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#RedWednesday: First-hand Testimonies of Persecution

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)’s #RedWednesday event yesterday (25th November) featured testimonies from those living day by day with persecution, including kidnapped teenager Maira Shahbaz and Nigeria’s Archbishop Kaigama, who had one of his priests kidnapped earlier this week. Maira Shahbaz, a 14-year-old Christian girl from Pakistan, described how she had been abducted,…

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Advent Retreat: God is with You

Welcome to this year’s Advent retreat in collaboration with Sacred Space, written by Gemma Simmonds CJ.  Do you know that God is with you? After a year of challenges, changes, suffering, isolation and social distancing, perhaps there’s never been a more important time to reflect on the Incarnation; to reflect on God’s incredible plan to…

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Pakistan: Caste Stigma Runs Deep

Although Islam does not adhere to a rigid caste system yet there exists a division of upper and lower castes. Those who claim to belong to the clan of the Prophet Muhammad like the Qureishis or the Sayyids are considered to be upper class. Indeed, Indian Muslims have their own special caste system inherited from…

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Pope Francis – the Church’s Spiritual Director

Austen Ivereigh is quite right to compare Francis’s style of governance, revealed in a unique way during the pandemic, to that of a spiritual director accompanying the Church and helping it to navigate through the complex global crisis of our times in all its manifestations.[3] Key to this navigation has been his astute discernment of spirits…

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DR Congo: The Curse of Abundant Minerals

While traders moved bullion at the press of a button, in Kamituga, a mining town in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), disaster struck. In the early afternoon of 11 September at least 50 young creuseurs, or artisanal miners, drowned in a river of mud when torrential rains flooded the ‘Detroit’ gold mines to the…

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Social Distancing – An Old Idea

« … ten lepers approached Jesus. Keeping their distance, they called out….” Lk 17, 12-13.        Keeping their distance: (two metres ??): diseases that are considered to be contagious have been treated seriously through the centuries. Whether it is from fear or from love, from hateful discrimination or for caring isolation, people are obliged to keep…