other communities, had to change the route of their processions. These are all issues that need to be discussed, as they fall within the Status Quo.

What is the ‘Status Quo’ that governs some of Jerusalem’s holiest sites?

Mar 24, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

A decree going back to 1852 governs the possession and rights of use for Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities at... Read more

Map of Congo.

Lifting of moratorium on death penalty in Congo ‘a step backwards,’ cardinal says

Mar 22, 2024

By Jude Atemanke

In a March 17 interview, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo said he finds it “abnormal that a government that claims to be... Read more

A screenshot of Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo during the March 17 interview with KTO.

African cardinal: Fiducia Supplicans seen as ‘cultural colonization, Western imperialism’

Mar 20, 2024

By Jude Atemanke

In a March 17 interview, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo deplored the lack of “synodality” in the release of the DDF document... Read more

German martyrs who gave their lives in the service of the Gospel in Africa. Clockwise from top left to bottom right: Bishop Cassian (Franz Anton) Spiess, Father Karl Maria Weber, Brother Bernhard Ignatius Sarnes, Bishop Adolph Schmitt, Sister Magdala (Christa Elisabeth) Lewandowski, and Brother Heinz vom Kreuz (Heinz) Eberlein

German bishops to Church in Africa: Initiate canonization of German martyrs

Mar 16, 2024

By Agnes Aineah

A representative of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference has challenged African Church leaders to initiate the canonization processes for German... Read more

Celebration of Mass at Holy Family Parish in Gaza.

Christians in Gaza face ‘worst period’ since start of war, report says

Mar 14, 2024

By Diego López Marina

The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need reported that the Christian community in Gaza “is going through the... Read more

The Coptic Orthodox Church said Pope Tawadros II is aware of the attack that happened March 12, 2024, in the Coptic monastery of St. Mark and St. Bishop Samuel the Confessor in South Africa.

Attack on Coptic monastery in South Africa takes lives of three monks

Mar 13, 2024

By CNA Staff

The Coptic Orthodox Church announced that three monks were attacked and murdered Tuesday in the Coptic monastery in South Africa. Read more

Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako speaks with Rody Sher of ACI MENA.

Chaldean patriarch urges preservation of rights for Iraq’s diverse communities

Mar 12, 2024

By Georgena Habbaba

As the 21st anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime approaches, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako has called for a... Read more

A camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Renk, South Sudan.

South Sudan bishop: Our people ‘on brink of destitution, slowly perishing’

Mar 11, 2024

By ACI Africa

In a March 8 letter, Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala described the desperate situation of his people in South Sudan. Read more

Suhail Shadi Abu Dawod with Father Gabriel Romanelli, the parish priest of Gaza, on the seashore in Gaza last summer 2023. Romanelli, belongs to the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), a Catholic clerical religious institute founded in Argentina on March 25, 1984, which Abu Dawod has petitioned to join.

Gaza teen waits to follow vocation: ‘My faith is flourishing amidst the challenges of war’

Mar 11, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Suhail Shadi Abu Dawod was planning to join the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) in Italy — then the... Read more

Monsignor Aurelio Gazzera, coadjutor bishop-elect of the Diocese of Bangassou in the Central African Republic.

Bishop-elect in Central African Republic vows to foster peace through dialogue with rebel groups

Mar 6, 2024

By Magdalene Kahiu

Monsignor Aurelio Gazzera of the Diocese of Bangassou hopes to become a “symbol of peace” as armed groups continue to... Read more

Woolen scarves produced at the Rafedìn tailoring workshop in Amman, Jordan. The workshop is hosted in the premises of the Latin parish of Mar Yousef and it provides employment for approximately 20 young Iraqi women who sought refuge in Jordan.

This tailoring shop in Jordan helps Iraqi refugees knit their lives back together

Mar 3, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Founded by Father Mario Cornioli, the shop called Rafedìn has been helping Iraqis rebuild their lives over the past eight... Read more

A picture taken from a position in southern Israel on Feb. 29, 2024, shows smoke billowing over the Gaza Strip amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Vatican reiterates calls for hostage returns, cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war

Feb 29, 2024

By Kate Quiñones

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin insisted on Tuesday that a “cease-fire” is the only way for the hostages... Read more

Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Cardinal Sarah cautions against disunity among Christians, says it’s counter-witnessing

Feb 26, 2024

By ACI Africa

Disunity among followers of Christ is counterproductive to the mission of witnessing the Gospel message and evangelization, Cardinal Robert Sarah... Read more

On Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, approximately 1,000 children and youth from Christian schools in Jerusalem walked the Via Dolorosa in the Old City, offering prayers for peace. The crowd brought life to the streets of the Holy City for the first time since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war last October.

PHOTOS: 1,000 Christian youth walk the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem for peace

Feb 26, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

“The Way of the Cross… A Way of Peace” was organized by the Custody of the Holy Land and involved... Read more