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Rome & the World: Christian life improving in Arabia • farmer finds remarkable mosaic in Gaza

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Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral in Awali, south of the Bahraini capital Manama, on November 8, 2021. -

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 09/20/22

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Tuesday 20 September 2022
1. Improvements for Christians in the Arabian Peninsula
2. A remarkable Byzantine mosaic discovered in Gaza
3. Dutch cardinal declared Righteous Among the Nations
4. Embarrassment and silence in the Vatican on the case of Cardinal Zen
5. For the first time, the Vatican participates in the World Cycling Championships

1Improvements for Christians in the Arabian Peninsula

While a possible trip by Pope Francis to Bahrain in November is on the table, the Emeritus Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia (United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen), Bishop Paul Hinder, notes some improvements for Christians in most countries of the Arabian Peninsula. The 80-year-old Swiss Capuchin, who is now Apostolic Administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia), notes that the Church’s work in this region is essentially a pastoral ministry to migrants. The local Church has between 2.5 million and 3 million faithful of more than 100 nationalities. Although proselytizing among Muslims is forbidden, conversions of non-Muslims are quite frequent. Bishop Hinder said the Kingdom of Bahrain has a fairly liberal religious policy, tolerating charitable activities and Catholic schools. In essence, the Vicar Apostolic Emeritus considers that Pope Francis’ possible visit could have positive repercussions, such as after his trip to Abu Dhabi in 2019 … unlike the upcoming soccer World Cup in Qatar, which the Capuchin remains skeptical about., French 

2A remarkable Byzantine mosaic discovered in Gaza

While digging in his olive grove, a farmer from Gaza made an important discovery, Terre Sainte magazine reports. Under the terrain, which belonged to a refugee camp, the farmer came across a Byzantine mosaic, which, after excavation, turns out to be gigantic: nearly 30 square meters. The tesserae of the work of art form a checkerboard of frames where many animals are represented, such as pink flamingos, rabbits, dolphins, dogs or goats. These images are then surrounded by floral motifs. The first specialist consulted spoke of an “exceptional” discovery, as much for the quality of the work as for its perfect state of preservation. This archaeologist from the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem warns against the risks that weigh on the mosaic, including that of looting, frequent in the region, or the real estate pressure that regularly sacrifices archaeological remains to make space for buildings. The archeologist calls for saving the artwork and helping the Palestinian government take charge of this unique heritage. 

Terre Sainte, French  

3. Dutch cardinal declared Righteous Among the Nations

Cardinal Johannes de Jong played a central role in the Church’s resistance to the Nazi regime in the Netherlands and denounced the persecution of the Jews. For this reason, the former Archbishop of Utrecht is now posthumously honored by the State of Israel., German

4. Embarrassment and silence in the Vatican on the case of Cardinal Zen

Shortly after his arrest in May, the cardinal – 90 years old but very lucid – was released on bail and has since been under house arrest at his home.

Il Messaggero, Italian

5. For the first time, the Vatican participates in the World Cycling Championships

His name is Rien Schuurhuis, he is Dutch and he will wear the white and gold colors of the Vatican on September 25 in Wollongong, Australia. He talks about this challenging race that will bring him to rub shoulders with the biggest names in the sport. 

Vatican News,English

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