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A French soldier patrols near a burning house at a village in Bossangoa, Central African Republic (CNS)

Priests and nuns have remained in the country during the current conflict, despite offers of evacuation.

A girl stands a destroyed building in Syria (CNS)

Bishop Alnemeh demands the immediate release of the nuns ‘who have done no harm to anyone’

Almost half a million Syrian Christians have been forced to flee their homes since the civil war began (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi, File)

Patriarch says Pope Francis’s prayers stopped western powers bombing Damascus

Saint Francis of Assisi by Jusepe de Ribera

The one saint who seems to give the Church a good name, St Francis would have sought converts

Ann Widdecombe: Church thinking on abuse mirrored that of society in general

Widespread ideas about nature of paedophilia in 1970s and 80s influenced decisions, says former MP

Magdi Allam pictured shortly after his baptism in St Peter's Basilica in 2008 (AP)

It’s not always easy or even possible. But hatred of the sinner rather than of the sin is always unChristian

Shahbaz Bhatti, left, back in 2007 with a Christian who had received a threatening letter from the Taliban Photo: AP Photo/Anjum Naveed

It would be ‘wonderful’ if Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities was canonised, says Britain’s most senior cleric

George McLaughlin

Walker raises money for Sudanese children

A member of the Knights of St Columba is to walk 98 miles to raise money for Christian schools in Sudan

Les Blake, Dermot McDermott, Terry Ffyffe, Paul Adungbe, Brian Dillon and Chris Thompson on the pilgrimage

Brothers make prayer pilgrimage to Canterbury

Pilgrimage raised money for the homeless, Christians in Sudan, children’s counselling and a Catholic hospice

Benedict XVI blesses the faithful at the end of the general audience (AP Photo)

Today’s Catholic must-reads: 07/12/11

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church