Bishop Khairallah: «We, the Lebanese, for the Dignity of Syrian Refugees»

Bishop Mounir Khairallah.

For the Lebanese, the word “reception” does not rhyme with opportunity, but with dignity. The dignity of the large number of refugees from Syria taken in by Lebanon. As Bishop Mounir Khairallah, the Maronite Bishop of the Eparchy of Batroun, a man who knows his country and the Oriental Church with its suffering well, explains to us. Full story

Iran, Saudi Arabia: the Tragic Dawn of 2016

Even in a Middle East that is by now used to everything, the sudden muscled escalation between the Saudis and the Iranians at the beginning of 2016 is frightening. Not only due to the possible worsening of the conflicts in Syria, in Iraq and in Yemen but due to the possibility of a direct reckoning of accounts between the two regional powers. Full story

Video - Christmas Message from the Custos of the Holy Land

"We are living at a difficult time when the recurring events of tragedies and violence fill us with fear," wrote the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa. "To wait for Christmas in these circumstances is a way to interrogate our faith and to make us need the birth of a greater hope." "The Gospel tells us that the fullness of time has been realised during a difficult moment." Full story

The Six Thousand in the Camp of Ashti

The refugee camp of Ashti – near the city of Erbil – was opened just over a year ago to receive hundreds of Christian and Yazidi Iraqi families, fleeing from the Islamic State (Isis) which has occupied their communities in the Plain of Ninive. About six thousand people live in the camp today, run by the Church.
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Video - The Restoration of the Basilica of the Nativity Continues

In Bethlehem, the restoration of the Church of the Nativity continues. The repair started on the roof. Now they are repairing the aisle of the basilica, considered one of oldest and most important Byzantine artworks in the world. It is a restoration that "speaks' Italian, for the work has been entrusted to the experts’ hands of an Italian firm: Piacenti Spa of Prato. Full story

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Books & Websites

A Tribute to Father Michele Piccirillo

To mark the fourth anniversary of his death, 37 respected scholars have contributed to this book in honor of Father Michele Piccirillo, the Franciscan friar of the Custody and world-renowned archaeologist. "Christ is Here!" supplies a thorough and highly impressive bibliography containing Father Piccirillo’s archaeological discoveries and achievements.

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Cinema, Art etc.

For the 50th Anniversary of the Museum of Israel, a Manuscript from the Vatican

Since 21st May, the Museum of Israel in Jerusalem has had two 15th century illuminated volumes on display, which the public can admire until 20th September. This is a minor event which brings together, after centuries, two parts of the same work: a copy of the Mishne Torah by Moses Maimonides produced in northern Italy around 1457. The initiative was made possible by the collaboration between the Museum and the Vatican Library.

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Video - The Story of Badawi Olive Tree and Its Palestinian Village

In recent decades, Walajeh, a small West Bank village located south of Jerusalem, on the road leading to Bethlehem, has been experiencing many changes due to geopolitical instability in the area. Only this olive tree seems to have kept its existence unchanged for hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years.

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