Author Archive for ACN-USA News

Central African Republic: Catholics Reach Out to Former Deadly Enemies
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Central African Republic: Catholics Reach Out to Former Deadly Enemies

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The Catholic leader of the Central African Republic embodies his Church’s commitment to peace and national reconciliation. Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapailanga, the president of the bishops’ conference and archbishop of the capital city of Bangui, recently visited a camp where former members of the Seleka Muslim rebel militia are housed, along with their families. For several […]

Christian Community in India Still Awaits Justice--but Faith Flourishes
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Christian Community in India Still Awaits Justice–but Faith Flourishes

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Last August marked the anniversary of the 2008 massacre of more than 100 Christians at the hands of a Hindu mob in Kandhamal district in Orissa (Odisha) State, India—and the culprits, though most of them have been identified, have yet to be tried. Six years later, a Catholic priest who narrowly escaped a most gruesome […]

Worst-hit Nigerian Diocese is Reeling from Boko Haram Attacks
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Worst-hit Nigerian Diocese is Reeling from Boko Haram Attacks

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“People are dying every day and in most cases with no one to give them a decent burial–they are left to rot; their homes and properties looted.” Since 2009 and the start of Boko Haram’s reign of terror in Nigeria, the Diocese of Maiduguri has been the worst hit by attacks from the extremist Islamic […]

Christians Struggle to Rebuild Their Lives in Syria
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Christians Struggle to Rebuild Their Lives in Syria

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“War is a terrible and cruel thing.” SISTER MARIA of Nazareth has committed herself to an extraordinary mission. The Argentinian nun from the Institute of the Incarnate Word has been living in Aleppo, Syria, for the past two months, ministering to a traumatized Christian community in the former million-strong metropolis in the north of the […]

In Lebanon, a Major Catholic Village Walks its Way of the Cross
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In Lebanon, a Major Catholic Village Walks its Way of the Cross

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The village of Kaa is in the north of the Bekaa Valley, close to the Syrian border. It has a population of some 13,000 Christians, most of them Melkites. After the city of Zahle, this is the home of the country’s the largest Catholic population. Kaa is surrounded by mostly Shiite Muslim communities. Kaa has […]

Syrian Bishop Cries Out: 'Help My People Stay'
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Syrian Bishop Cries Out: ‘Help My People Stay’

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“We are strong in our faith, rooted in our history. We have been here for 2000 years. We refuse to go!” Iraq and Syria are in turmoil. In Iraq, Islamic radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are threatening to plunge the country back into civil war. In Syria, a ruthless regime […]

Iraq's Christians Facing a Human Catastrophe
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Iraq’s Christians Facing a Human Catastrophe

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“They are facing a human catastrophe and risk a real genocide. They need, water, food, shelter…” These were the words of the leader of Iraq’s biggest Catholic community as he made an impassioned plea for help to the international community following the fall of Iraq’s largest Christian town on the night of August 6th-7th. In […]

Targeted intimidation: First attack on Catholic nuns in Bangladesh
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Targeted intimidation: First attack on Catholic nuns in Bangladesh

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For the first time, Catholic nuns have been the target of a concerted, brutal attack in Bangladesh involving a late-night attack by dozens of men that lasted over an hour. “50 to 60 armed men attacked the Boldipukur mission on July 7 at 2 a.m., and specifically the presbytery, the convent and the hospital,” Bishop […]

Christian Exodus from Iraq Accelerates
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Christian Exodus from Iraq Accelerates

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The migration of Christians out of Iraq will accelerate. This was the view held by the head of the Chaldean-Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako. In an interview with the international Catholic pastoral charity, Aid to the Church in Need given on Saturday, June 28th in Ankawa, near Erbil, he said, “When I was […]

Iraq: "We Fear a Civil War"
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Iraq: “We Fear a Civil War”

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“We fear a civil war. If the various different opposing internal parties do not succeed in finding an agreement, then we must expect the worst. Another war would mean the end, especially for us Christians.” This was the message from Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Syroub of Baghdad, speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church […]

Catholics in Mongolia: Steady Growth in Difficult Territory
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Catholics in Mongolia: Steady Growth in Difficult Territory

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According to a local Catholic leader, the Catholic Church is growing steadily in Mongolia, despite all the obstacles it faces. The Apostolic Administrator of Ulaanbaatar, Bishop Wenceslao Selga Padilla, made his comments while visiting international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Bishop Wenceslao, originally from the Philippines, has headed the Apostolic […]

Holy Land - Preparing for Pope Francis
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Holy Land – Preparing for Pope Francis

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When Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land, Auxiliary Bishop Marcuzzo was still only a seminarian, but to this day he remains impressed by the visit. Now, 50 years later, other seminarians are preparing for the visit of a new Pope. Returning to the sources: this was the goal Pope Paul VI had set himself […]

Pope Francis to Meet Refugees in Jordan
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Pope Francis to Meet Refugees in Jordan

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It’s only a week now until Pope Francis sets out on his trip to the Middle East. Father Khalil Jaar is already excited. “I was asked whether I could organize two buses of refugees for a meeting with the Holy Father,” the priest of the Latin Patriarchate said proudly. “I didn’t have to think about it […]

The Church in the Heart of Israeli-Jewish Society
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The Church in the Heart of Israeli-Jewish Society

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With a formal Pontifical Mass the Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem inaugurated the first Catholic pastoral center for migrant workers in Israel on April 26 in Tel Aviv. Those present included the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, and the Ambassador of the Philippines in Israel. Father David Neuhaus SJ, coordinator of the […]

Priest Killed in Syria
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Priest Killed in Syria

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A priest helping Christians sheltering in Syria’s Old City of Homs has been murdered. Dutch Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt was shot twice in the head this morning, April 7. Speaking from Syria, fellow Jesuit Fr. Ziad Hillal told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), “Fr. Frans was apparently killed by […]

Syria: Christians in Fear, but Don't Want to Flee Homeland
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Syria: Christians in Fear, but Don’t Want to Flee Homeland

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In spite of an uncertain future, Christians in Syria do not want to leave. This was the message of a local Catholic leader, who said, “We Christians are living in fear, the future is uncertain, but we want to stay in our homeland.” The statement came from the Melkite Greek-Catholic Archbishop of Homs, Hama and […]

Kidnapped Nuns Set Free in Syria
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Kidnapped Nuns Set Free in Syria

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Twelve nuns kidnapped by jihadists in Syria last December were set free yesterday (Sunday, March 9th). Patriarch Gregorios III, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, broke the news to a team from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), who had just arrived in Lebanon to visit projects supporting refugees from Syria. The Damascus-based […]

Ukraine - Hope, Faith and Solidarity in Times of Great Change
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Ukraine – Hope, Faith and Solidarity in Times of Great Change

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An urgent appeal for prayer has come from one of Ukraine’s most senior Catholic bishops as momentous political change sweeps the country. Archbishop Mieczys?aw Mokrzycki, President of Ukraine’s Latin-rite Catholic Bishops’ Conference, highlighted the “great solidarity” of people worldwide, shown in prayer and practical aid. The archbishop’s comments, given in an interview with Catholic charity […]

Religious Sisters Escape Being Raped in the Central African Republic
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Religious Sisters Escape Being Raped in the Central African Republic

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A local priest has reported on the looting, killings and rape that have followed the withdrawal of Seleka rebels into Chad from the Central African Republic, including the attempted rape of two religious Sisters. Father Aurelio Gazzera,  Caritas Director of the Diocese of Bouar, made his report to international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the […]

Central African Republic: Saying "No" to Hatred and Revenge
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Central African Republic: Saying “No” to Hatred and Revenge

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A local Catholic has expressed a resounding “No” to hatred and revenge in the Central African Republic in that face of hatred and conflict. Archbishop Dieudonnè Nzapalainga of Bangui made his commented while speaking recently with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). In the interview, the archbishop lamented that the Central […]

Building the Wall in the Holy Land
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Building the Wall in the Holy Land

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A local Catholic expressed his hopes and concerns regarding the proposed building of a wall in the Holy Land that could result in Christian families losing their homes. Speaking on Monday, Jan. 27, with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem hopes […]

Ukraine: Bishop Denounces Violence Against Protestors
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Ukraine: Bishop Denounces Violence Against Protestors

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According to a local bishop, the “brutal” crackdown on demonstrators in Ukraine is acting as a recruitment agent for the protest movement. “It is hard to imagine a more prayerful [protest] in 21st century Europe,” says Bishop Gudziak,describing the country as being engaged “in a battle for dignity.” Bishop Borys Gudziak, Eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic […]

A New Constitution Spells Bright Future for Egypt's Christians
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A New Constitution Spells Bright Future for Egypt’s Christians

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Coptic Catholic Bishops in Egypt have hailed the result of the referendum on the country’s new constitution, saying the document amounts to a crucial step towards religious freedom and other civil liberties for people of all faiths, including the country’s Christian minority. In interviews with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishops Kyrillos […]

Appeal from Syria's Catholic Leader Ahead of Geneva Peace Conference
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Appeal from Syria’s Catholic Leader Ahead of Geneva Peace Conference

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The leader of Catholics in Syria has issued an urgent appeal to the faithful in Syria, and people throughout the world, to pray for the success of this week’s Geneva II peace conference to be held in Montreux, Switzerland. Damascus-based Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III has called on every Syrian Catholic, whatever their circumstances, […]

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