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Yazidis thank Pope Francis for his support at Vatican meeting

An estimated 5,000 Yazidi women are being held as slaves by militants from the Islamic State group, Pope Francis was told when he met a top-level delegation of Yazidi leaders Thursday at the Vatican.

The delegation was led by Tahseen Said Al Baig, the Yazidis' secular leader, and Sheikh Kato, the group's supreme spiritual leader, or "Baba Sheikh," the Vatican said in a statement.

Yazidi officials from northern Iraq, Georgia and Germany were also among the delegation that met the pope for 30 minutes inside the Apostolic Palace.

Vatican to send $3.5 million to help church response to Ebola


The Vatican is helping Catholic dioceses and agencies step up the fight against Ebola and is urging other donors to help.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced Wednesday that the Holy See would be making a "financial contribution" to support church-sponsored assistance to those affected by the Ebola outbreak. Vatican Radio reported the sum would be $3.5 million.

Persecution of Christians reached historic levels in 2014. Will 2015 be worse?

From imprisonment to torture to beheadings, more Christians worldwide live in fear for their lives than at any time in the modern era.

Christian persecution reached historic levels in 2014, with approximately 100 million Christians around the world facing possible dire consequences for merely practicing their religion, according to the World Watch List, an annual report released Wednesday by Open Doors USA. If current trends persist, 2015 could be even worse.

Priest: Help for rebels part of peace work in Central African Republic

Catholic leaders in the Central African Republic said their help for Muslim rebels is part of an effort to promote interreligious reconciliation in the war-torn country.

"We're ready to assist everyone in difficulty, whatever their faith or affiliation," said Msgr. Elysee Guedjande, national director of the church's Caritas aid organization.

"The two main fronts aren't only military forces -- they also consist of uprooted and dispossessed people who need to be listened to. The church will come to their aid where it can."

Christian clergy visit Jordanian family of captured Muslim pilot


Christian clergy led by the Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem visited the family of the Muslim Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State and expressed support and continued prayers.

Lt. Muath Kasasbeh, 26, became the first soldier serving with the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State to be held by the militants after his plane went down on Christmas Eve in northeastern Syria.

Jesus may have been tried here: Archaeologists uncover Herod's palace

The site where Jesus may have been tried, prior to his crucifixion, is now open to the public for the very first time.

Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the spot is within easy walking distance of the Christian Quarter and Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where tradition holds Jesus was buried.

Discovered under an abandoned prison building that is part of the Tower of David Museum grounds, the trial site is one piece of a vast excavation undertaken by archaeologists from 1999 to 2000 but sealed off for the past 14 years largely because of lack of funding.



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November 20-December 3, 2015


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