Christian life improves in Arabia • farmer discovers remarkable mosaic in Gaza

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Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press on 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, September 20, 2022
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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
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1Improvements for Christians in the Arabian Peninsula

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

Cath.ch, French

2A remarkable Byzantine mosaic discovered in Gaza

While digging in his olive grove, a farmer in Gaza made an important discovery, Holy Land magazine reports. Under the land, 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 artwork form a checkerboard of frames where many animals are represented, such as flamingos, rabbits, dolphins, dogs or goats. These images are then surrounded by floral motifs. The first specialist consulted speaks of an “exceptional” discovery, both for the quality of the work and for its perfect state of preservation. This archaeologist from the French Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem warns against the risks that weigh on the mosaic, including that of looting, which is frequent in the region, or land pressure which regularly sacrifices archaeological remains to make way for constructions . The archaeologist calls for saving the work and helping the Palestinian government to take charge of this unique heritage.

Holy Land, 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 spoke out against the persecution of Jews. For this reason, the former Archbishop of Utrecht is now honored posthumously by the State of Israel.

Katholisch.de, 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 clear-headed – 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 demanding race which will bring him to rub shoulders with the biggest names in sport.

Vatican News,English

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