Chaldean Nuns Remain Missing Amid Islamist Takeover In Iraq

For eleven days, Christians leaders have waited in vain to hear back from two Chaldean nuns, who disappeared in the ravaged city of Mosul, in northern Iraq.

Sisters Miskintah and Utoor Joseph are part of the Chaldean Daughters of Mary Order. The pair, along with three other women, had returned to an orphanage they had been forced to evacuate days earlier, after the city fell to ISIS militants.

Christian leaders in the country, fear these militants kidnapped the women. A week ago, the terrorist group declared an Islamic State spanning large areas in Iraq and Syria. They have aggressively persecuted Christians, and bombed churches and monasteries.

Shortly after their disappearance, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako appealed to Sunni leaders and tribal sheiks in the region to help secure their release.

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Death of Orthodox leader could raise new questions about Russian influence in Ukraine

Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev, the leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church allied with the Moscow patriarchate, died on July 5 at the age of 78.

The death of Metropolitan Vladimir, who had been battling cancer, could create new uncertainty in the Ukrainian Orthodox community. The Orthodox group, the largest in Ukraine, he led had remained loyal to Moscow after another group, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kiev patriarchate—had split with the Russian Orthodox leadership. However, Metropolitan Vladimir had distanced himself from the Moscow patriarchate’s strongly pro-Russian perspective on the recent political turmoil in Ukraine.

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Turkish Ramadan feast brings faiths together in Sydney

SBS World News has had the great privilege of being invited into a young couple's home to share, and to document, the Iftar feast that breaks the day's Ramadan fast. 
By six o'clock in the evening, with the sun fully set and the new moon rising, Sydney- based newly weds Azmi and Deniz Alkan were busy in the kitchen preparing what would prove to be an amazing array of culinary delights.
This Iftar feast was truly exceptional, the Alkans had opened up their home to members of the Christian and Jewish faiths because these Turkish Australians wanted to share their cultural and religious heritage. 
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Ecumenical Patriarch: meetings with Pope Francis are ‘like a precious treasure’

The Holy See Press Office has released the text of a letter written by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople extending best wishes to Pope Francis for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

The letter, dated June 24, was made public on June 30.

“We retain in our heart, like a precious treasure, the recollection of our recent personal encounters with Your Holiness both in Jerusalem and Rome, which further renewed and sealed our fraternal bonds, while also affirming our desire to continue on the path toward our full union and communion desired by the Lord,” wrote Patriarch Bartholomew, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy.

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US Supreme Court rules companies don't have to provide contraception as part of health cover

The US Supreme Court has ruled a company does not have to provide contraception as part of its health coverage for workers if it goes against its religious beliefs.

The case was brought by retail chain Hobby Lobby, which is owned by a family of evangelical Christians.

They took the US government to court over president Barack Obama's healthcare law which mandates what coverage companies must provide their workers.

Hobby Lobby, which has 13,000 full-time employees, objected to the requirement that certain forms of contraception must be included.

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