Committee calls attacks on Christians, others in Middle East ‘genocide’

Catholic News Service The House Foreign Affairs Committee March 2 unanimously passed a bipartisan measure condemning as genocide the killing of Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities by Islamic State militants in the Middle East. The House body also passed a second measure unanimously calling for an international tribunal to hold the Syrian…

Recapture of Christian towns contrasts with Islamic State gains in Syria

AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Church bells are ringing once again in the Assyrian Christian villages dotting the Khabur River in northeastern Syria after Islamic State militants were routed by a combination of forces. It’s a stark contrast to the mounting concerns for one of the most renowned archaeological sites in the Middle East following the…

Vatican security always on high alert, chief says after IS threats

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The head of Vatican security said Islamic State militants have threatened the Vatican, but there are no indications of any planned attack. The Vatican gendarmes, Swiss Guards and the Italian state police that patrol the perimeter of Vatican City State are always on high alert, said Domenico Giani, the commander of…

U.S. bishops’ group travels to Iraq, meets with those who fled ISIS

AINKAWA, Iraq (CNS) — One of Iraq’s Christians chased out of her historic homeland quietly prayed the rosary as a bishop who traveled halfway around the world to meet her and others displaced celebrated Mass for them. “It’s a journey of encountering God, the poor and the dispossessed,” Bishop Oscar Cantu, chairman of the Committee…

Muslim leaders worldwide issue stern rebuke to ISIS

WASHINGTON (CNS) — More than 100 Muslim leaders — clerics and laypeople alike — have signed on to a letter criticizing the Middle East Muslim military group ISIS, short for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In the 17-page letter, the leaders quote extensively from the Quran, the Muslim scriptures, to rebuke ISIS’ tactics…