refugees

Egyptian priest praises Muslim support of threatened Christians

Displaced Egyptian Christian families, who used to live in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, sat near their belongings after arriving Feb. 24 at a church in Ismailia. Catholic churches in Ismailia, with help from Caritas, have helped Coptic Orthodox fleeing Islamic State attacks in North Sinai.

OXFORD, England — A spokesman for Egypt's Catholic Church praised local Muslims for helping embattled Christians after a series of Islamic State attacks in Sinai.

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, said Christians must differentiate between ordinary Muslims and extremists.

"Ordinary Muslims are kind and try to help however they can — they're often first on the scene, rescuing the injured and taking them to hospitals," he said March 3, as Christians continued to flee Egypt's North Sinai region.

In Jordan, Syrian refugees accepted by U.S. frustrated with Trump action

Syrian refugees arrived at a camp in 2016 in Royashed, Jordan. Promised resettlement in the United States, many Syrian refugees are frustrated and angry over President Donald Trump's executive action banning their entry to the U.S. until further notice.

AMMAN, Jordan -- Promised resettlement in the United States after escaping death and destruction in their homeland, many Syrian refugees are frustrated and angry over President Donald Trump's executive action banning their entry to the U.S. until further notice.

"We're frustrated. We were told that we were accepted for resettlement in the U.S., and now everything is at a standstill," a Syrian refugee woman said, wiping away tears as she surveyed her crumbling home in the Jordanian capital.

Iraqi patriarch: Fast track for Christian refugees will fuel tensions

An elderly woman from Mosul, Iraq, sat at a refugee camp in Khazer, Iraq, Jan. 29. Giving priority to Christian refugees for settlement programs would be "a trap" that discriminates and fuels religious tensions in the Middle East, said Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

VATICAN CITY -- Giving priority to Christian refugees for settlement programs would be "a trap" that discriminates and fuels religious tensions in the Middle East, said Iraq's Chaldean Catholic patriarch.

"Every reception policy that discriminates (between) the persecuted and suffering on religious grounds ultimately harms the Christians of the East" and would be "a trap for Christians in the Middle East," said Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

Trump's order banning refugees evokes strong opposition, support

Demonstrators at LAX International Airport in Los Angeles protested the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump Jan. 29.

WASHINGTON -- As President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum intended to restrict the entry of terrorists coming to the United States in the guise of refugees, the action brought quick response from Catholic and other religious leaders.

The largest response came from more than 2,000 religious leaders representing the Interfaith Immigration Coalition who objected to the action in a letter to the president and members of Congress. The heads of Catholic charitable agencies, organizations working with immigrants and Catholic education leaders also decried the president's action.

On a Journey of hope and faith

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When Marie Uwamahoro was 7, her family fled the civil war in the Central African Republic.

She loved her former home, but being so young, the adjustment to life in the United States was easier than it was for her parents. Now a sophomore at Notre Dame High School in Lemay, Marie likes the opportunities St. Louis offers and the diversity of the city. She's planning to attend college, perhaps becoming a nurse.

Refugee deaths at sea reach all-time high, U.N. agency reports

ROME — The number of migrants and refugees who have died while making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean is expected to reach an all-time high in 2016, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency said.

The 3,740 lives lost so far in 2016 "is the worst we have seen," William Spindler, agency spokesman, said Oct. 25 at a press briefing in Geneva. For all of 2015, the agency said, 3,771 refugees lost their lives on the sea.

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