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No proof kidnapped Syria bishops are free: Christian group

There is "no tangible proof" that two Orthdox bishops kidnapped in Syria have been released, an association of Middle Eastern Christians said Wednesday, going back on an earlier claim that the pair had been freed. "Yesterday evening we received information from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate questioning the release of the two bishops," said Catherine Baumont, spokeswoman of the "Oeuvre d'Orient" association which works to help Middle Eastern Christians.

Iraq Christians mark Easter, pray for papal visit

After years of flight from violence-racked Iraq to more stable countries, Baghdad's dwindling Christian community marked Easter Sunday by praying for a visit from the new pope. Worshippers attended services at 28 churches across the Iraqi capital, often under heavy security that meant they were frisked before entering while soldiers and police stood guard outside. "It would be so important for us if he came," said Acil Aysar, a 17-year-old attending mass at the Mar Yusuf church in Baghdad's central Karrada neighbourhood.

Iraqi Chaldeans enthrone new patriarch

Archbishop Louis Sako was enthroned on Wednesday as the new patriarch of the Iraq-based Chaldean Church during a mass in Baghdad broadcast on national television. He replaces Emmanuel III Delly, who retired in December after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 85 in the church, which is the largest Christian community in Iraq and recognises the authority of the pope. The ceremony was held in the Mar Yusuf cathedral in the Karrada area of central Baghdad, with main roads blocked off by security forces.

Iraqi Chaldeans enthrone new patriarch

Archbishop Louis Sako was enthroned on Wednesday as the new patriarch of the Iraq-based Chaldean Church during a mass in Baghdad broadcast on national television. He replaces Emmanuel III Delly, who retired in December after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 85 in the church, which is the largest Christian community in Iraq and recognises the authority of the pope. The ceremony was held in the Mar Yusuf cathedral in the Karrada area of central Baghdad, with main roads blocked off by security forces.
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