EWTN - Feb 27, 2014
March 2nd 2014
Pope Francis on Sunday appealed to followers to pray for Ukraine and urged world leaders to come together to promote peace there.
"I hope that all parts of the country work to overcome misunderstandings and to build together the future of the nation," Pope Francis after the Sunday recitation of the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, according to the official Vatican Network. "I extend a heartfelt appeal to the international community to support any initiative for dialogue and harmony."
Looking forward to Lent, which begins Wednesday, the Pontiff implored the faithful to "combat evil" with "weapons of prayer, fasting and mercy," according to the Vatican's news site.
Russian troops moved into Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula Sunday, after Putin declared Russia had the right to invade, even though President Barack Obama warned against military action.
The New York Post
March 2, 2014 | 6:54pm
If it weren’t for Israel, we often hear, the Middle East’s lions would all lie down with the lambs. The terrible fate of a Christian community in Syria is a fresh reminder of just how ¬untrue this is.
The place is the northern city of Raqqa. There, an offshoot of al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), has forced local Christians to submit to a treaty that grants them protection in exchange for paying a tax in gold and giving up public displays of their faith. As bad as that is, it clearly beats the other choices: convert to Islam or “face the sword.”
In return for ISIS protection, the Christians cannot renovate churches, display crosses, read Scripture too loudly, perform religious ceremonies outside the church or sell pork or alcohol and must pay a twice-a-year special tax equivalent to hundreds of dollars per individual.
"This morning at the National Prayer Breakfast the President affirmed the dignity and right to religious liberty of all human beings, meanwhile here at home his administration faces the largest religious liberty lawsuit in American history. This administration insists on forcing people of faith to violate their consciences by providing abortion pills in their health plans - including the Little Sisters of the Poor, nuns who care for the needy and dying."
Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association