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Pope Francis (CNS)

Francis prays for victims of violent protests and targeted attacks against the Church in Niger

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri said that military intervention was the only viable option for combating the Islamists

A North Korean defector prays in Seoul (CNS)

Open Doors International said 2014 had the highest level of global persecution of Christians in the modern era

Coptic Christian Samir Mujeed weeps as he holds a photo of his 23-year-old son, Girgis Samir, who was abducted in Libya (PA)

Photos of alleged captives posted on Islamist internet forum

Pope Francis (AP)

The Vatican has released a translation of the speech delivered by Francis at the Apostolic Palace

A delegation of Australian bishops to Lebanon and Iraq distribute gifts to refugees ahead of Christmas at Caritas Lebanon (CNS)

Australian bishops say they have seen ‘Christ reborn again’ among refugees in Lebanon and Iraq

Women gather at a chapel in a camp set up for Ukrainian refugees in August (CNS)

Warning comes 25 years after Catholicism was re-legalised in the country

The Dalai Lama (PA)

If the Pope had met the Dalai Lama, Chinese Catholics would have been made to suffer

Prince Charles looks at a gift presented to him with Archbishop Habib of Basra, Iraq, during a visit to meet Iraqi Christians, in London (PA)

Prince tells Iraqi Christians they are ‘literally following in the footsteps of the Holy Family’

A Kenyan Christian re-enacts the Way of the Cross (CNS)

Christians around the world will endanger their lives this Christmas to celebrate their faith