refugees

Archdiocese, others reach out with welcoming, loving hands

Several Catholic ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are organizing a "Solidarity Walk and Mass With Our Immigrant and Refugee Brothers and Sisters" on Saturday, April 8, from St. Louis University to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Participants will assemble at noon at the Clock Tower on the SLU campus for an opening prayer. They then will embark on a prayerful procession west on Lindell Boulevard to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue, for a multilingual Mass at 1:30 p.m.

U.S. bishops ask Catholics to accompany migrants and refugees

A woman in New York walked Sept. 16 past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Greece. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholics to “not lose sight of the fact that behind every policy is the story of a person in search of a better life.”

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops in a pastoral reflection called all Catholics to do what each of them can "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

Titled "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," the reflection was issued March 22 "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands," according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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.

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