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Pope Francis

Names of archbishops to receive pallium from Pope Francis

June 28, 2017. On June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will bless the palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops. This year, 36 have been appointed. The list is as followed
Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
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.

Christian Syrian refugee: What has happened to us has not hurt our faith

2017-01-16

They escaped from the war in Syria and the violence of ISIS terrorists. For over half a year now they have been living as refugees in Lebanon. They almost lost everything, including their lives. But one thing has kept them going and helped them survive. 

SIMON ALHABIB
Syrian refugee
"We, as Christians, have experienced terrible situations, but this has not harmed our faith. We have always been faithful and we will be faithful, despite all we have lived through. We know that authentic belief has nothing to do with the violence done to us. We believe that everyone is free to profess their religion since our faith teaches us that we must respect others.”

Simon Alhabib and his brother, Admon, arrived in Italy just a month ago, thanks to the Humanitarian Corridors that were launched by the Community of Sant'Egidio.

They traveled to Lebanon from Syria by taxi, accompanied by their mother who was returning there. They fled their home city near the border, an enclave where Christians and Muslims lived peacefully.

ADMON ALHABIB
Syrian refugee
"Before the war there was no problem between Christians and Muslims. There were no differences. We lived very well but when the war started - and especially when ISIS arrived - the problems began for the Christians.”

SIMON ALHABIB
Syrian refugee
"Before the crisis there was no persecution, but with the war and the occupation by ISIS the problems started. We have friends who have been kidnapped.”

One such friend is Father Jacques Mourad, whom the jihadists abducted in the city of Qaryatayn along with dozens of Christians. Once released, the priest was about to make arrangements so that the two brothers could start a new life in Italy.

SIMON ALHABIB
Syrian refugee
"With the arrival of the terrorists we fled from one place to another. When ISIS invaded an area, we fled. In Qaryatayn we met Father Jacques Mourad who told us that a community in Italy could help us reach Europe.”

They have the dreams of any young men their age. They want to continue studying, learn Italian and have a life as normal as possible until peace comes to the Syria they remember with nostalgia.

ADMON ALHABIB
Syrian refugee
"We hope it arrives. It would be wonderful. I want Syria to be what it once was. That's why I want to study here and go back to Syria to help rebuild my country.”

While they hope this wish comes true, the brothers look nostalgically over the photos of their life in that place where, in the past, no one persecuted a Christian for the mere fact of being one.

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