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The significance, on a theological level, of Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq in March 2021 emerges clearly only when placed in the larger theological, historical and chronological context. First of all, bear in mind that the pope comes from the continent with the lowest percentage of Muslims, although Jorge Bergoglio’s homeland, Argentina, is the Latin… Read the full article

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If Russia is a country of extremes, Siberia is so to a greater extent. In Europe, Siberia is a byword for the freezing cold, but not everyone knows that much of Siberia is tropically hot in the summer. Siberia is a part of the world rich in fossil fuels, which, while helping to keep the… Read the full article

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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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