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Pope Francis eyes religious reconciliation on trip to Holy Land

It sounds a little far-fetched and for some purists perhaps unthinkable: A pope, a rabbi and a sheik decide to travel to the Holy Land and follow in the steps of Jesus.

But that is just one of the groundbreaking aspects of Pope Francis’ three-day visit to the Middle East that starts on Saturday (May 24), a visit in which he hopes to shore up interfaith dialogue, strengthen diplomatic relations and find new ways to build peace.

Iraqis in Jordan go to the polls, hoping for stability at home

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A steady stream of Iraqi refugees, smiling and displaying purple index fingers, emerged from a polling station in the Hashemi Shamali district, where the majority of these urban refugees live in the Jordanian capital.

"Change is badly needed in Iraq. Hopefully the elections will yield a suitable leader. God is gracious," said Um Martin, a Chaldean Catholic woman from the biblical city of Ninevah in northern Iraq.

Jerusalem patriarch says pope's May trip to focus on Christian unity

When Pope Francis visits the Holy Land in May, he will follow the pattern he set last year in Brazil by meeting with the leaders of the three nations he will visit as well as with the less fortunate.

But the trip also will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, and it is for that reason the theme of the trip is: "So that they may be one."

Artists, aid agencies work to help vulnerable Syrian refugee children

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As Syria's civil war hurtles into its fourth year, hopes of returning home soon seem far off for the 2.5 million refugees sheltering in neighboring countries, like Jordan. Syrians are soon expected to overtake Afghans as the largest refugee population in the world, according to the United Nations.

Top U.N. officials warn that the grinding conflict will leave a generation of 5.5 million children -- in and outside Syria -- physically and emotionally scarred. But American street artist Samantha Robison is working hard to change that.

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