Pope Francis begins historic Iraq visit despite virus and security risks

Publication Date: 5/3/2021

Source: BBC

Pope Francis has arrived in Iraq for the first ever papal visit there, and his first international trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid and security fears have made this his riskiest visit yet, but the 84-year-old insisted he was "duty bound".

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Survey Finds Increasing Religious Diversity in Iran Despite Persecution

Publication Date: 18/2/2021

Source: Persecution

According to a recent poll conducted by a European research organization, the Iranian regime’s policy of discrimination and, in some cases, persecution of non-Shia Muslim groups may be having the effect of driving Iranians to other religions.

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Arab Christian figures rebut argument for removing US sanctions on Syria

A Jan. 21 letter claimed “unilateral coercive measures” imposed by the US have made the plight of Syrians worse
Critics of the letter say the Assads have a history of using minorities as a means to burnish their image abroad

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Russia plays up ties to Syrian Christians

Author: Khaled al-Khateb

Publication Date: 16/2/2021

Source: Al Monitor

Russia declares its support for the Orthodox Christian militias fighting alongside the Syrian regime, as it shows great interest in the ideological factor within its expansion and domination strategy in Syria.

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Christians detained for their faith in Iran paid nearly £1m in bail in 2020

Publication Date: 13/2/2021

Source: Christian Today

The cost of bail for detained Iranian Christians reached almost £1m last year, a report by human rights organisations has found.

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Iranian Christians ordered not to meet – in person or online

Publication Date: 3/2/2021

Source: Article18

Eleven Christian couples from a city just outside Tehran have been ordered by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to sign commitments to refrain from meeting together – either in person or online.

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Apologists Call Assad Secular. Assad Tells Syrians Otherwise

Boghos never expected to find himself in one of Syria’s underground dungeons.

He was a devoted Christian who opted for a literal interpretation of Romans 13:1-2, where Paul the Apostle writes, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,” and, “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.”

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Iraq: Full of Historic Sites Important to Understanding Christianity

Author: Dale Gavlak

Publication Date: 17/2/2021

Source: The Tablet

Pope Francis hopes to embark on the first-ever papal visit to the biblical land of Iraq in early March in a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts to the place known in Arabic as the “land of the two rivers” — the mighty Tigris and Euphrates — and once renowned as Mesopotamia, the “cradle of civilization.”

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