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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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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