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In Egypt, Daesh Spreads Out of Sinai and Targets Minorities

By Jenna Le Bras Alexandria usually seems clear and sunny, but for a couple of days after the tragic event, the  seaside town was put under a bell. The sun stayed low and the hectic sea raged as the Egyptian flags were at half-mast. In mid April, coordinated suicide attacks on St. Mark’s Church, Egypt’s

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Communist-Ruled Cuba Hosts First Transgender Mass

By Sarah Marsh and Anett Rios MATANZAS, Cuba, May 7 – For decades belonging to a religion and being anything but heterosexual was stigmatized in Communist-ruled, macho Cuba, making the Mass held by three transgender pastors in the western Cuban city of Matanzas all the more groundbreaking. Rainbow flags decorated the chapel, while the pastors,

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Beirut Skyline Captures Religious Rivalry and Harmony

By Tom Perry BEIRUT, Nov 23  – In Beirut’s rapidly evolving skyline, a newly built cathedral bell tower has risen next to the soaring minarets of a landmark mosque, symbolising both religious coexistence and competition in a city split by sectarian war from 1975 to 1990. The new bell tower of the 19th century Saint

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Vatican Promotes American as Pope’s Spokesman

ROME, July 11 – The Vatican named former Fox News reporter Greg Burke as its new spokesman on Monday, the first time a U.S. citizen has been entrusted with leading the pope’s communications team. Burke, who is a member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei, was hired by the Vatican an adviser four years

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Pope Returns With 12 Refugees After Visit to Greek Island

By Philip Pullella and Karolina Tagaris LESVOS, Greece April 16 – Pope Francis took three families of Syrian refugees back to Rome on Saturday after visiting the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis at a camp in Greece where migrants wept at his feet, kissed his hand and begged for help. At a sprawling fenced complex

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Pope Francis to Visit Greek Migrant Island of Lesvos on April 16

VATICAN CITY, April 7 – Pope Francis will make a lightning trip to the Greek island of Lesvos on April 16, the Vatican said on Thursday, in a visit aimed at supporting refugees and drawing attention to the front line of Europe’s migrant crisis. Hundreds of thousands of refugees, many fleeing the war in Syria,

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Use “Weapons of Love” to Fight Evil of Terrorism, Pope Says on Easter

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY, March 27 – Pope Francis urged the world in his Easter message on Sunday to use the “weapons of love” to combat the evil of “blind and brutal violence”, following the attacks in Brussels. After a week of sombre religious events commemorating Jesus’ death, Francis said an Easter Sunday Mass

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Top Vatican Cardinal Says Senior Clergy Lied About Child Sexual Abuse

By Philip Pullella and Jane Wardell ROME/SYDNEY, March 1 – Australian Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on systemic sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church, on Monday said senior clergy lied to him to cover up abuse in the 1970s. The Vatican’s treasurer told Australia’s Royal Commission

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