By Mónica Zorita

“Returning home.” “Set foot on our soil again.” “To see the church again that we built ourselves.” “A new beginning.” “Keep going.” “We cannot live our entire lives as displaced persons.” “I do not want to leave my country.” “God is with us.”  

On the night of 6 - 7th August 2014, Islamic State (IS) occupied the historic regions of the Nineveh Plains and emptied it of Christians, its original inhabitants. The Christians who fled sought refuge in the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq. A large number of people however remained trapped there. Some of them were able to break free afterwards, but hundreds remained imprisoned by Islamic State and have not been heard of since. Among those who stayed after Islamic State took over the region were Mr. Khouder Ezzo, his wife, Aida Hanna, and their daughter Christina – who was three years old at the time.  

Jürgen Liminski recently interviewed Mons. Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa, bishop of the Diocese of Alindao in the Central African Republic, for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) about the new clashes between factions of the Seleka and the Anti-balaka still present in the region. The violence erupted on 8th May in response to the abduction and murder of several young people in Datoko by the Seleka. Following the intervention of UN troops, the situation has calmed down, for the moment. Nevertheless there are still around 5,000 refugees, who are currently being cared for in various centres of the Catholic Church.

By Oliver Maksan

Archbishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria has been in charge of the archdiocese of Khartoum since November 2016. The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) recently visited Sudan. During the trip ACN spoke to the Archbishop Michael Didi about the situation of the Church in Sudan. The interview was conducted by Oliver Maksan.    

By Josue Villalón

Franciscan Father Ibrahim Alsabagh reports that 15 families of the Latin rite Catholic community, who had emigrated, have already returned to the Syrian city and many others are hoping to return.

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