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Joop Koopman
Joop Koopman works as a consultant for Aid to the Church in Need, an international agency with offices in 18 countries.

Entries by Joop Koopman

In Nigeria, the Heart of Darkness

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 4:41 PM

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Nigerian bishops' conference, recently spent a few days in New York -- a brief respite from his increasingly violence-ridden country, where the jihadists of Boko Haram continue to kill indiscriminately, Muslims and Christians alike.

Within the span of a week in...

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'The Arab Societies Have Been Hijacked by Extremists'

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 1:23 PM

ArchbishopYousif Mirkis heads the Chaldean Archdiocese of Kirkuk, Iraq, the capital of oil-rich territory now firmly controlled by the Kurds, who have shown a particular welcome to Christians fleeing the onslaught of ISIS. He was interviewed July 7, 2014 by international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

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A "Call to Action" On Behalf of Middle East Christians Gets Fresh Impetus From Pope Francis

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 11:50 AM

As a news event, it had but a brief moment in the sun, mostly earning coverage in religious media. At a May 7, 2014 news conference on Capitol Hill sponsored by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), a distinguished group of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant lay and clergy...

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Are Christians Persecuted in the Middle East?

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 10:04 AM

The answer from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land is a qualified yes. The body issued a significant, if as-yet little noticed statement April 2, stressing that -- while Christians throughout the Middle East are often singled out by Islamic extremists -- both Christians and...

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A New Cathedral in the Heart of the Muslim World

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 6:08 PM

Bishop Camillo Ballin, an Italian-born Comboni missionary, heads the Roman Catholic Vicariate of Northern Arabia. He is overseeing the first-ever building of a new cathedral in Bahrain, on land given to the Church by Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

The cathedral, named Our Lady of Arabia, will serve...

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Is Tanzania Radical Islam's Next Target?

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 3:11 PM

Bishop Bernadin Francis Mfumbusa heads the almost three-year-old Diocese of Kondou, in the heart of Tanzania, one of 34 dioceses that serve a Catholic population of some 9 million who represent 20 percent of the population. Another 10 percent are Protestants of various denominations. Animists account for 35 percent of...

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'If Nigeria Falls to Islamic Extremists, All of Africa Will Be at Risk'

(13) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 4:58 PM

Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo is the administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bomadi, in Nigeria's Niger Delta, in the heart of the country's oil-rich but economically-deprived south. Nigerian Christians are confronted with the growing threat of radical Islam in the form of the extremely violent anti-Christian Boko Haram sect, which was...

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Lebanon Prelate -- Saying 'Arab Spring' Never Was -- Eyes Syrian Peace Conference

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 9:47 AM

Syrian-born Archbishop John Darwish heads the Melkite Archdiocese of Furzol, Zahle and Bekaa in Lebanon. With a population of 200,000 Christians, Zahle is the largest Christian city in the Middle East. His jurisdiction straddles the western border of Syria and is currently home to 800 Syrian Christian refugee families --...

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New Delhi Archbishop Demands Equal Rights for Christians, Muslims

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 11:00 PM

Archbishop Anil Couto heads the Archdiocese of Delhi. On Dec. 11, 2013, he was part of a large protest march in India's capital, with demonstrators demanding equal rights for low-caste Christians and Muslims, known as dalits, or "untouchables." Approaching the main road from the side lane, the peaceful march became...

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'We Can Make Supporting the Suffering Church a Priority' -- and We Should!

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 11:27 AM

This month may well mark a milestone in the life of the US Church: on Nov. 11, in his final Presidential Address to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York called on his brother bishops to make action on behalf of the suffering and persecuted...

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'Why the Silence?' There Is Too Little Uproar Over the persecution of Christians

(9) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 3:20 PM

It's hard to miss the news today: In Pakistan earlier this month, more than 80 people died in a bomb attack on a Protestant church; last weekend, assailants killed three members of a Christian wedding party in Egypt; in Syria, Jihadists are ever more brazen in their determination to target...

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In the Muslim World, Genius of Christianity

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 8:25 AM

Maronite Bishop Elias Sleman heads the Eparchy of Latakia in the north of Syria, a region that so far has been spared the violence of the country's civil war, which may come as a surprise to many in the West who imagine the entire country to be in the grip...

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They Looked Into the Face of Evil but Found the Courage of Their Faith

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 6:32 PM

Last week, ACNUSA staff had the privilege of welcoming Anto Akkara, a veteran Catholic journalist from India, and a dear friend. Anto had come to the U.S. to tell the story of the martyrs of Kandhamal, a jungle region in the east of India where five years ago 100 Christians...

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Venezuelan Church Takes Stock in Post-Chavez Era

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 1:12 PM

Archbishop Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez heads the Archdiocese of Cumana and serves as president of the Venezuelan bishops' conference. Some six months after the death of strongman Hugo Chavez, the Church remains wary of the new government, wi hch promises but little change from the policies of its predecessor. The...

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An Interview with Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 11:50 AM

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq calls on the West to help local Christians stay put.
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako is the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq. The former archbishop of Kirkuk was elected to helm the Patriarchate of Babylon last January, with responsibility for some...

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Interview: Pulitzer Prize Winner Reflects on U.S. Media

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2011 | 6:12 PM

Amy Ellis Nutt is a 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and enterprise writer at Newark's Star Ledger. She is the author of Shadows Bright as Glass: the Remarkable Story of One Man's Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her in-depth investigative reporting on the...

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Promoting Grassroots Recovery in Pakistan

(2) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 1:44 PM

Seen from the air, the greenness and neat outlines of the farm fields in Punjab stand in sharp contrast with the Sindh Province, its much poorer and more desert-like neighbor to the south.

My colleague Susan Finucane and I are flying from Karachi on Pakistan's southern coast into the Punjabi...

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Poorest in Pakistan Journey Toward a Better Life

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2010 | 2:32 PM

We are getting into the thick of our mission to report on Concern Worldwide's emergency response to Pakistan's devastating floods. Susan Finucane, Program Officer, and I have flown to Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh, and have made our way by car to Thatta, the ancient center of Muslim...

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Local Partners are Key to Recovery in Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 5:57 PM

Their homes destroyed, villagers in Sindh rely on tarpaulin and bamboo frames for shelter. Photo: Pakistan, Concern Worldwide

Susan Finucane, program officer at Concern Worldwide U.S., and I have come to Pakistan to report on the progress of Concern's large-scale emergency...

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