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People grieve at the coffins of two Christian brothers killed in Mosul (CNS)

The long tradition of the presence of Christians in the Middle East is nearly at an end

Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople planting an olive tree in the Vatican Gardens (CNS)

Pope was speaking to coalition of funding agencies coordinated by Congregation for Eastern Churches

Francis embraces a child during today's audience

Also asks faithful to pray for Middle East during general audience

Pope Francis is greeted by young people during a meeting in the Deheishe  Refugee Camp (CNS)

Francis was speaking during visit to the Deheishe Refugee Camp

Pope Francis with Israeli President Shimon Peres,  and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at Ben Gurion airport (PA)

Tears and cheers as Pope Francis arrives by helicopter in Tel Aviv

Pope Francis prays with the Italian bishops yesterday (AP)

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

Whatever Blair says, we cannot put aside differences with Russia and China (PA)

We cannot fight Islamism by siding with the forces of oppression

John Kerry is the first Catholic US Secretary of State since Edmund Muskie (AP)

US secretary of state discusses issues including the Middle East and Obama’s healthcare reforms

Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa (CNS) Below: Bishops' delegation enters Gaza (Mazur)

Bishops from US, canada and Europe visit the troubled area’s tiny Christian community

Pope Francis waves at the crowd yesterday

Pope to visit Holy Land on May 24

Francis makes announcement on 50th anniversary of Paul’s Jerusalem meeting