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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

Persecuted Christians in Iraq: The crisis started one year ago...it's still far from over

2015-08-07

This summer marks one year, since Islamic extremists overran Christian towns in Iraq. Entire neighborhoods were evacuated as ISIS gave Christians and other religious minorities, two optionspay a tax for not being Muslim or convert to Islam. Failing to comply with one or the other, was a death sentence. 

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need (USA)
"Back in 2003, the Christian community in Iraq had about 1.2 million people. Since this crisis struck, the community has diminished to 300,000 in the region.” 
 
When extremists gained control of the city of Mosul, an estimated 120,000 Christians fled. Some have found refuge in camps, hoping they can one day go back home. 

The Catholic Church, through 'Aid to the Church in Need' has set up schools in the city of Erbil, where many refugees and entire families now live. Even children who lived in the city long before the crisis, were in need of a school. 

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need (USA)
 "Children who already lived in Erbil suddenly didn't have a school, because their schools were turned into improvised refugee camps to house all the people who were looking for a safe place to stay.” 

The Christian community still has a presence in Iraq, but it's decreasing fast. The fear is, that if nothing is done to help minorities, the Christian community will simply disappear. A situation that could perhaps then extend to other countries in the Middle East. 


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