An old man in the city of Kaduna in Northern Nigeria pointed to a barren, sun-baked plain and said: "When I was young there was a forest out there and if we were hungry we could just pick fruit of the trees or hunt wildlife, which was plentiful".
In the worldwide Catholic Church, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated in January each year, having been instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X. In 2015 it falls on 18 January, which is also the Church's World Peace Day (and for many the first Day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity).
Pope Francis has undertaken a fourth papal visit to Turkey amid much ignorance and misunderstanding. Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian says that the present leader of the worldwide Catholic Church came to Ankara and Istanbul with three overarching objectives. He looks at what those are and why they are important politically and religiously.
In both Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Pope Francis offered his home in the Vatican as a place for the encounter of prayer. It was a potentially transformative moment. Now that the event is over, and both presidents have re-iterated their desire for peace, what happens next to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - more so since President Peres completes his term as president of Israel at the end of July? Regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian explores the issues.