Stories from parishes, dioceses, religious orders and community groups all over the world. It also includes stories on specific topics such as the Vatican, the Pope, missionaries, aid projects, aid agencies, health & natural disasters.

Iran: Christians asked to renounce faith at court hearing

During a final appeal hearing on 15 January in Tehran, Iranian Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri were asked by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to renounce their faith, but refused to do so. They were subsequently told to expect a verdict in the appeal against their conviction on charges of 'spreading propaganda against the regime' within the next few days.

On 22...

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Pope at ecumenical Vespers: Recall God's summons to justice

Pope Francis prays with  Christian leaders at tomb of St Paul

Reflecting on the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, during Vespers at St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis called on all Christians to recognize that the gifts we have received from God are meant to be shared with all.

The theme for this year's Week of Prayer - prepared by Christians from Indonesia - is "Justice and only justice you shall pursue", taken from the book o...

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Women Deacons: Is the time almost here again?

Phoebe, who may have been a deacon in the church at Cenchreae, Corinth

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a significant, and perhaps soon to be historic, gathering took place at Fordham University in New York. It was live-streamed so that people all around the world could take part. The atmosphere was electric with expectation. For the first time since the Pope established a commission in August 2016 to study the question of women deacons, two dis...

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Syria: Lost icon returns to liberated village

Icon of the Mysterious Supper

A copy of the icon of the Mysterious Supper - stolen from the shrine of St Sergius and Bacchus in Maalula in 2014 when the Syrian village was occupied by al-Nusra jihadists - has been placed on the ancient altar. The initiative to have a faithful copy of the icon painted and brought back to Maalula was inspired and brought to completion thanks to the collaboration between NGO Perigeo, the Zacca...

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Zimbabwe: Bishops appeal for calm after violent clampdown on protestors

At least eight people have been killed, around 200 have been injured and more than 600 arrested in cities in Zimbabwe, during clashes between police and unarmed demonstrators protesting over fuel price rises. A doctors' group said it had treated 68 people for gunshot wounds and many others for injuries from beatings. Among those arrested is Bapti...

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Holy Land Coordination 2019 - final statement

The Holy Land Coordination 2019 - a group of 15 bishops from around the world who have just completed their annual visit to Christians in Israel and Palestine - issued the following statement today.

The Holy Land Coordination stands in solidarity with all Christians in Israel and Palestine. Our ongoing advocacy for a just peace is informed by an annual pilgrimage to meet with our...

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Vatican releases details on Protection of Minors Meeting

The ad interim Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, on Wednesday provided journalists with further information regarding 'The protection of minors in the Church' Meeting, to be held in the Vatican from 21 to 24 February 2019.

The Organizing Committee of the Meeting gathered in Rome on Thursday 10 January, he said. Afterwards, the...

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Pope Francis: Christian unity is not optional

Pope Francis has appealed to Christians across the world to pray and to work for full Christian unity, reminded the faithful that "Ecumenism is not something optional."

Speaking during the weekly General Audience yesterday, the Pope looked ahead to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that takes place from 18 to 25 January.

He noted that the annual Week of Prayer, on the theme 'Ju...

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Poland: Gdansk in mourning for assassinated Mayor Adamowicz

St Mary's Basilica, Gdansk - Wiki image - Brunswyk

A Requiem Mass for Pawel Adamowicz, the Mayor of Gdansk who died on Monday after being stabbed on stage at a major charity event the night before, will take place at St Mary's Basilica in Gdansk at noon on Saturday. His body will lie in state for 24 hours at the European Solidarity Centre from 5pm tomorrow (Thursday).

The killing has sent Poland into shock. Candlelit prayer vigils have be...

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Kenya: CAFOD calls for unity and peace after terror attack on hotel

DusitD2 hotel

At least 15 people were killed and 30 injured yesterday when suspected militants attacked and occupied a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi.

CAFOD's Country Representative, Catherine Ogolla described the attacks at the DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi as horrifying and worrying, but says that communities must not become divided because of them, and instead must work for peace and social co...

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Lebanon: Syrian refugees face another devastating winter in Bekaa Valley

Flooding in Lebanon

Thousands of Syrian refugees are in urgent need of emergency assistance following days of snow and freezing temperatures.

Storm Norma, which has brought flooding in addition to the harsh winter conditions, has affected at least 151 informal camps, housing 11,000 refugees, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

CAFOD's Syria Crisis Manager Alan Thomlinson said: "This is prob...

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Pakistan: Christians and Muslims commemorate 800th anniversary of meeting between St Francis and Sultan

To commemorate the historic encounter between St Francis of Assisi with the Sultan of Egypt, AL-Kamil in the year 1219, Christians and Muslims held a special ceremony launch a year of events to promote tolerance, dialogue and a common commitment to peace. The National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism, of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Pakistan, organised...

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Scottish Bishop calls on Scots to visit Holy Land

Bishop Nolan meets Christian women in Haifa

A Scottish Bishop has called on Scots to visit the Holy Land in order to help beleaguered Christian communities there who are dependent on pilgrims and tourism. Bishop William Nolan, the Bishop of Galloway is currently visiting the Holy Land as part of an international delegation in support of Christians in Israel and Palestine.

The 'Holy Land Coordination' delegation is made up of Bishop...

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Education liberating Pakistan's Christians from poverty

Brick kiln workers near Faisalabad

With illiteracy forcing thousands of Christians to work in slave-like conditions across Pakistan, a leading Catholic charity is helping them escape the poverty trap through education.

Aid to the Church in Need is providing Christian education resources, including its Child's Bible, as part of a drive led by bishops to tackle illiteracy.

Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Islamabad-Rawalpin...

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