Islamic State

The Latest

St. George Maronite cathedral beside the Mohammad Al-Amin mosque in Beirut, the Lebanese capital.

Muslim leaders in Lebanon condemn persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Jun 16, 2015

The leaders of four branches of Islam in Lebanon gathered earlier this month to issue a joint statement in the... Read more

Iraqi nun's visa denial raises questions for US State Department

May 8, 2015

By Kevin J. Jones

Sister Diana Momeka, a Catholic nun from Iraq, intended to visit the U.S. to talk about the persecution of religious... Read more

Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, with refugee children in Iraq, March 28, 2015.

How the Holy See is using diplomacy to aid Christians in the Middle East

Apr 8, 2015

In the face of increased persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the Holy See's diplomatic arm is developing a... Read more

A young Syrian refugee at school in Ramtha, Jordan.

An exodus with little hope – report finds crisis of unaccompanied minors fleeing Syria

Mar 10, 2015

By Matt Hadro

The countries neighboring Syria are swamped with millions of refugees from its civil war which creates special risks for young... Read more

Pope Francis prays with journalists on the papal flight en route to South Korea, August 14, 2014.

Pope condemns beheading of Egyptian Christians, says blood 'cries out to be heard'

Feb 16, 2015

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis mourned the 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State, calling them martyrs that “belong to all Christians.”  Read more

After pilot's heinous execution, Jordan's Christians pray for religious harmony

Feb 4, 2015

By Kevin J. Jones

Christians in Jordan have responded to the Islamic State's gruesome execution of a captured Jordanian pilot with sorrow, calling for... Read more

An Iraqi Christian refugee at a church shelter in Jordan, Oct. 28, 2014.

Can Christians survive the 'dirty games' of Middle East politics?

Jan 30, 2015

By Kevin J. Jones

Christians have lived in the Middle East since the time of the apostles, but political machinations by world powers and... Read more

The Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, Louis Sako, speaks during a prayer vigil at St. John Lateran in Rome, Oct. 23, 2014.

Leading Iraqi Christian calls on Muslims to confront 'culture of hatred'

Jan 23, 2015

The Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon has encouraged Iraqi Muslims to confront violent extremists, stressing the need to return to peaceful... Read more

Sister Sanaa Hana, who was forced from her convent in Mosul by the Islamic State, is seen in Erbil with children in front of a house where she has found refuge.

In Kurdish Iraq, new beginnings for exiled nuns and priests

Jan 14, 2015

By Oliver Maksan

In 2014, more than 120,000 Christians in Iraq, among them dozens of priests and religious, had to flee from the... Read more

Christian refugees in Mar Elia parish centre in the Christian neighbourhood of Ankawa in Erbil, Iraq.

Among Christian refugees in Kurdistan, 'no one is angry at God'

Jan 11, 2015

By Oliver Maksan

“Thank you, thank you, thank you:” Suheila, an elderly Christian woman from Mosul was effusive in expressing her gratitude to... Read more

The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Emil Nona, who was forced from his eparchy by the Islamic State in 2014.

The faith that has been in Iraq 2,000 years 'cannot disappear so easily'

Jan 9, 2015

Archbishop Emil Nona is the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, the Iraqi city overrun by the Islamic State last summer. Since... Read more

Maan George Hanna, an Iraqi Christian refugee at a church shelter in Jordan.

Iraqi Christians say there's no going home after rise of Islamic State

Jan 7, 2015

By Kevin J. Jones

Christians lived in Iraq for nearly two thousand years, but the violent rise of the Islamic State has convinced many... Read more

Imad Ibraheem Daood with his wife Sajida and their four children, in a refugee center in Amman.

In refugee limbo, Iraqi Christians keep the faith

Dec 29, 2014

By Kevin J. Jones

Threatened by forced conversion or death at the hands of the Islamic State, many Iraqi Christians have had to flee... Read more

Families of displaced Iraqi Christians at the Church of St. Joseph in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Does the West ignore Iraqi Christians because they lack economic stake?

Dec 14, 2014

The leader of the Syriac Catholic Church has lashed out at Western governments, charging that they ignore the plight of... Read more

A church and a mosque adjacent one another in Ferizaj, Kosovo.

Catholics, Muslims together condemn terrorist acts in name of religion

Nov 13, 2014

By Andrea Gagliarducci

In a joint statement delivered Thursday, the Catholic-Muslim Forum condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, and violence, affirming it is never... Read more

Martin Baani: "I want to stay. I don’t want to run away from the problem."

Martin Baani: the Iraqi seminarian who will not leave his people

Oct 28, 2014

Bombs are falling and the sound of the explosion is sending shock and fear into the hearts of the people.... Read more

Syrian refugees who have settled in Qaa, a village in Lebanon's Bekaa province.

Refugees, displaced take center stage at Middle East consistory

Oct 22, 2014

By Elise Harris

At Monday's consistory on the Middle East, patriarchs gathered to discuss the threats facing local Christians, and focused on the... Read more

Cardinals pray together at a Feb. 22, 2014 consistory.

A Middle East without Christians - cardinals consider sad prospect

Oct 20, 2014

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Monday's consistory of cardinals focused on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, especially in light of the rise... Read more

Christians displaced by the Islamic State who have sought refuge in Ankawa, Erbil, Iraq.

Pope's concern for Christians in Middle East emerges at family synod

Oct 7, 2014

By Andrea Gagliarducci

In an unexpected move, Pope Francis added to the schedule of the upcoming consistory for the causes of saints a... Read more

These children who have taken refuge from the Islamic State at St. Josef parish in Erbil, are among the 1.2 million internally displaced Iraqis.

Apostolic nuncios to Middle East will discuss aid, response to terrorists

Oct 1, 2014

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Pope Francis and Vatican officials are due to meet this week with the nuncios to seven Middle Eastern nations to... Read more