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Christmas Celebration in Georgia
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
07 Jan 2019

On January 7 Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

On January 7th Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Christmas celebration in Georgia
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

On January 7th Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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the Lonely man
Havana
By Illuminati Filmes
16 Dec 2016

A lonely man Pray in a church of Havana centro during the mourning of Fidel Castro

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Ancient Armenia architecture in Turkey
Güllüce, Kars Yolu, 36000 Ocaklı/Kars Merkez/Kars,Turkey
By David Grigoryan
26 Oct 2016

Bridge over Arpachay river, this river is a boarder beetwen Tukrey-Armenia, so from left side is Turkey from right Armenia.

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Ancient Armenian architeture in Turkey
Van
By David Grigoryan
26 Oct 2016

Parts from Varagavnk monastery. Often used like a storage

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Ancient Armenia architecture in Turkey
Agdamar
By David Grigoryan
18 Oct 2016

Armenian church of Holy Cross on Agtamar island. The church is under UNESCO protection since 2007.
Muslim woman are posing in fornt of the altar.

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Ancient Armenia architecture in Turkey
Van
By David Grigoryan
18 Oct 2016

Parts from Varagavnk monastery. Often used as storage

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Jerusalem: the Birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
20 Apr 2015

The old city of Jerusalem contains the holiest places for two major monotheistic religions and the third holiest place for a third. The old city of Jerusalem contains the Wailing Wall, the holiest site for Jews; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is said to stand on the ground where Jesus was crucified, interred, and later resurrected; and the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is one of the oldest mosques in Islam and represents the place where the prophet arrived on his nightly journey from Mecca. Al-Aqsa is regarded as the third holiest place in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.


Together, these religious sites hold significance for approximately four billion Christians, Muslims and Jews around the world. 

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Christian and Muslim Palestinians Pro...
Hebron
By Ibrahim Hamouz
23 Jan 2015

Christian and Muslim Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron protest what they view as the offensive depictions of the prophet Mohammed on the front page of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Included in the march was Archbishop Attalah Hannah from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Sheikh Hatem al-Bakri, the head of the Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron.

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Libyan Catholic Bishop on Christians ...
Benghazi
By Mohammad Salama
22 Jan 2015

.January 22, 2015

Benghazi, Libya

The Bishop of Benghazi, Celeste Almagro, may be the last remaining Christian in his congregation left in Benghazi. Father Almagro says he is staying in Libya even though all the other nuns and other priests have left the country. There was a sizable quantity of Christian immigrants living in Libya, around 17,000 were Filipinos, and they lived along side the locals without any trouble. This all changed with the uprising against Muammar Gadaffi in 2011. Since the fall of Gadaffi’s government, the country has spiraled out of control, with radical Islamist groups growing in strength and making the country more dangerous for all religious minorities. Our contributor interviewed the bishop who was at the time sheltering in an unknown location for his own safety.

Transcription:

“I am bishop Celeste Almagro from Malta and I have been in Libya already for 27 years. It is a long time since I came as a priest in Tripoli. At that time, there were many Filipinos, there were about 17,000 so I came as an English speaking priest in order to help with the prayers of the church, these people who are Christian. And as I said I spent as parish priest and vicar of the bishop 9 years in Tripoli. We were going practically everywhere except Brega on the east and Ra’s lanuf in the east in order to conduct the prayers according to our way. Then in 1997, when the country, when Libya established diplomatic relations with the Vatican, I was appointed Bishop of Benghazi of this area, because the area is very vast, beginning from Brega it goes up to Tubruq, so it could not be administrated by Tripoli, it was already too far.

“So I came here in 1997, 17 years ago almost, and we took the permits necessary, we renovated the church; we painted, made it more welcoming because it needed a good refurbishing. Also the Catholic community was very numerous up until a few years ago. We had a lot to do. We were always going somewhere. There were also the sisters perhaps you know that there were sisters in the hospital of Jamahiriya, there were Polish sisters here in the children’s hospital, there were sisters in Tubruq, sisters in Derna, in Al Bayda and also in Al Marj. So we had a lot of travelling and coming and going back at the same time. In Al Bayda and Derna and Tubruq we had a priest resident with the “sorellas” (sisters) they call them. So we were organizing this way very much in demand, travelling and travelling without stop. We used to go to Brega by the company plane to the region. Now we have come to this state when the sorellas (sisters) are no more because many of them were over aged, but others were recalled because they were afraid by their superiors, so we have remained one priest with me and another one in Al Bayda.

“And here we are after this waiting for priests to return, because even in the normal life of the people, there are time for prayer, their regular attendance has been distributed so they need also the spiritual support of their religion which is Christian for us. And it is our daily and constant prayer and wish for peace to return. Now we do not have more bombings like before, hope has increased. Inshallah it will be not long before calm and security will be the order of the day and we will be able to return to our church in Benghazi because we had to leave very urgently on 4th November, taking nothing with us because there was no time, I did not know what was happening, maybe the soldiers were approaching. So took what we had about us, the necessary things and off we went with the hope of returning within three days. And we are still here, now it is 22nd of January and we are still here in this place out of normal residence which is a handicap also for those people because the people all come from different hospitals for the prayer in Servia Moreno and Omerta Gatap and we are not there. So it is a painful for them and for us, that is why in our prayer meetings, the priority is our prayer for peace, for the benefit of the country, for the benefit of the citizens, of the families and for the benefits also for us because we are living like a family in our own way.

“We have remained here because we had a great pressure from our families to return because they were worried about us, our families especially, and also from our embassy but we preferred to remain with the people and also with those when we had the nuns, they did not go immediately but remained as long as they could to be with the people with the war three years ago. Three years ago when there was the war, there were massive repatriation plans, there was a ship one time took 1,400 Filipinas, others went by air to their country, but we remained here to be with the people, with your people, with the sisters helping them as nurses and giving witness to our love and our dedication to the country also, which was our country because we are living here. And this again happened now and we remained again, we did not fly away, many have been repatriated, because the families were terrified because of the war, and it is reasonable, so many Filipinos and Africans also, because we have many Africans, left but also there are some who remained also for the benefit of the country to help in the hospitals because it is important that they should stay. Hoping as we do to rejoice when finally everything will be settled as I said for the benefit of the country, for the benefit of the families, for the benefits of us all.” (08:56)

(08:57) “I remember when the sisters were told by their superiors that they had to return, they wept because some of them were over 45 years here, they came when they were very young, especially the Italian ones so it was heart breaking for them to leave the hospital especially Jamahiriya here, children and the other hospitals in Al Bayda, Al Marj and Tubruq, because they felt their country is here for a lifetime. So as a conclusion, I would like to say how much we are also enduring with the people, the disadvantages brought by war, and it is our prayer for the country, for the people, among who we have so many friends also, especially the neighbours and those who know us, we are like a family, and inspire and pray and hope for peace so that will be our great relief from the tragedies of war because war is always a tragedy, and I hope it is not far, the night is dark but the sun will rise God willing. Thank you very much.”

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Christian Roots: Turkey's Dwindling C...
Izmir
By Piero Castellano
29 Nov 2014

Izmir, Turkey

The largest community of the smallest Christian minority in Turkey has felt neglected for decades and is now facing an uncertain future. The recent visit of Pope Francis to Turkey reinforced anxieties within Izmir's catholic community as he was the first Pope not to visit the tiny but important diocese. Although he had announced his wish to visit the House of Mary in Ephesus, like his predecessors, security problems at the remote shrine made it impossible. Catholics in Izmir are well aware of security problems, but nonetheless they bitterly feel that they are the collateral victims of sectarian tensions in the region.

The history of Christianity in Turkey is almost as old as the Church itself. St. Paul was a native of Anatolia and preached in Ephesus and Miletus. Jesus’ favorite apostle, St. John, the Evangelist who wrote the Apocalypse, is said to have moved to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary. The Apostle’s tomb is near the Ephesus archaeological site and an enormous basilica was built on it. It is ironic that the most vocal opponents of Turkey’s accession to European Union used the “Christian roots” of Europe as an argument against it; the roots of christianity are all in Turkey. It was in Ephesus that the Third Ecumenical Council, the famous “Theotokos Council”, confirmed the Nicene Creed on which the Roman Catholic doctrine is still based, and which declared the Virgin Mary “Mother of God”. Despite this rich history, it is ironic that such Christian roots are usually overlooked in Turkey.

It is commonly said that Turks are 99% Sunni Muslim, and it is true that Turkey’s religious policy take it as a fact. While Orthodox, Armenian and Chaldean Christians are recognized as indigenous religious minorities, the Latin Catholic Christians are not. There are about 35,000 Catholics in Turkey. Most of them are so-called “Levantines”, or descendants of French or Italian expatriates who settled in Ottoman Empire. Izmir, the ancient Smyrna, was their most important city, and it was the most cosmopolitan city in Turkey.

Izmir’s most popular Catholic Church is the Dominican Church of the Holy Rosary, in the traditionally Levantine district of Alsancak. Every Thursday Father Stefano Negro, the parish priest, holds mass for a meager audience of elders.

“It was very different, when the Church was built in 1904,” tells the Dominican friar, a keen historian of his adopted city. “The Church was crowded and rich, because the parishioners considered it a symbol of their identity.

The Great Fire of Smyrna, in 1922, changed everything, along with the birth of the Turkish Republic. However, the turning point was in 1934, when foreigners were not allowed to work anymore in Turkey.” The skilled workers and entrepreneurs who had helped to make Izmir the economic capital of the Ottoman Empire emigrated, and the Catholic flock of Izmir began to dwindle.

The remaining Levantines are descendants of Italian or French families, and all of them feel uncomfortable in the “New Turkey” of President Erdogan. In the traditionally secular republic there was room for many minorities, but the Islamist rhetoric of the current ruling party is underscoring more and more the Sunni Muslim character of the Turkish State.

“This is not my church,” a lady in her 60's whispers before Father Stefano’s mass. “I was born in Karsiyaka, and I went to St. Helen’s Church. It was always open, and on St. Helen’s Day we could bring our cross in procession in the streets and everybody in the neighborhood celebrated with us. Now it’s impossible [and] we keep a low profile, should we irk religious zealots that are increasingly sensitive...”

Another lady, also in her 60s, comments bitterly that “Turkey is going back in time”. However, the others disagree staunchly. “It’s not true, it was never like this! This is something new, especially in Izmir, and it’s not, like some say, because of immigration from the East”.”Truth is,” the first woman comments “that Turks are angry at Europe. They are angry because they feel rejected. They see Islamophobia rising in the same Europe that keeps closing its doors as a Christian club. So they [Turks[] turn to their religious identity and don’t like us anymore.” The lady, who asks not to be mentioned by name, was born in Izmir, in the elegant Karsiyaka district. When she got married she move to Italy, where she lives with her children and grandchildren. Despite this, she keeps coming to her “hometown”, as she calls it, for several months a year. “But every time it’s more difficult” she laments.

Father Stefano, who came to Turkey in 1976, mostly agrees with the lady. When the military junta ruling the country after the 1980 coup started a fiercely nationalistic policy, the Catholic clergy was seriously worried they would be expelled. To be able to stay, Father Stefano managed to acquire the Turkish citizenship. “But I often have problems," he explains. "Now, every time the police check my ID, they argue about my religion indicated on it. ‘If you are really a Turk, how come that you are not a Sunni Muslim?’”

Things have worsened under Erdogan, with his religious and nationalist rhetoric centered on the Sunni identity of the country. Father Stefano, a witty friar with a sharp humor, turns sad when he talks about the size of his flock. “I can see them dwindle from the number of funerals I celebrate. It’s clear in the mass, where worshipers are all with white hair. There are weddings, sure, but most of them are mixed ones, and children have to be educated in public schools, where religion classes are mandatory, and of course we talk of Sunni religion [in the religious classes].” There are some newcomers to the church, most of whom are Catholic families of NATO military base personnel or technicians working in Izmir.

If the mass is attended by white haired, depressed worshipers, the atmosphere is completely different at the Italian school of Alsancak. Alsancak is an international elementary school and Turkish private kindergarten, managed by Italian nuns and secular teachers, both Italian and Turkish. Sister Roberta also has grey hair, well visible since religious dress is banned in schools, but she has the energy and high spirit of an elite soldier. “We don’t care of habits, we don’t need habits. We are the habits, we are nuns, even when we don’t dress as such” she proudly declares.

The kindergarten children are a merry mixed bunch, from Turkish, Italian, Spanish or American families. They are taught Italian language, but the education is strictly secular. However, Turkish citizens, even those with dual citizenship, cannot attend the elementary school. Only foreign children can continue their education in the nuns’ school and many families resent this. Sister Roberta shows a gift from a local tycoon, a container shipping business magnate, who says to own his success to the education he got at the Catholic nuns’ school.

Sister Roberta cameto Turkey in 1976, like Father Stefano, and she has seen hard times too. Despite various hardships she claims that nuns are highly respected for the education they give in the school, which in better times also hosted orphans and poor children. “We have always been here, since 1887, and we will stay.” After the 1922 fire, when all the foreign nationals had been evacuated on western warships, the youngest nun of the school volunteered to go back, soon followed by others, who kept the catholic presence in Izmir alive. However, Sister Roberta is bitterly disappointed that the Pope didn't come. “Of course we understand the security reasons, and God knows these are hard times. But it’s a bad omen, when it is too dangerous for the Catholic Pope to visit Izmir and the House of Mary in Ephesus.”

Many share her disappointment, and some are in disbelief. On the hill near Ephesus, where the House of Mary attracts pilgrims and tourists, a little crowd are waiting, in vain, for a surprise. “We hoped to see Pope Francis. He’s famous to change program at the last moment, maybe he will come here too. Why he didn't come? We don’t understand!” says the mother of a young boy who is busy lighting candles for the Virgin. They are from Izmir, but they are not Catholic: “We are Turks, we are Muslims and we are proud to be both.” she smiles “But of course we love Meryem Ana, Mother Mary!”

Maybe the dwindling Catholic community in Izmir and the cherished “Christian roots” of Europe could be the key to unlock both Turkey’s accession to Europe and the future of all its minorities.

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A Tale of Two Cities - Jerusalem
Jerusalem
By David Vaaknin
07 Oct 2014

October 2-5, 2014
Jerusalem

Perhaps the most culturally significant city in the world, Jerusalem is a mosaic of religions, cultures, and traditions. It is a city where the past and the present collide in a both harmonious and conflictual way. Hip shopping malls are frequented by both secular Israelis and orthodox Jewish clientele who adhere to an ancient way of life; Palestinians buy mobile phones from a telecommunications kiosk in the walled old city; and international tourists marvel at one of the world's oldest churches. On the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the city's modern highways and light rail tramline stand empty as the use of all electronics is discouraged in recognition of the holiday. These photos illustrate the layers of this timeless, yet modern city.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Oct 2014

The Wailing Wall with the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque in the background in the Temple Mount.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Church of the Nativity
By Noe Falk Nielsen
01 Oct 2014

The site where Jesus is said to have been born. Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, West Bank.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
30 Sep 2014

Jewish devotees attend evening prayer at the Wailing Wall. The wailing wall is the last remaining part of the second temple built by Herod in 19 BC. The wall comprised the western wall of the former temple, thus its alternate name the "Western Wall".

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
30 Sep 2014

Christian woman pray at the site where it is said Jesus was laid to rest.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Sep 2014

The Dome of the Rock towering above the Wailing Wall in the right foreground. The Foundation Stone inside the Dome is significant to both Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Sep 2014

Christian woman lighting a candle for Jesus at the site of the cave at the Church of theHoly Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

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Iraqi Christian Woman Defies ISIS
al-Qosh, Iraq
By rsoufi
03 Sep 2014

August 2, 2014
Al-Qosh, Iraq

Basima al-Safar, an Iraqi Christian woman, is decorating her house with Christian iconography in the al-Qosh suburb of Nineveh valley. When ISIS took control over the neighboring towns, Basima’s nephew forced her to leave her home in al-Qosh along with all the women from the town. She insisted on returning home and did so after just six days, despite the of ISIS’ threats towards Christians and other minorities in Iraq. She says that, if they return, she is wiling to take up arms and defend the Peshmerga controlled town. Basima has been working on turning her house into a Christian-themed museum as a statement illustrating the Christian heritage of Iraq. She says that, before the rise of ISIS, people from all types of religious backgrounds used to visit her house and look at the artwork. Basima’s mother was a dance choreographer and founded the first traditional dance group in al-Qosh.

Transcription:

Basima, Iraqi Christian (woman, Arabic)

SOUNDBITE 1: (01:39-02:03) “Is it possible that a person is forced to leave their country? That should not happen, God does not accept that. They come and kick us out of our home and country, they are strangers who come and kick us out, and the people who got harmed the most by this are the Christians and the Yazidis”.

SOUNDBITE 2: (02:13-03:03) “Immigration is not appealing to me, I do not like the idea. My nephew forced me into the car, he actually forced me to go. What I like is to stay home, I had a weapon, I actually had a Kalashnikov, and I have used it once. I wanted to carry a weapon and fight, but my nephew forbade me to do so. A person should learn how to use a weapon, especially women. Those Yazidi women, if they had weapons, nobody would have dared to attack them. But they did not have any weapons”.

SOUNDBITE 3: (03:04-03:26) “They say we immigrated and left. They should not say that, we did not flee. It is a shame for us to have something like that said. I do not have fear, I only fear God. I do not fear those who came to ruin our country”.

SOUNDBITE 4: (03:27-03:53) “We will change all of the posters, we will renew them all, the colors are pale, because of the sun and the rain, we will renew it all”.

SOUNDBITE (04:08-04:37) “The pictures, this picture is of my mother and father, this is my mother she is from Dhouk. She formed a Folk band in al-Qosh. This photo is very old. This is the first music band and Saddam Hussein is in the picture with us, over 35 years ago. All of those children are old and married now, and they have grandchildren”.

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Pentecostalism: Divine healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
31 Jul 2014

Prayer houses have become a public health concern for the Congolese Government. The misconception many Congolese have about physical and mental illness makes them avoid hospitals and go to their nearest prayer house.
The “Galilaya” Church has many of these prayer houses across the Congo. It belongs to the 8th Community of the Pentecostal Churches of Central Africa (8th CEPAC) and is one of the many movements that shape the religious landscape in North Kivu´s capital, Goma, a city with 1 million inhabitants in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In a nation that has witnessed so much horror and violence many turn to religion in the search for answers and solutions.

The DRC has a strong Christian tradition born out of colonialism. It is estimated that around 90% of the 70 million inhabitants are of Christian faith. However religious schisms have created an increasing number of religious movements within Christianity. Pentecostalism is one of these movements. This renewal movement within Christianity is based on four fundamental beliefs: Salvation, Baptism with the Holy Spirit, divine healing and the Second Coming of Christ. It is the notion of divine healing that has given the movement such strength in a region punished by war and misery for the last 20 years. Pastors like Moise Munyuabumba, head of the Galilaya Church, promise divine healing to every Congolese who embraces the faith. The pastor has apparently cured patients of sterility, mental traumas, sexual impotence, and even cancer, along with other ailments. The church comes together a few times a week in the prayer house to seek salvation. The prayer houses are people’s homes that have been turned into churches. The healing sessions are intense. The faithful usually go into a trance-like state and sometimes end up having prophecies or speak in tongues.

The misconception many Congolese have about modern medicine makes them avoid hospitals and go to their nearest prayer house. This misconception stems from the idea of witchcraft and old beliefs in which the source of evil emanates from sorcery or spells. Easy treatable diseases can become lethal because of late diagnosis. People with a burn would rather go to a prayer house than a hospital. Those who go to hospitals might not find the answers they were looking for and will try their luck with people like Pastor Moise Munyuabumba. Desperation and fear make many Congolese seek spiritual shelter in “Galilaya” where their physical and mental traumas can be healed through praying. In the third largest country in Africa where life expectancy is 48, modern medicine has to combat Churches like “Galilaya” who promise divine healing. The DRC also has the lowest rank in the Human Development Report along with Niger.

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Iraq: Qaraqosh's Christians in Limbo
Erbil
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

After bombings in Qaraqosh, the Iraqi government has decided to evacuate the entire town. About 5,000 families have taken refuge in the city of Erbil, where schools and sports centers have been made available by local volunteers and aid organizations.

A major city for Christians in Iraq, Qaraqosh fell to ISIS shortly after the latter's conquest of Mosul. Residents of Qaraqosh were reportedly terrorized by ISIS, who took Sharia law into their own hands, lashing one man for selling cigarettes, and killing several women found guilty of adultery. The city later suffered heavy bombardment during fighting between ISIS fighters and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

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BENEDICT DASWA
South Africa
By Frank
09 May 2014

Benedict Daswa, a devout Roman Catholic from rural Limpopo Province, South Africa, is set to become South Africa's first saint. The church, in the diocese of Tzaneen, lead by Bishop Joao Rodriguez is finalizing the process that could see Benedict Daswa beatified and then canonized for his martyrdom.

Daswa, was fourtysix at the time he was murdered in 1990, by an angry mob of villagers, for refusing to partecipate in hiring a withcdoctor, which He himself strongly refused to believe in that practice, to sniff out those they believed were responsibile for lighting strikes in the area.

" The Cause of Benedict Daswa is martyrdom, we believe he was kill in hatred of the Faith which he publicly and privately professed" Says Bishop Rodriguez.