The Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has accused Britain's Christian leaders of failing to do enough in defence of the vanishing Christian community in Iraq. --  In an impassioned address in London, the Rt Rev Bashar Warda said Iraq's Christians now faced extinction after 1,400 years of persecution.

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The National Bank of Romania will introduce into circulation several coins to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Romania. These are gold and brass collector coins, along with a brass circulation coin.
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In connection with Mahiliou traffic police lieutenant Yevgeny Patapovich's tragic death, mass arrests of the Roma (Romani citizens) took place in the cities of Belarus. Dozens of people were kept in places of restriction of freedom even after the Investigative Committee called the "abduction" of the traffic police inspector by
 
On March 4 of this year the Vatican announced that it would finally open the papacy archives of Pius XII, the pope whose tenure from 1939 until 1958, covered the years of the Second World War. This step has been a long time coming and historians hope that it will finally shed light on the actions taken by Pius XII and the Catholic Church as Jews were being rounded up and slaughtered in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
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The two primates will have a crucial meeting behind closed doors to discuss the main topic, which is the stance of the Church of Greece on the issue of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine, while they will talk about other issues related to the two churches, such as the issue of St. Georgios Church in Ktima Prompona.
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Pope Francis is set to visit his third Eastern Orthodox-majority country in the space of a month at the beginning of June, traveling to Romania just weeks after visiting Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
 
“Education for Peace in a Multi Religious World: A Christian Perspective”
 
While Rep. Ilhan Omar fasts during Ramadan from food and water — and even, she is quick to point out, from coffee — her responsibilities as a congresswoman often keep her from breaking her daily fast at a celebratory iftar meal. Sometimes, she said, it’s a quick bite to eat after the sun sets and then back to the House floor for a vote or to a committee meeting.

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Moscow, May 20, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has offered kind wishes to new Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.  
"We hope that the newly-elected president will not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor and we sincerely wish him successes in uniting and reconciling the Ukrainian people," the patriarch said at an Easter reception at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Monday.

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Lebanon's Maronite Christian church says its former patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir, has died after several days in hospital. He was 98.    Sfeir, an outspoken and feisty personality, served as spiritual leader of Lebanon's largest Christian community through some of the worst days of the 1975-90 civil war.
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(Peter Anderson) Yesterday (Saturday)  the Secretariat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Holy Synod announced that Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa has been elected the new Archbishop of America. According to the announcement, the unanimous decision was made “following the suggestion, permission and exhortation of His-All Holiness” Patriarch Bartholomew.
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Patriarch Emeritus Filaret sent a letter to the hierarchs of the former UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate printed on the Kyiv Patriarchate’s letter forms (which has officially ceased to exist) inviting them to arrive in Kyiv on May 13-14 for a “solemn prayer communication” in memory of the Hieromartyr Macarius. The current Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy did not receive such an invitation and has other plans for the time indicated.
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The Bulgarian Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Rousse, Naum, has praised Pope Francis as a good person and welcomed the Pope’s message of love and goodwill – in a statement in sharp contrast to the reported hostility of Naum’s fellow Metropolitan, Nikolai of Plovdiv.

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Jean Vanier has died at the age of 90. He spent his whole life giving hope to suffering people: "The message of the Gospel, he said, is to become men and women of compassion. If you become a man or a woman of compassion, you will be like Jesus".
 
Ukrainian Archbishop Borys Gudziak, a visionary leader in the Catholic Church and higher education, will be presented with the Notre Dame Award in a ceremony June 29 in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced Monday (May 6).  
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By Christopher Wells
 
On 3rd May 2019, Friday of the Bright Week, after the Divine Liturgy His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with a group of pilgrims from the Roman Catholic Church led by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of Rome.    The meeting took place in the Patriarchal Chambers of the Lavra of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius.
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By Linda Bordoni 

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Paschal Messageof His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia  to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monks and Nuns andAll the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church

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Pope Francis' most recent foreign trips have had a decidedly interreligious focus.       In February, he became the first pontiff to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he made a joint declaration against religious violence with one of Sunni Islam's highest authorities. In March, he went to Morocco, where he met with King Mohammed VI, whose family claim authority and descent from the Muslim prophet himself.
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Ahead of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Bulgaria and North Macedonia we shine the light on the work of Caritas Bulgaria as it assists those in need and reaches out to migrants and refugees.   By Linda Bordoni
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Statement of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza  Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See
Tenth Working Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing Item 5: Measures to enhance the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons
New York, 15 April 2019
 
MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The Western states’ interference in church affairs in Ukraine has threatened stability around the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a meeting with Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
 
By Andrea Tornielli
 
The situation, especially in the north, is beginning to worry experts and authorities. The Tharthar basin has a reached a level "never seen" in over 60 years. Two bridges in Mosul submerged by water. The closure of kiosks and businesses near the river. AsiaNews sources: "exceptional" events.
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Before the moving and unprecedented gesture of Pope Francis kneeling (with difficulty) to kiss the feet of South Sudan's previously warring political leaders, Thursday evening, the preacher of the retreat, Nigerian Jesuit priest, Father Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator spoke to Pope Francis on behalf of the leaders.
 
A senior bishop of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church in India is visiting the Vatican with a "confidential report," a month after its preparation entangled him in a criminal case.
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Dacca (Agenzia Fides) - "The peoples of Asia are called to review their lifestyle by following criteria of respect and care for creation": says to Agenzia Fides, Benedetto Alo D'Rozario, new president of Caritas Asia, who has just begun his mandate as the first layman to preside over the solidarity organization which is an expression of the Catholic Church.  read more
 
Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - Very tense situation in Khartoum, where for weeks demonstrations have followed to demand the resignation of President Omer Hassan al-Bashir, in power for 30 years. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the army headquarters, where the police and security service, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), are trying to disperse them. But several soldiers intervened to protect the demonstrators, firing warning shots to ward off policemen and security men.   read more
 
ERBIL (Combined Sources) — Iraqi-Armenians who fled sectarian violence in northern Iraq for the comparative security of the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil can finally pray in their own place of worship. - The Church of the Holy Cross opened its doors on April 6 in a special ceremony attended by Armenian clergy, including the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq Avak Asadourian, diplomats, and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials.
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