*Below is a letter written by Cardinal Piacenza, the President of Aid to the Church in Need, that was sent to all the bishops of the Nineveh Plains in Iraq and read out during the Easter celebrations. 

By Maria Lozana

On 18th April a deliberate arson attack caused some damage to the rectory attached to the church of the Assumption, the cathedral church of the apostolic vicariate of Nepal, which is situated on the outskirts of the capital Kathmandu. No one was injured and the damage was solely material. Nonetheless, according to the vicar general, Father Silas Bogati, the attack “has harmed the tiny Catholic community, which is now afraid. We are trusting in God, but what has happened is a call to be vigilant.” The attack took place in the midst of a very delicate political situation in the country, as the county prepares for the forthcoming local elections on 14th May – the first to be held in Nepal for almost 20 years. The local elections are expected to be followed by Parliamentary elections in January 2018.  

“I only want to be healed so that I can become a priest.” 

Father Samir Khalil Samir, is a Jesuit priest and specialist in Islam, and a professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Rome. An Egyptian himself, born in Cairo, he was recently interviewed by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in light of the forthcoming visit of the Pope to Egypt. During the interview he spoke about his views on the papal visit, on the importance of dialogue between Islam and Christianity and the fear of seeing the Middle East emptied of Christians. Below are some extracts from the interview. 

Below is the testimony Father Jacques Mourad gave last month at an ACN event in Paris.

By Fr Jacques Mourad

How did I – taken hostage by a group of jihadists, imprisoned for almost five months, frequently threatened with beheading, and after witnessing the abduction and imprisonment of 250 of my parishioners – respond to the experience of my liberation? Was there any room for love in this experience? 

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