News Briefs

The Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Kirkuk, Iraq, for the first time in memory canceled Christmas Masses because of insecurity and attacks against Christians. • In a statement on Dec. 23, Federico Lombardi, S.J., argued that Jewish groups should not see Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to advance the sainthood cause of Pope Pius XII as a “hostile act.” • The FBI's report on hate crime statistics for 2008, released in late November, showed that the majority of hate crimes in the U.S. were motivated by racial bias but that religious groups and homosexuals were the next largest targets. • Orthodox Christians in predominantly Muslim Turkey "don't feel that we enjoy our full rights as Turkish citizens," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the spiritual head of the world's 300 million Orthodox told "60 Minutes," adding that he and other Christians in Turkey sometimes feel "crucified" by the actions of the Turkish government. • Members of Holy Family Parish in the Gaza Strip received only 10 of the 300 travel permits Israel issued to Gaza residents over the Christmas period, said the parish priest, Rev. Jorge Hernandez.

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A rally hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for a Nebraska Democrat prompted a flurry of questions about the party's pro-choice orthodoxy.
Michael O'LoughlinApril 24, 2017
Omaha Democratic mayoral candidate Heath Mello waves to supporters at a rally on April 20.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The expulsion of pro-life candidates may doom the Democrats to minority status.
Robert David SullivanApril 24, 2017
Miroslava Breach Velducea. Photo courtesy of Patricia Mayorga.
Four attacks on reporters in such a short timespan have shocked Mexico, already a country press freedom organizations say is one the most dangerous in the Western Hemisphere for journalists.
Jan-Albert HootsenApril 24, 2017
At Rome's Basilica of St. Bartholomew, a shrine to modern martyrs, Pope Francis presided over an evening prayer service April 22, honoring Christians killed under Nazism, communism, dictatorships and terrorism.