Daily News

Where Do Iraqi Christian Refugees Go? Turkey (4296)

Here’s the situation they find when they get there.

02/03/2011 Comments (5)
Simon Roughneen

NEW HOME? Sarmad and Sandra assign donated clothes for refugee families, at the KADER office in Istanbul.

– Simon Roughneen

ISTANBUL — For Sarmad, translating e-mails from English to Arabic for fellow Iraqis is a welcome change from the incessant fear of murder he lived through in Iraq. In his hometown, Mosul, attacks on Christians have been an almost-daily reality throughout the past few years since the ousting of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

“I was stopped at the university,” Sarmad recalls. People he describes as “terrorists” told the 18-year-old mechanical engineering student, “If you come here again, we will kill you.”

Full names in this article have been withheld upon request.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has targeted the country’s fast-disappearing Christian population, describing them as “legitimate targets” and...READ MORE

Filed under iraqi christians, islam, refugees, turkey

Egypt’s Coptic Patriarch Speaks Out (6370)

The word from the Cairo street: Christians and Muslims are protesting side by side, and no attacks have been aimed at churches yet.

02/02/2011 Comments (6)
CNS photo/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters

A protester shouts during a demonstration in Cairo Jan. 30. Anti-government demonstrations in Egypt were joined by Muslims and Christians alike, but some Copts worried that the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned organization, would gain power in the midst of a transition in Cairo.

– CNS photo/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters

CAIRO — With Egyptian phone and Internet service sporadic since the start of the popular uprising last week, it has been difficult to gauge the situation of Egyptian Christians.

Those who have managed to communicate with the outside world say they are both hopeful that the mass protests will lead to a better, more democratic Egypt — and fearful that Islamists will gain at least partial control of the government.

Though Church leaders have reportedly advised their flocks to steer clear of the mass demonstrations taking place in Cairo and the port city of Alexandria to the north, news reports have shown Christians, crosses dangling from their necks, demonstrating side by side with Muslims....READ MORE

Filed under cardinal antonios naguib, coptic christians, egypt, muslim brotherhood

Relic Status in the Middle East? (3261)

This melting pot of peoples is becoming a cauldron. Experts talk to the Register, using words like “Christianophobia” and “religious cleansing,” about why everyone is nervous about the future. Part 2 of 2.

02/02/2011 Comments (2)
CNS photo/Debbie Hill

UNITED WE STAND? Palestinians attend a candlelight procession after a special memorial Mass Nov. 5 at Holy Family Church in Ramallah, West Bank, in solidarity for those killed in the Oct. 31 attack on Iraq's Syrian Catholic cathedral. Christians throughout the Middle East c alled for protection but said their faith keeps them strong.

– CNS photo/Debbie Hill

BEIRUT — What can prevent Christianity from becoming a relic in the very place it was born?

In 1948 Jerusalem was about one-fifth Christian; today, less than 2% of residents are Christian.

In Iraq, it is estimated that about half of the country’s 1.4 million Christians have fled the country since the American invasion in 2003, and the exodus of Christians continues on a daily basis.

There appear to be increasing attacks on Christian communities in the Middle East, as well as pressure on such communities in India and Pakistan, and much of the trouble seems to be coming from radical Islamists. The Register is examining the problem, with this two-part series (Part 1 appeared last week) and...READ MORE

Filed under christians in the middle east, islam, persecution of christians

Has MTV Gone Too Far? (3939)

The teen-focused cable channel, pleased by 'Skins' premiere audience, gets stung with child pornography complaints. Will they profit from the buzz anyway?

02/01/2011 Comments (4)

– Shutterstock

NEW YORK — A parents group with 1.3 million members has called for child pornography charges against the makers of Skins, the new TV comedy-drama ostensibly aimed at a teen audience and realistically depicting teen life.

“Whether it is realistic or not is beside the point if it violates child pornography laws,” said Melissa Henson, communications director for the Parents Television Council.

The show’s opening audience on Jan. 17 was 3.3 million, including more than a million school-age children and teenagers.

The Parents Television Council, which has 53 chapters across the U.S., said the show is packed with references to sex, drug and alcohol activity, but short on consequences.

It has...READ MORE

Filed under media, mtv, parents television council, skins, teens, tv

Defund Planned Parenthood? (4569)

The family planning group could reap a financial windfall, if healthcare reform includes contraceptive services with mandated preventive care for women.

01/31/2011 Comments (6)

POWERLESS? Although the House of Representatives voted to repeal the 2010 healthcare reform act, decisions about public funding of contraceptives are now in the hands of regulators and out of the hands of elected representatives. President Obama is pictured delivering the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Jan. 25.

– REUTERS/Jim Young

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A push to include contraceptive services and sterilizations in mandated preventive care for women has deepened fears that the new health-care law will threaten conscience rights of Catholic employers and healthcare professionals.

The Institute of Medicine is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Science to provide advice on biomedical science, medicine, and health. 

Last fall, the Institute’s Committee on Preventive Services for Women conducted two public hearings on the issue, but participation by Catholic and pro-life groups was limited to the brief, general public comment portion of the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, congress, contraception, healthcare

'The Rite': Exorcism in the Movies (21935)

New film offers the most realistic, orthodox Hollywood depiction to date.

01/28/2011 Comments (73)
Warner Bros.

EXORCIST. Anthony Hopkins stars in The Rite.

– Warner Bros.

“There aren’t levitating beds, spinning heads or pea-green soup,” Father Gary Thomas said to me in a recent phone conversation.

Father Thomas is the real-life California exorcist whose training experiences with a veteran exorcist in Rome were documented in journalist Matt Baglio’s 2009 book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. The new supernatural horror/thriller film The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins as a veteran exorcist named
Father Lucas, is loosely inspired by Father Thomas’ experiences.

The Rite is also the latest in a long line of Hollywood films in the exorcism-movie subgenre inaugurated by William Friedkin’s 1973 landmark film The Exorcist —the movie famous for...READ MORE

Filed under exorcism, hollywood, horror, sdg reviews, the rite

A Nation and Its Demons (9323)

As 'The Rite' hits the silver screen, Church finds need for exorcists is more real than ever.

01/28/2011 Comments (20)
CNS photo/Lionsgate

Ashley Bell stars in the 2010 movie "The Last Exorcism." The release today of "The Rite" is continuing to engender interest in the Church's practice of exorcism.

– CNS photo/Lionsgate

ROME — In an age where psychodrama sells, exorcism is a media darling.

It’s a step above mere horror stories into a dimension we find both loathsome yet compelling. It is a drama that is hard to shake off, for the Catholic Church recognizes demonic possession as a reality. 

Thus, any exorcism movie inevitably includes a Catholic priest, standing in the person of Jesus, with the power to expel demons through the rite of exorcism.

The latest entry in the spate of exorcism movies, The Rite, was released Friday by Warner Bros. Starring Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins, the film follows a skeptical seminary student who attends exorcism school at the Vatican. It is inspired by the...READ MORE

Filed under exorcism, father gary thomas, matt baglio, the rite

Sex-Abuse Fallout (4289)

Milwaukee Archdiocese enters bankruptcy as Wilmington proposes how to emerge.

01/28/2011 Comments (1)
CNS photo/Allen Fredrickson, Catholic Herald

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki addresses a press conference at the Cousins Center in St. Francis, Wis., Jan. 4., after announcing that the archdiocese will file for Chapter 11 reorganization of its financial affairs under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

– CNS photo/Allen Fredrickson, Catholic Herald

MILWAUKEE — A filing by yet another Catholic diocese for financial protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Act has raised questions about the best approach for dioceses to take in the wake of sexual-abuse lawsuits.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy Jan. 4, and on Jan. 10 the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., filed a reorganization plan under the same legislation that would see at least $750,000 awarded to each victim of clergy sexual abuse.

Chapter 11 allows both entities to put together a financial offer that would include not only the victims but other creditors, including employees with pensions, and to retain facilities and stay in operation.

Both dioceses filed on...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, dioceses in bankruptcy, sexual abuse

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