Israel reverses ban, letting Gaza Christians visit Christmas sites

Publication Date: 23/12/2019

Source: The Japan Times

Christians in the Gaza Strip will be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas, Israel authorities said on Sunday, reversing a decision not to issue them permits.

Israel tightly restricts movements out of the Gaza Strip, territory controlled by Hamas, an Islamist group that it considers a terrorist organization.

Pin It

Read more ...

Kurdistan’s Christians attend first church services since lockdown lifted

Author: Bilind T. Abdullah

Publication Date: 18/5/2020

Source: Rudaw

Christians in the Kurdistan Region were able to attend their first Sunday services in almost two months after coronavirus containment measures imposed on places of worship were lifted earlier this week.

Mosques were immediately reopened when the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) lifted the restrictions on Monday, allowing Muslims to hold their first mass prayers of the holy month of Ramadan.

Pin It

Read more ...

Christian Group Kairos Palestine Sounds Alarm on Dire Consequences of Israel’s Coalition Government

Publication Date: 30/4/2020

Source: Palestine Chronicle

The board of Kairos Palestine, the most extensive Palestinian Christian ecumenical movement, today sounded the alarm on the dire consequences of Israel’s new coalition government on Palestinians and the region.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Bennie Gantz’s Blue and White, two of the most right-wing parties in Israel, entered on April 20 a deal that directly threatens Palestinians’ freedom, health, and human rights, said Kairos Palestine in a statement.

Pin It

Read more ...

ISIS tried to destroy this church, now Muslims and Christians join hands to rebuild

Author: Emily Judd

Publication Date: 17/5/2020

Source: Al Arabiya

As many churches around the world face dire financial straits and struggle to survive due to the coronavirus pandemic, one church is rising from the ashes in the most unlikely of places: former ISIS territory.

ISIS, which ruled the Iraqi city of Mosul from 2014 to 2016, damaged or destroyed every church in the city including the “Our Lady of the Hour” Church, also known as Al Saa’a Church.

Pin It

Read more ...

Jerusalem Catholic leader: Israeli and Palestinian doctors united against COVID-19

Publication Date: 5/5/2020

Source: AsiaNews.it

Like in other countries, from Egypt to Iraq where Christians and Muslims work together, even in one of the most disputed and controversial areas of the world, efforts are underway to join forces against the common enemy: COVID-19.

Bernard Sabella, a Fatah representative for Jerusalem and executive secretary of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches, can bear witness to the climate of solidarity that has emerged in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Pin It

Read more ...

Lebanon’s Christians return to Mass — under social distancing guidelines

Publication Date: 10/5/2020

Source: Crux Now

Lebanon’s churches have welcomed worshippers for the first time in nearly two months.
Most churches were closed to the public to limit the spread of coronavirus, but Lebanese authorities have started easing restrictions that were imposed in March.

Churches and mosques are now permitted to welcome worshippers for congregational prayers on Sundays and Fridays as long as capacities are limited and other safety guidelines including social distancing measures are respected.

Pin It

Read more ...

Orthodox Christians mark Easter in near-empty Jerusalem

Publication Date: 18/4/2020

Source: Al Jazeera

A small group of Christian clergy celebrated on Saturday the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in a deserted Jerusalem as pilgrims who normally attended the ancient ritual stayed home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clergymen entered the Edicule, a chamber built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was buried two thousand years ago and rose from the dead after being crucified. Bells tolled above a near-empty church as the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilos III, emerged from the crypt carrying a candle lit by the flame. The source of the flame is a closely-guarded secret.

Pin It

Read more ...

Christians remain vital to Iraq, says U.S. lawyer who advises Chaldeans

Author: Dale Gavlak

Publication Date: 29/4/2020

Source: Catholic News Services

An American lawyer instrumental in aiding Iraqi Christians suffering from attacks by the Islamic State group said Christians remain a vital part of Iraq’s diverse society, despite their diminishing numbers.

Stephen Rasche is a recognized international expert on persecuted Christians and has served as counsel to the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Irbil, in northern Iraq, since 2010.

Pin It

Read more ...

6th-century inscriptions near Galilee may show Christians’ fading Greek literacy

Author: Amanda Borschel-Dan

Publication Date: 25/7/2019

Source: Times of Israel

Some 15 years ago, while on the trail of an elusive Byzantine-era synagogue, archaeologists at the ongoing Hippos-Sussita Excavations Project near the Sea of Galilee began excavating what appeared to be a public building that had been burned to the ground. After quickly discovering that the remains indicated the structure was “just another church” — one of seven at least at the large ancient settlement — the team moved on to other work.

Pin It

Read more ...

Lebanese Christians and Their Role in the Middle East: A Conversation with Habib C. Malik

Author: Habib C. Malik & Robert Nicholson

Publication Date: 10/3/2020

Source: Providence

In a conversation with Philos Project President Robert Nicholson, Habib C. Malik discussed what makes Lebanese Christians unique, the country’s role in the Middle East, US foreign policy oversights, Christian engagement with Islam, and advice he would give to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pin It

Read more ...