Eight Churches in Baghdad Shut Their Doors

Amid the instability and violence that have occurred in the region over the course of more than ten years, eight churches in Baghdad have closed their doors for good, according to a human rights organization focusing on persecuted Christians.

The churches closed down in May “after nearly seven years of low to no attendance,” the Monday report from International Christian Concern says.

Muscovites most often search for prayers online during morning subway ride

According to Russian search engine Yandex, Muscovites traveling on the metropolitan subway during the morning peak hours search for the texts of prayers and dream books most often, reports RIA-Novosti.

The most popular topics searched for changes throughout the day. After the morning searches for prayers and dream books, the first half of the day is dominated by searches for directions and various addresses, especially to courts, museums, and shopping centers. “On the way home from work, users are already beginning to think about preparing dinner, or they search for where to order dinner. Theater-goers are returning home from 10 to 11 PM, and from 11 to midnight—football fans.” Just before the metro closes, users most often search for nighttime bus schedules, the Yandex message reads.

Moscow to host “For Life” family values festival

Moscow will host the 8th international “For Life” festival of social technologies in defense of family values August 14-17. The festival is the largest such forum on the territory of the former Soviet Union, with more than 500 participants coming from 186 cities of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Lithuania, Italy, and Spain to work out measures aimed at the protection of human life from the moment of conception, and overcoming the demographic crisis, reports

Pope Sends Message to Asian Youth Day in Indonesia

Calls them to respond to God’s call with faith and courage 

Pope Francis sent a message of encouragement to those attending the seventh Asia Youth Day, August 2-6, 2017, in Yogyakarta (Indonesia).  The message was sent August 6 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, on behalf of the Holy Father.

Turkey taking stones from ancient Armenian church to make mosque

Turks are gradually dismantling an ancient Armenian church of the Varagavank monastic complex on the slopes of Mt. Varag, in Yukarı Bakraçlı in Eastern Turkey, using its stones to construct a mosque, reports the newspaper Yeni Özgür Politika.

The church was initially constructed in the 7th-8th centuries. During the period of the Armenian Kingdom, it was the place of residence of the Archbishop of Van. The monastery was abandoned after the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Kingdom in 1915. The head of the Union for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural and Historical Monuments of Van Ali Kalçık noted that the ancient church is on the verge of complete destruction.

Mass Shooting in Nigerian Church: At Least 8 Killed, 18 Injured

At least eight people were killed and 18 more were injured in a shooting in a church in the southern Nigerian city of Ozubulu located in the Anambra state, police of Anambra said in a Sunday statement. According to the statement, the law enforcers would brief the public after the end of the investigation into the deadly incident.

Archbishop Atallah Hanna Visits Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II

Archbishop Atallah Hanna Visits Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II
Archbishop Atallah Hanna Visits Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II
Archbishop Atallah Hanna Visits Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II
Archbishop Atallah Hanna Visits Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia, who is visiting Damascus accompanied by a delegation from Palestine, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma, Damascus.