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Don’t link dignified return of refugees to political solutions

BEIRUT (CNS): “We appeal to the international community to shoulder its responsibility and strive to put an end to the ongoing conflicts and wars and to ensure the dignified return of the Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians, Iraqis and others to their country,” Bechara Cardinal Rai, patriarch of Antoich and head of the Maronite Church said, as Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim religious leaders, met with the president of Switzerland, Alain Berset.
 

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Synod thankful for return of displaced Christians

DAHUK (CNS): The Chaldean Catholic Church its August 7 to 13 synod in Baghdad, Iraq, offering thanks to God for the return of numerous displaced Christians to their hometowns in the Ninevah Plain and for pastoral achievements in their dioceses.
 

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Syriac Catholic young people celebrate their faith

BEIRUT (CNS): Driven by zeal and strong ties to the roots of their faith, 450 young people from all over the world gathered in Lebanon for the first Syriac Youth International Convention, open to people between 18 and 35 years of age.
 

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Heavy security in Rome as president of Turkey visits pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was welcomed to the Vatican by Pope Francis for a private meeting on February 5. It was the first visit by a Turkish head of state in 59 years.
 
Erdogan had arrived in Rome amid heavy security measures for a two-day visit that was to include meetings with Italian authorities and business leaders. More than 3,000 police officers had been deployed for the visit, according to Agence France-Presse, and demonstrations had been banned in Rome’s centre for 24 hours.

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Mideast leaders fight Trump on Jerusalem

AMMAN (CNS): “The two-state solution is accepted by all the world, including the Vatican. It corresponds to the legitimate resolutions passed by the United Nations,” Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem, patriarchal vicar for Jordan, said as Church and political leaders in the Middle East intensified efforts to combat the unilateral decision by the president of the United States (US), Donald Trump, to recogonise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital along with plans to move the US embassy there.
 

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Mideast patriarchs express hope in the midst of uncertainty

BEIRUT (CNS): In their Christmas messages, the Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East—with hope, despite uncertainty in the region—called for peace, security, prayer and solidarity. 
 
From Baghdad, Iraq, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako, expressed his hope for a new phase for the country and that the recent triumph over the Islamic State, along with the termination of terrorist control of Mosul and other cities, will marked a step toward security and stability. 
 

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Dangerous liaisons

WASHINGTON (SE): Advocates for persecuted Christians and minorities in the Middle East received unexpected tidings straight from the mouth of the vice president of the United States of America (US), Mike Pence, on October 25.
 
Pence informed a Christian solidarity group that from now on all US aid going to the Middle East would be channelled through non-government agencies for the support of persecuted Christians.
 

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Sacred peace walk violated

BAGHDAD (SE): “Peace must be achieved by us, as well as politicians, through courageous initiatives and responsible decisions,” the Catholic Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako, the archbishop of Baghdad, said in announcing a 140 kilometre peace walk through the Nineveh Plain during Holy Week.

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Truth long dead media victim

HONG KONG (SE): “I think that those who control the information in the west have a political agenda,” Bishop Antoine Audo SJ, the director of Caritas Syria, said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

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Negatives in China positives in Middle East during Ramadan

URUMQI (AsiaNews): Observing the fast for the holy month of Ramadan was banned by the government for all public officials, members of the Communist Party, students and children in the Uyghur majority province of Xinjiang in the north-west of China.

An instruction, published on various government websites says that people in these categories “should not fast and should not take part in the religious activities.”

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