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.

DR Congo: Faith leaders not consulted soon enough to help halt spread of Ebola virus

The response to the Ebola crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is crippled by a huge lack of community trust. When armed groups have been fighting each other in the region for years, and the government plays a minimal role, people are suspicious of outsiders telling them they must change their ways if the disease is to be fought.

Faith leaders met in Goma (September 11...

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Holy Land Eyewitness: Craftspeople in Hebron

Bader al-Tamimi's shop stands at the entrance to the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron). Bader is always there it seems - a warm, dignified, welcoming presence to tourists, residents of al-Khalil members of human rights groups, and fellow craftspeople alike. He offers each a seat and thrusts small cups of coffee or tea into their hands.

Born in al-Khalil, Bader has lived in and around the Old...

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Brother of priest abducted a year ago still hopes for his return

Fr Gigi

One year after the abduction of Italian priest Father Pierluigi Macalli in Niger, his brother Father Walter Macalli - also a missionary priest - expressed hopes that he will be set free.

Speaking on the first anniversary of his brother's abduction, Father Walter Macalli of the Society of Africa Missions in Foya, Liberia, West Africa, told Aid to the Church in Need that despite no word fro...

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Pope Francis: The Holy Spirit gives us courage

During the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis reflected on the courage shown by the Apostles when they were dragged before the Sanhedrin to stand trial for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, in the day's reading (Acts 5:34-35,38,39). He said they spoke with conviction and with one voice in the face of their accusers, who wanted to imprison them and halt the spread of the Gospel.<...

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Burkina Faso: Christian villagers systematically attacked, expelled and exterminated

Christians in northern Burkina Faso have been given violent ultimatums by Islamist extremists to flee their villages or convert to Islam.

The source, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that up to 2,000 people fled from the villages of Hitté and Rounga, following attacks in early September.

Speaking about the attack on Hit...

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Zimbabwe: Bishops denounce violent attacks on opposition

The Catholic Bishops pf Zimbabwe have expressed their concern about the increase of violence in the country. In a Pastoral Letter in which they take stock of the political and social heritage of former President Robert Mugabe, who died in Singapore on September 6 at 95 years of age they say: "We are deeply concerned about the reported nocturnal visits by unknown masked men, beatings, torture, ...

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Vatican requests indictment of former seminarian on sex abuse charges

The Promoter of Justice of the Vatican State Tribunal, have requested the indictment of former seminarian Don Gabriele Martinelli, on charges of sexual abuse that would have taken place in the Pre Seminary San Pio X in years before 2012 , and of Don Enrico Radice, rector of the Pre Seminary on charges of aiding and abetting.

In a statement issued last night, the Vatican press office said...

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US church leaders share vision for peace in Holy Land, condemn annexation

Israel's Separation Wall around Bethlehem

On the heels of the Israeli election and with the US Administration preparing to release the political component of its purported Peace Plan for Israel/Palestine, 22 Christian leaders, including Churches for Middle East Peace Executive Director, Rev Dr Mae Elise Cannon, wrote to the President outlining their recommendations for US policies that would help bring about a just and lasting end to t...

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Pope Francis: local news is as important as national news

Yesterday reporters and technical staff from RAI TV's local news channel had an audience with Pope Francis to mark their 40th anniversary. During their visit the Pope told them "local news is no less important than national news."

He said local news and information is actually more genuine and authentic because it communicates "the voice of the people," in all aspects of peoples' social, ...

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Pope blesses icon for people of Syria

Pope with the icon and ACN delegation image: ACN/Grzegorz Gakazka

Pope Francis yesterday (Sunday, 15 September) blessed an icon bound for the people of Syria as part of an initiative by Aid to the Church in Need to enkindle faith and hope in a country shattered by suffering.

The icon of the Our Lady of Sorrows, Consoler of the Syrian People, was blessed by the pontiff at a private ceremony in the Vatican attended

The blessing ceremony took place ...

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Pope and Patriarch reflect on gift of relics of St Peter

Pope Francis with Patriarch Bartholomew

On 2 July, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had given some relics of St Peter to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople. In a letter published on Friday the Holy Father explained the motivation behind his gift. Pope Francis reviews what he calls "the uninterrupted tradition of the Roman Church" which "has always testified that the Apost...

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New initiative puts women at heart of humanitarian work in Nigeria

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi

Local women must no longer be excluded from the decision-making table in the co-ordination of responses to humanitarian emergencies in Nigeria, particularly when they are the ones most vulnerable in these crises, Christian Aid's CEO has said.

Women and children are those most affected by humanitarian crises either from natural disasters or man-made conflict in Nigeria. The ten-year confli...

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Pope to visit Thailand and Japan

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan from 19 to 26 November. He will visit the Kingdom of Thailand, from 20 to 23 November, and Japan from 23 to 26 November, where he will visit Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A detailed program of the visit will be announced later. He will be the second Pope to visit these two Asian coun...

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India: Militant extremists attack Jesuit school

Image - Facebook

A crowd of around 500 militant Hindu extremists vandalised a Jesuit college in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand last Tuesday, 3 September. Jesuit Fr Thomas Kuzhively, college secretary, said: "One week after the attacks, the St John Berchmans Inter College, in Mundli Tinpahar, remains closed because everything is damaged. No action has yet been taken by the police or the state government."...

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