middle east

Pence rebukes U.N. efforts to help Christians, announces Middle East trip

WASHINGTON — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized the United Nations' efforts to help persecuted Christians in the Middle East in a speech Oct. 25.

Since the organization "failed" to help Christians and other minority religious communities, he said, aid from the United States from now on would be routed through the U.S. Agency for International Development and "faith-based and private organizations" to help those who are persecuted in the region.

Bring a Christian town back to life

The Knights of Columbus has pledged $2 million to rebuild Karamdes, Iraq, where this church was destroyed.

In a letter to Christians in the Middle East in 2014, Pope Francis wrote of a "newer and disturbing terrorist organization, of previously unimaginable dimensions, which has perpetrated all kinds of abuses and inhuman acts. It has particularly affected a number of you, who have been brutally driven out of your native lands, where Christians have been present since apostolic times."

Christians need time to rebuild trust before return to Mosul region

People from Mosul, Iraq, raised a wooden cross near St. Georges Monastery April 24. Some Iraqi Christians who are making their slow return to ancestral lands say it will take time to rebuild their lives and trust of those who betrayed them.

AMMAN, Jordan — As some Iraqi Christians make a slow return to the region around Mosul following the defeat of the Islamic State group, many say it will take time to rebuild their lives and even longer to rebuild their trust of those who betrayed them.

"The war isn't finished yet and neither is the Islamic State. There is no stability and there is still fighting in Mosul," said Patriarch Louis Sako, head of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church, who visited Mosul July 20, touring churches left badly damaged during the city's three-year occupation by the extremists.

House OKs bill to aid genocide victims; Senate urged to act quickly on it

Men walked in rubble near St. Mary’s Catholic Church and St. Elias Orthodox Church last year after a bombing in Damascus, Syria. The United States passed a bill to aid victims of genocide, especially Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

WASHINGTON — The co-authors of a House bill that will provide humanitarian aid to Christians and other religious groups suffering at the hands of Islamic State militants praised the House passage of the measure June 6 and urged the Senate to quickly act on it.

The House unanimously approved the bipartisan Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act, or H.R. 390, in a voice vote.

Recalling martyrs, group looks for ways to protect Middle East Christians

Iraqis inspect the scene of a July 8 suicide bomb attack outside Imam Mohammed shrine near Baghdad. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad called for a united and strong stance, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to stop the spread of the "cancer" of Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

WASHINGTON — It's becoming increasingly difficult for Chicagoan Mary Jennett to see and hear daily about the hardship and persecution Christians face, especially in the Middle East.

So Jennett decided to do something about it by attending a Sept. 7-9 convention in Washington organized by In Defense of Christians, a group trying to find solutions to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the preservation of Christianity in areas of conflict around the world.

"They're part of our faith family," Jennett said of the Christians facing persecution.

Masses in St. Louis honor ‘Martyrs of Charity’

Missionaries of Charity attended a memorial Mass March 14 at Sts. Teresa and Bridget Church in honor of their sister murdered in Yemen. They “are the martyrs of today,” Pope Francis said. “They gave their blood for the church. Bishop Edward Rice celebrated the Mass.
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A Missionaries of Charity sister described prayers and support from St. Louis Catholics as “overwhelming.”

powerful,” Sister John Janet said after Mass on March 14 at Sts. Teresa
and Bridget Parish, the Missionaries’ home parish in St. Louis. “You
can feel the love.”

About 160 people — representing religious

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