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Assyrians troops are preparing to take back Nineveh from ISIS

Iraqi Christians form militia to fight ISIS

Group aims to take back Nineveh Plains from Islamists

Members of the Philippines military carry bodies of their colleagues who died in deadly clashes with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (CNS)

A 12-hour gun fight between Islamic rebels and government troops took place earlier this week

Smoke billows from a truck during a protest  against Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou's attendance at the Paris rally for Charlie Hebdo (CNS)

‘We’re still trying to understand the savagery which erupted here,’ says Archbishop Michel Cartateguy

A French soldier stands guard outside St Joseph Cathedral in Bambari, Central African Republic (CNS)

Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia says that the Pope ‘responded positively’ to an invitation from the country’s bishops’ conference

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope makes comments in address to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies

A floral tribute outside Charlie Hebdo's headquarters in Paris (PA)

There may be the freedom to insult religious belief in a secular state, but holding it as a jewel in the crown of democracy is wrong

Muslim women pray outside court in Putrajaya, Malaysia (PA)

The legal dispute began five years ago

Iraqi Christians attend Mass at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad on the 
first Christmas after the massacre of worshippers  (AP)

The war that no one wants to talk about

Unless we act quickly, Islamism will ensure that the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia are Christian-free within a generation

Pope Francis (PA)

Pope Francis also called on Muslim leaders and other religious officials to condemn terrorism in speech

Yazidi leaders, including the group's supreme spiritual leader, meet Pope Francis at the Vatican (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 09/01/15

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