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Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) is one of the holiest times in the life of Muslim Jerusalem. In normal times, hundreds of thousands of Muslims stream from all parts of Palestine and Israel to the Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary, a spacious compound in the Old City that includes the Dome of the Rock and… Read the full article

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Jesuit Father Karl Rahner was one of the first to recognize that the Second Vatican Council had transformed the western Catholic Church into a world Church: “For the first time a world-wide Council with a world-wide episcopate came into existence and functioned independently.”[1] Bishops from non-western countries were certainly present at Vatican I, but they… Read the full article

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In order to understand the challenges Christian communities in the Middle East face, it is necessary to understand the ways in which, through centuries of history, Islam institutionally organized its relations with the different religions – in particular with Christianity – across its vast territories. This is a problem that Islam had to face very… Read the full article

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In 1994, the Holy See signed an agreement with the State of Israel, establishing diplomatic relations. Ever since, a debate has been raging about the position of the Catholic Church regarding a state that defines itself as Jewish and sees itself in continuity with ancient Israel in the biblical scriptures, which the Church also regards… Read the full article

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Nine Years of War in Syria Nine years have passed since the Syrian conflict began, since the optimism of the 2011 Arab Spring turned into tragedy. For Syria, it all began on March 15 of that year, when protesters took to the streets in Daraa, in the southwest of the country. Soon protests – mostly… Read the full article

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On March 22, 2020, the government in Damascus announced the first case of contagion – a citizen from abroad – and followed up with drastic measures: schools, universities and mosques closed; public sector staff and working hours cut back; tight restrictions on travel; the military draft suspended and parliamentary elections postponed from April 13 to… Read the full article

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The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947, had established that two independent and sovereign states would be created from the Palestinian territory, ex British Mandate: one Jewish and one Palestinian. This resolution created the so-called… Read the full article

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Following his trips to Korea (2014) and to Sri Lanka and the Philippines (2015), Pope Francis continued his itinerary to Asia with a visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017. The flight carrying the pontiff left Fiumicino airport in Rome on November 26 at 10:10 p.m. and landed in Yangon, Myanmar, at 1:20 p.m. local… Read the full article

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