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South Korean president to visit Pope Francis 
VATICAN (SE): The president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, is slated to visit Pope Francis on October 18, Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See’s Press Office said in a brief statement on October 9.   
 
Burke also said that on the day prior, October 17, the Vatican secretary of State, Moon would participate at a Mass for Peace on the Korean Peninsula celebrated by Pietro Cardinal Parolin in St. Peter’s Basilica. 
 
Kim Eui-kyum, spokesperson for the South Korean president, noted that the president would be carrying a message from North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, Vatican News reported.  
 
He shared a part of Kim’s message which said that if the pope visits Pyongyang he would be accorded a warm welcome.
 
Pope Francis has been closely following developments on the Korean peninsula. He visited South Korea, on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day which was held from 13-18 August 2014. 
 
Pope Francis has also backed peace talks between the two Koreas and between North Korea and the United States. 
 
Iraqi archbishop fears more persecution
CHESTER (CNS):  Christianity in Iraq is just one wave of persecution away from extinction, said Chaldean Archbishop Habib Nafali of Basra. 
 
He said there were now so few Christians in his country that the Church there would disappear if it was subjected to further persecution. He said the displacements and murders of Christians over the past 15 years constituted genocide. 
 
“Another wave of persecution will be the end of Christianity after 2,000 years,” he lamented in an October 5 interview in St. Columba’s Church. 
 
“There is a global game and the peaceful people—the minorities—in the end will be the ones who are destroyed,” he said. 
 
He expressed fear of renewed persecution because he believed the Islamic State had not been defeated, but had gone underground. It was suspected of being behind a recent spate murders of women who had chosen to dress themselves in western fashions he said. 
 
“We have seen with our own eyes how they attack Christians,” he added.
 
Court upholds bakers’ refusal to make cake with gay marriage slogan
MANCHESTER (CNS): The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UK) upheld the right of a bakery to refuse to make a cake emblazoned with a slogan in support of same-sex marriage. 
 
In a unanimous ruling, five judges overturned a series of decisions by the lower courts to conclude that “nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe.” 
 
The decision settles a case brought by Gareth Lee of the LGBT group, QueerSpace, in June 2014 against Ashers Bakers, which is based in Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is illegal. 
 
The bakery, owned by a Christian family, had turned down Lee’s request to make a cake depicting Bert and Ernie, the Sesame Street muppets, and a slogan stating: “Support Gay Marriage.” 
 
The judge, Brenda Hale, court president, made a distinction between the withholding of services from a person on the grounds they are gay and the refusal to promote political opinions the service provider does not share. 
 
“It is deeply humiliating and an affront to human dignity to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. But that is not what happened in this case,” she said in London on October 10.
 
Desecrated church reopens in Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU (SE): Church of Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus) de Dissin, in the south-east of Burkina Faso reopened for worship after it was purified, Vatican News reported
 
Father Rufin Somé, the parish priest, discovered the desecration on September 16, finding that the statues in the church had been decapitated and profanities scribbled on a chalkboard
Investigations are underway to identify the perpetrators. 
 
Bishop Der Raphaël Kusiélé Dabiré of the Diocese of Diébougou, ordered the closure of the church and led people in Mass and various acts of reparation and purification.
 
The Church of Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus is a popular place of worship in this area of Burkina Faso. It is a favourite, not only among the Burkinabe, but also with pilgrims from neighbouring Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo.

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