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It is appropriate that we end 2013 by taking a look at a region which is a cradle of civilisations, faiths and hopes - but also a zone of enmity, bitterness and conflict.
The latest podcast from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) analyst Dr Harry Hagopian looks at the prospects for democracy in a region battered by violence and conflict.
"Christians 'face extinction' in their ancient homelands because of a rising tide of sectarian attacks." That was the way the Daily Telegraph signalled the content of a talk by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi last week.
You see that a person is justified by good works and not by faith in isolation. - James 2.24.
Fifty: that is a docile five followed by a bullying nought! And for many people, it is a new milestone that is either met with a joyous 'wow' luxuriating in acquired experiences, or a more contemplative 'hmm' that is fearful of impending senescence. For much as 50 nowadays is nothing more that the new 40, it still is all of half a century that takes its toll on many men and women.
In his latest podcast for the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) expert commentator and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian looks at a variety of political, religious and legal realities making news inside and outside the region.
It was a real pleasure for me to learn that the WCC 10th General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, elected HH Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians at Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenia, as one of its new co-presidents.