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Lebanese bishop says he was target of failed kidnapping

Maronite Bishop Simon Atallah of Baalbek-Der El-Ahmar said he was the target of a failed kidnapping attempt Saturday.

The incident occurred in the evening when two four-wheel-drive vehicles chased the bishop's car on a major road in the eastern town of Zahle. However, his driver sped toward an army checkpoint, after which the two vehicles drove away.

"What happened yesterday was a shameful act," Atallah told reporters the next day. He said the attempt was most likely motivated by a desire for ransom.

Ugandan priest witnesses great suffering among South Sudanese refugees

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It has been two months since Fr. Raphael Ayiga Lebu has had a good night, or a good day, of sleep.

His parish in the village of Dzaipi, 18 miles from the border of South Sudan, has become a safe haven for refugees fleeing the conflict that began in Juba, the fledgling country's capital, in mid-December.

The greatest influx began Jan. 8. Ayiga said the number of the refugees was so great that he and two fellow priests at the parish felt their efforts fell far short of what the beleaguered people needed.

Vietnamese women urged to discover their own value

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The place of women in Vietnamese society is complex. Due to long-standing cultural traditions, most women still face a difficult time in terms of achieving gender equality. Since the adoption of the Gender Equality Law, effective July 2007, some progress has been made, and the Catholic church is playing a role in helping women gain confidence and respect.

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April 11-24, 2014

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