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Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham  and Orthodox Patriarch John X  visit the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, Syria, on Easter Sunday (CNS)

Easter messages also offers prayers for people in Lebanon, Iraq and the Holy Land

The Monastery of Mar Sarkis in Maaloula, recently recaptured by the Syrian Army (CNS)

Britain’s foreign policy does nothing to help the persecuted Church

A Syrian church left empty after a mortar attack. The faithful face their darkest Easter in many years (AP)

Maronite archbishop of Damascus tells faithful: we are abandoned to Providence

Fr van der Lugt

The murdered priest successfully highlighted the suffering of Syrians in a western media that has grown tired of the conflict

A boy pushes a pram past destroyed buildings in Homs (Photo: CNS)

News comes as thousands prepare to be evacuated during a pause in fighting

A Syrian man fixes a picture of Christ on the wall of his damaged house (CNS)

Predictions that after the end of the Cold War we would see a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West have been borne out by events

Francis in his rain-covered popemobile at this morning's audience (AP)

Today’s Catholic must-reads: 22/01/14

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

Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols (AP)

Cardinal-designate Nichols urges prayers ‘even [from] those who do not normally raise their hearts to God’

Patriarch Gregorios III

Leader of Catholics in Syria asks for prayers for conference beginning on Tuesday

A Free Syrian Army fighter walks down a street in Aleppo (AP)

Recommendations will be offered to those taking part in ‘Geneva 2′ peace talks