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As Islamic State steps up attacks, Christian leaders call for help

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Christian leaders again called for help for Assyrian Christians as Islamic State militants stepped up their attacks against their towns in northern Syria.

Syria's northeast Hassakeh province is emerging as the new battlefield in the fight against extremist group. Analysts say Hassakeh province, which extends like a thumb into neighboring Iraq and Turkey, could become the fault line of a new multifront and lengthy war between Islamic State militants and Christians allied with Kurdish fighters.

Vietnamese Benedictine seeks new religious order after prohibition from working with drug addicts

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A Benedictine priest who has been prohibited from running a drug rehabilitation center after working with drug abusers for three years said he has been treated unfairly and is petitioning to join another order to continue his mission.

"I was forced to leave the center. I am eager to remain serving drug abusers," Fr. Francis Xavier Tran Van An, who gave the ownership papers of his center to the Benedictine order, told NCR. He has been banned from working at the center since January.

Catholic aid group channels money to help Christians displaced in Syria

A pontifical aid organization has begun sending aid to families who fled their homes when Islamic State militants raided a cluster of Assyrian Christian villages on the Khabur River in northeast Syria.

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, upon learning about the Islamic State attacks, contacted Bishop Aprim Nathniel of the Assyrian Church of the East in Hassakeh, with whom the agency had collaborated on previous projects, said Michel Constantin, CNEWA's regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

Witch hunts increase in Tanzania as albino deaths jump

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Many women are living in fear in this rural part of northwestern Tanzania because they are increasingly being targeted by witch hunts -- literally.

This East African country is grappling with an upswing in vigilante justice as villagers attack women they believe are witches responsible for the murders of albinos, whose white skin some believe possess magical powers.

US priest to Irish safeguarding meeting: Church not haven for abusers

The Catholic church is "no longer a safe haven for child abusers," said a top priest psychologist who advises the U.S. bishops on child sexual abuse.

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti told hundreds of Irish delegates to the first national conference on safeguarding children that the Catholic church in the United States spent $43 million on child abuse prevention and education just last year.

Islamic State militant ‘Jihadi John’ named by media

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The Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John,” who has been seen in videos of hostages’ beheadings, was identified Thursday by the BBC and The Washington Post.

Mohammed Emwazi, who is in his mid-20s, is believed to be a Kuwaiti-born British man from west London. The BBC said he was known to British security services, who chose not to disclose his name for operational reasons.

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In This Issue

May 22-June 4, 2015

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