Mosul, Iraq, Oct 23, 2014 / 04:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Reflecting on his recent trip to the Holy Land and to Iraqi Kurdistan, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City said that for all practical purposes, the bishops of Mosul no longer have Churches to shepherd. “When we were in Erbil, we met with the Archbishop of Mosul, who along with his priests and all of the faithful of the archdiocese, have been driven out,” Archbishop Coakley told CNA in an Oct. 16 interview.
“He is, in effect, the archbishop of a Church that no longer exists.” Archbishop Coakley continued, saying, “they've all been scattered. There are no more Christians in his archdiocese. That's a traumatic, but illustrative situation, of what's happening there, and what can happen, if things don't improve.”
There are in fact two Catholic archbishops of Mosul: one for Chaldean, and one for Syriac Catholics. Both of them, as well as three Orthodox bishops, were forced from their home along with their people by the Islamic State in mid-July – three months ago.
(CNA/EWTN News) - "There's a huge gulf now" between China and the Catholic Church, Smith stated during an Oct. 9 conference call with reporters. He acknowledged that "the underground church has been brutally persecuted in China, both Protestant and Catholic," but said that now even the state-recognized church is facing persecution.
"The Patriotic Church, the Catholic Church, they are being targeted with church demolitions and other kinds of repression which we have not seen before. So there's a great deal of concern that religious freedom, as bad as it was, has further deteriorated in China."
Smith and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) co-hosted the teleconference, focusing on the latest annual report from the human rights monitoring group, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Both lawmakers cited various ways that the Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.
Beirut: Fought over 15 bloody years, the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) finally stopped after protagonists accepted the October 22, 1989 Ta’if Accords, even if its recommendations were never implemented. On Wednesday, senior officials inaugurated a two-day conference—“The Ta’if Agreement 25 Years Later”—to mark the agreement’s silver jubilee, ostensibly to initiate a long overdue conversation on its provisions, including plans to abolish political sectarianism in parliament, create a Senate that would preserve the 1943 National Charter, balance development needs across the country, and draft an election law that ensured fair representation.
Organized by the Civil Centre for National Initiative and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation, conferees were invited to take part in four discussion panels on Thursday where eleven Lebanese political groups, international officials, religious figures from various sects along with representatives of civil society organizations exchanged notes. On Friday, attendees were expected to appraise whether Ta’if was still relevant in the current regional context, in light of the civil war in Syria.
BEIRUT: Families of the 27 Lebanese soldiers and policemen being held captive by Islamist militants Monday threatened a “day of rage” if the government failed to show significant progress toward the release of the hostages with two days.
"We give the government and political figures 48 hours before we launch a 'day of rage' Wednesday,” said a statement on behalf of the hostages' families.
BEIRUT: The patient who was said to have been showing symptoms of Ebola and reportedly tested at Beirut's Rafik Hariri University Hospital Thursday was never suspected to have been infected with the disease, a hospital official told The Daily Star, saying that hospital workers were conducting a drill.
The doctor responsible for "testing" the patient is “100 percent sure that it is not an Ebola case, but we are treating it as if it was a real case as an exercise for potential future cases," the official said.
The cabinet on Thursday endorsed a plan aimed at halting the flow of Syrian refugees into the country, except for “humanitarian cases,” noting that any displaced person who visits Syria after the decision will be stripped of the refugee status.
“The cabinet endorsed the paper related to restricting the entry of refugees across the border, except for humanitarian and extraordinary cases,” Information Minister Ramzi Jreij announced after a cabinet session at the Grand Serail.
Pope Francis lamented the terrors faced by Christian persecution in Iraq and Syria, on Monday morning, during Public Consistory of the College of Cardinals. He also called on all other Christian communities to stand in solidarity with those being persecuted.
He opened the consistory, held in the New Synod Hall, by remarking that the situation Christians are currently facing in the Middle East has reached an “unimaginable scale.”
BEIRUT: The United Kingdom has delivered military defense equipment to the Lebanese Army to deal with the jihadist threat on its eastern border with Syria, the British embassy announced Wednesday.
The donation, worth $16 million, includes 164 Land Rovers, 1,500 sets of body armor, a secure radio communication network, border watchtowers, and HESCO bastions to protect Army positions along the frontier.