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Rome & the World: Myanmar army bombs Christian refugees • last Christian in Syrian rebel province

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Myat Thu Kyaw / NurPhoto via AFP

Un policier anti-émeute à Yangoun lors d'une manifestation contre le coup d'État militaire au Myanmar, le 11 février 2021.

I.Media - published on 01/19/22

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022
1 – In Myanmar the army bombs Christian refugees
2 – The last Christian in the last rebel province in Northwest Syria.
3 – Cardinal Maradiaga: We are in a new stage of the pontificate, not at the end
4 – In Mali a nun was beaten for praying while in captivity
5 – Catholics talk about the situation in El Salvador, 30 years after the peace accords

1In Myanmar the army bombs Christian refugees

Terror still reigns in Myanmar since the military coup on February 1. Church sources in the country told the agency Fides that three Catholics were killed after an air raid by the Myanmar army on refugee camps on January 17 in the forests around Loikaw, the capital of the state of Kayah, in the east of the country. These refugees had left their villages and Loikaw to flee the fighting between the army and the People’s Defense Forces. The attack also left seven others injured.
Fides, English

2The last Christian in the last rebel province in Northwest Syria

90-year-old Boutros is the last Christian in the last rebel province in Idlib, in Northwest Syria. He states proudly the fact that he has never left his home since he was born in 1931, despite the turbulent periods that the country has seen since then. An Orthodox Christian with no close family, he says he prays at home as all the Churches are closed since all the faithful have fled, mostly abroad.  Boutros said however that in his neighborhood everyone takes care of one another, regardless of religion. “God takes care of me while I am here at my home,” he said. 
Avvenire, Italian

3Cardinal Maradiaga: We are in a new stage of the pontificate, not at the end

As Pope Francis’ pontificate enters its ninth year, Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals, reflects on the reforms undertaken until now. He divided Pope Francis’ reforms in three categories : spiritual, with events such as the Jubilee of Mercy; ecclesiological, with the reflection on synodality; and institutional such as reorganizing dicasteries and fighting abuse. He says that one of the most difficult challenges was reforming financial and banking entities in the Vatican to avoid corruption and excessive spending. Cardinal Maradiaga also emphasized he does not believe the pontificate is at its final stage, but rather at a new point. 
Rome Reports, English

4In Mali a nun was beaten for praying while in captivity

Colombian Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez, was kidnapped in Mali by extremists with links to Al Qaeda in February 2017. She was released four and a half years later, in October 2021 and recently spoke to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), about her mistreatment by her captors, confiding how she would be beaten for praying or sometimes for no reason at all. Despite the struggles she did not stop praying or asking her captors not to insult God. They encourage her to embrace Islamic practices but she says “ I always let it be known that I was born in the Catholic faith […] and that for nothing in the world would I change that, even if it cost me my life.”
Aid to the Church in Need, English 

5Catholics talk about the situation in El Salvador, 30 years after the peace accords

The peace accords signed on Jan. 16, 1992, put an end to 12 years of bloody civil war in El Salvador. Saint Oscar Romero and four other Salvadoran martyrs who will be beatified on Jan. 22 all died during this period. To mark this 30th anniversary, Feliz Maria Guardado, who lost several family members during the war, says she is grateful for simply not having to run for her life, as encouraged by her local bishop to give thanks for not living during a war. Despite other issues in El Salvador today, Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez said in a homily on Jan 16 that “all we want is a country where people (can say) they’re happy to live here, where it’s a home for all.”
Catholic News Service, English 

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