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National Catholic Reporter

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In El Salvador, vandals damage statue of Oscar Romero - again

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Vandals have damaged a prominent statue of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, recently declared a martyr.

The right hand, which had been holding a cross, was cut off the nearly 10-foot monument, located near Plaza El Divino Salvador del Mundo.

Romero "is very much loved by a vast majority of Salvadorans, but he is also one of the most hated by a small minority," Marisa Martinez of the Archbishop Romero Foundation told Catholic News Service.

Cambodian Killing Fields, yesterday and today

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It was between 1975 and 1978 the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia, evacuated Phnom Penh and began their merciless, ideologically driven, killing. Before they were overthrown three years later, they had executed between 2 and 3 million Cambodians.

The theory called for a farmer led socialist revolution. This ended up meaning that anything that connected one to the “urban elite,” education, commercial or government job, even eyeglasses and in some cases, teeth fillings, put you on the list to be executed.

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.

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