#ShortNews: Christian hope is like the air we breathe, Pope preaches at weekday Mass

Hope is like throwing an anchor to the other shore. Pope Francis uses this image at morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta to exhort people to live “in tension” towards an encounter with the Lord, otherwise they will end up corrupted and Christian life will risk becoming a “philosophical doctrine”.

In order to make it clear how to live in hope, the Pope then refers to the teaching of Jesus in the passage from today’s Gospel (Lk 13:18-21) when He compares the Kingdom of God to the mustard seed thrown into the field. “Let’s wait for it to grow”. We don’t go every day to see how it goes, because otherwise “it will never grow”, the Pope points out, referring to “patience” because, as Paul says, “hope needs patience”. It is “the patience of knowing that we sow, but it is God who gives growth”. “Hope is artisanal, small,” he continues, “it is sowing a grain and letting the land give growth.”

Read more on Pope’s preaching about Hope: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-at-mass-for-a-christian-hope-is-like-the-air-we-breathe.html

#ShortNews: Christianity may disappear from Syria and Iraq

There were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq before 2003, but by mid-2019 that figure had fallen to well below 150,000; by some estimates the number of Christians there may have fallen as low as 120,000—a decline of more than 90 percent within a single generation. In Syria, the size of the Christian population has fallen by two-thirds since the country’s civil war began in 2011, when Christians still numbered more than 2 million.

The 2019 edition of “Persecuted and Forgotten?”, a biennial study of the persecution of Christians around the world, warns that the Church in the region could vanish if radical Islamists were to mount another attack on vulnerable communities—a threat highlighted by reports of jihadists escaping prison, as a result of renewed violence in northeastern Syria. The report concludes: “Were there to be another ISIS-style assault on the faithful, it could result in the Church’s disappearance.” However, says the report, “if security can be guaranteed,” there is every indication that Christianity could survive on Iraq’s Nineveh Plains and in Erbil, Kurdish Iraq.

Source: https://www.churchinneed.org/report-christianity-may-disappear-from-syria-and-iraq-a-call-for-international-intervention/

#ShortNews: Christians, Jews, Muslims sign interfaith statement rejecting euthanasia

“We oppose any form of euthanasia – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional act of taking life – as well as physician-assisted suicide – that is  the direct, deliberate and intentional support of committing suicide – because they fundamentally contradict the inalienable value of human life, and therefore are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong, and should be forbidden without exceptions.”

Representatives of the Abrahamic religions made the statement in a position paper that they signed and released in the Vatican on Monday regarding end-of-life issues, such as euthanasia, assisted suicide and palliative care.

The term, Abrahamic monotheistic religions, derives from the Old Testament biblical figure Abraham who is recognized by Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.

Read full story: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-10/abrahamic-religions-life-euthanasia-suicide-palliative.html