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Hae Woo’s Story: Finding Faith and Fleeing North Korea (3357)

The young woman, who evangelized among her fellow inmates after converting to Christianity in a North Korean prison camp, is one of the lucky few of the faithful to escape the religiously repressive regime.

10/19/2016 Comments (2)
2014 photo Lauren Cater/CNA

Faithful pray as Myeongdong Cathedral prepared for the final papal Mass of Pope Francis in South Korea on Aug. 17, 2014.

– 2014 photo Lauren Cater/CNA

SEOUL, South Korea — As she languished in a North Korean prison camp for the crime of trying to escape her repressive homeland, Hae Woo furtively spread the word of God.

Offering a message of hope inside hell on earth, she won a handful of converts, and a tiny secret church was formed. On Sundays and religious holidays, the faithful few would gather to worship at the toilets or another unwatched corner of their wretched home.

“I remained faithful, and God helped me to survive. Even more: He gave me a desire to evangelize among the other prisoners!” Hae Woo said in testimony provided to the Register by Open Doors, a charity working to end the persecution of Christians around the world....READ MORE

Filed under faith, john power, north korea, persecuted christians, south korea

Election 2016: The Final Days (3676)

A Note From Our Publisher

10/19/2016 Comments (39)
EWTN photo

– EWTN photo

The Register is doing its part to assist faithful voters by publishing a special two-page pull-out section that covers the stance of each candidate on issues of greatest concern to Catholic voters. We also compare their views to the timeless teaching of the Church, whether in the Catechism, papal documents or the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching. As we come closer to the conclusion of a bitter election cycle, it is critical for us to understand what it means to vote with an informed conscience.
Two of these key issues are religious freedom and health care.
As it stands today, EWTN and other faithful Catholic entities will have their lawsuits against the federal government’s...READ MORE

Filed under catholic voters, election 2016, michael warsaw, voting

Pope Francis: Seeing Poverty in the Flesh Challenges Us to Help Those in Need (1580)

The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes ‘tells us that the little we have, if we entrust it to the hands of Jesus and we share it with faith, becomes a superabundant wealth,’ the Holy Father said at Oct. 19 audience.

10/19/2016 Comments (3)

– Instagram.com/Franciscus

VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis said that while donating money to charity might make us feel good, seeing real poverty in the flesh is a challenge we have to face, rather than trying to avoid it.

“Poverty in the abstract doesn’t challenge us; it makes us think, lament — but when you see poverty in the flesh of a man, woman or child, yes, this challenges us,” he said Oct. 19.

To see our brothers and sisters in this state, he said, questions “the attitude we have to run away, the attitude of running away from the needy and not drawing near to them.”

Pope Francis’ comments were made during his catechesis for his general audience, which centered on the passage in James 2 that says...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, poverty, works of mercy, year of mercy

Helping Hands for Haiti (1940)

Catholic aid comes post-hurricane and amid continued disaster recovery.

10/18/2016 Comment
Courtesy of Father Louis Merosne and Sean Forrest

Damage to the landscape (above) and a church (below) in the Diocese of Anse-à-Veau et Miragoâne, Haiti, indicate the aftermath of the hurricane; also shown: Sean Forrest of Haiti180, which runs a medical clinic and an orphanage, and a young orphan.

– Courtesy of Father Louis Merosne and Sean Forrest

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — In early October, American television news carried pictures of Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath here in the United States.

But while the damage in America was undoubtedly severe and its impact will have dramatic consequences, even the hardest-hit parts of U.S. soil are expected to recover.

That is not the case in Haiti. 

In Haiti, the death toll is 546, with another 128 missing. Reuters puts the total at more than 1,000. (In comparison, just four deaths were reported from a single incident in the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. In the United States, the hurricane cost 46 people their lives.) Nearly 200,000 people were...READ MORE

Filed under brian o'neel, catholic, catholic aid, haiti, hurricane matthew, relief efforts

Syrian Priest Who Escaped ISIS: ‘Our World Needs a Revolution Against Violence’ (2448)

‘The only way of stopping the extremists is to enter into a dialogue with Islam. That has been my personal experience,’ says Father Jacques Mourad.

10/18/2016 Comments (4)
Aid to the Church in Need

Father Jacques Mourad, who was held captive by the Islamic State for nearly five months in 2015.

– Aid to the Church in Need

HOMS, Syria — Father Jacques Mourad was prior of the Mar Elian Monastery, a pilgrimage center near Al Quaryatayn, about 65 miles southeast of Homs, until he was abducted by Islamic State militants in May 2015. He managed to escape after nearly five months of captivity, yet that August the Islamic State had captured Al Quaryatayn and destroyed the monastery. The city was later liberated by Syrian forces in April 2016.

Now based in Europe, Father Mourad spoke Oct. 17 with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need about the situation in Syria.

In early April 2016, Al Quaryatayn was finally freed from ISIS. How is the situation there now?

The city may have been liberated,...READ MORE

Filed under father jacques mourad, islamic state, mar elian monastery, persecution of christians, syrian civil war

Iowa Court: Church’s Fear of Prosecution Is ‘Objectively Reasonable’ (2081)

A church’s lawsuit may go forward because it reasonably feared that Iowa’s strict antidiscrimination law would create legal penalties for its preaching and for having single-sex bathrooms and showers.

10/18/2016 Comments (4)
Jim Lopes / Shutterstock.com

– Jim Lopes / Shutterstock.com

DES MOINES, Iowa — A church’s lawsuit may go forward because it reasonably feared that Iowa’s strict antidiscrimination law would create legal penalties for its preaching and for having single-sex bathrooms and showers, an Iowa court has ruled.

“The government acts outside of its authority when it attempts to control churches,” said Steve O’Ban, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. “Neither the commission nor any state law has the constitutional authority to dictate how any church uses its facility or what public statements a church can make concerning sexuality.”

O’Ban represented Fort Des Moines Church of Christ in U.S. district court. The church is suing based on fears the...READ MORE

Filed under religious liberty

Authentic Feminism in the Modern World (3485)

Catholic women proclaim truth rooted in Church teaching and science.

10/18/2016 Comments (20)

– Shutterstock

Feminism — and who benefits from it — is very much a contemporary issue, accompanied by questions about the definition of womanhood itself.

“In its most basic meaning, feminism is the protection and promotion of women — and we’re always going to need some form of that, right? Because male domination and oppression is an ongoing reality,” said Pauline Sister Helena Burns in her workshop at the 2016 Theology of the Body Congress in Ontario, California, in September.

“[But] what you believe it means to be a woman, and what you believe it means to protect and promote women, is where feminism breaks out into different varieties.”


From Neutral to Radical

In a recent interview with the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, elisabeth deffner, feminine genius, femininity, feminism, male and female, pia de solenni, sister helena burns, st. john paul ii, theology of the body

Postulator Recalls St. Jose Sanchez del Rio Saying ‘My Faith Is Not for Sale’ (4069)

As the world faces rampant religious persecution, interview reflects on young Mexican martyr’s exemplary model of sanctity and courage.

10/17/2016 Comments (3)
Martha Calderon/CNA

Pope Francis canonized seven new saints Oct. 16, including José Sánchez del Río.

– Martha Calderon/CNA

Mexican child-saint José Sánchez del Río “is not only a martyr of the Christian faith, but is a martyr of the fundamental rights of the person.”

In an interview with the Register at the Vatican on Saturday, the newly proclaimed saint’s postulator, Father Fidel Gonzáles, stressed this as he spoke about St. José Sánchez del Río.

Born in 1913, José Sánchez del Río was a Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. During the Cristero War, the Mexican government was determined to eliminate the Christian roots of the country, in the process killing some 50,000 people.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II declared the young Mexican a...READ MORE

Filed under deborah lubov, faith, persecuted christians, religious persecution in mexico, saints, st. josé sánchez del río

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