The number of Israel’s poor has increased by more than any other of the 34 developed nations that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, it has been reported. According to an OECD study released Wednesday, Israel is the most impoverished of all 34 nations, with a poverty rate of 20.9%. Full story
Pope Francis has expressed his solidarity with the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church on Friday, during an historic meeting with the Church’s leader, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. Francis spoke of the strong bonds that exist between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox church and paid tribute to Coptic martyrs. Full story
Pope Francis is to receive Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria in a private audience on Friday. The meeting, the first apostolic trip outside Egypt for the newly elected patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, will be of great symbolic importance for the Christian minority in Egypt who are facing a period of uncertainty and unrest. Full story
There is still no news of two Orthodox bishops recently kidnapped in a town close to Aleppo. Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi – both of the diocese of Aleppo – were abducted April 22nd en route to Aleppo from a town on the Turkish border. Full story
Israeli President Shimon Peres and Pope Francis held cordial talks at the Vatican Tuesday, during which they expressed hopes for a “speedy resumption” of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Peres also officially invited the Pope to visit Israel, and said any such visit should take place soon. Full story
The raw reality of exile and home are brought to life in this series of essays, poems, and lyrics by fifteen leading Palestinian authors. They offer vivid insights into the agony of uprootedness and longing for a homeland. Poignant, humorous, and intimate, this is a rich and original take on what life means to those who live for, and seek, Palestine.
The Palace of Versailles, just outside Paris, house an exhibition called Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre. Gifts from European Royal Courts to Jerusalem from 16th April to 14th July. This is a particular event: for the first time 250 “unknown” masterpieces that were sent to Jerusalem over the centuries are on display in one place.
Jerusalem viewed from above. An alternate route than starts from the ancient walls of the Old City and is an opportunity for exploration and discovery. A tour of Jerusalem’s rooftops is also an option for tourists and pilgrims who wish to go on a different kind of visit—and see the layers of the city’s history and those who have travelled its roads.