Thousands rally in support of Maronite patriarch in Lebanon | SW NEWS | 204

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On Saturday February the 27th, thousands of Lebanese people rallied in support of Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi. This follows criticism of his call for a UN-led international conference to address the country’s economic and political crises. Lebanon has been in a state of turmoil since an explosion in Beirut in August of last year, which left more than 200 people dead. The country’s government resigned in the aftermath of the blast, which was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the city’s port for years.

Vatican releases theme for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Pope Francis has chosen the theme of "Towards an ever wider 'we'," for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The day will be observed by the Catholic Church on the 26th of September. As per a communiqué issued by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Pope Francis' message for the day will quote: "stress the importance of being attentive to the entire human family through an inclusive Church that reaches out and is capable of creating communion in diversity."

US Supreme Court lifts ban on indoor worship in Santa Clara County
On Friday, February 26th, the US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to allow indoor worship in California's Santa Clara County with 20% capacity. Although the Court had reversed a ban on indoor worship in California by an order on February 5th, and permitted indoor services at 25% capacity, Santa Clara county disregarded the injunction.

At least 18 pro-democracy protestors killed in Myanmar
As a result of escalating violence against protestors by the military in Myanmar, at least 18 people were killed and 30 people injured on Sunday, February the 28th. Hundreds of people have been detained across the country. Condemning the violence, UN Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said quote: “The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy.

Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq tests positive for Covid-19
The Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq, Msgr. Mitja Leskovar has tested positive for COVID-19. The diagnosis comes as the Catholic Church in Iraq makes final preparations for Pope Francis' much awaited visit to the country. The information was shared by Fr. Ervin Lengyel, the Secretary of the Nunciature in a tweet. The symptoms of the Nuncio are reported to be mild, and he continues to work during his self-isolation.

Philippines' historic basilica and miraculous image to be declared national cultural treasures
The Philippines' historic Basilica Minore del Santo. Niño, and the image of Infant Jesus popularly known as the Santo Niño de Cebu will be declared as "national cultural treasures." Rene Escalante, the Chair of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, made the announcement while launching a three-part webinar series. He said, quote: "This stature is the highest recognition the State can give to such historically and culturally-significant heritage of the Filipino people.”

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