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“I am no longer who i was”

Under the pseudonym Shirin, a young Yazidi woman writes about her martyrdom at the hands of IS © Tobias Hase

"To feel safe – we have to learn that again first."This is how the young Yazidi wrote the chapter "Germany" in her book. She has lived through martyrdom under the IS militia, torture, rape. She wants the world to know about it.

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Last refuge cemetery

The grand entrance is for a good cause. On Saturday the ZDF broadcasts the donation gala "A Heart for Children. Among others: Hollywood icon Selma Hayek, tennis legend Andre Agassi, actress Veronica Ferres. And Father Max Abalos from the Philippines. Between the TV event hosted by Thomas Gottschalk and the workplace of Father Max are not only several thousand kilometers, but also whole worlds away.

At the big Saturday night show, Abalos presents his work in the cemeteries of the Philippine metropolis of Cebu with its millions of inhabitants. Between gravestones and mausoleums, more than 700 families now eke out an existence there. For many of them, the Catholic chaplain is something of a ray of hope in a situation that is more than gloomy. With church services and soup kitchens, the 66-year-old tries to reach those people who no longer have a place to live, even in the slums of Cebu. Some of them had to vacate their huts for new construction projects, others were washed out of the agrarian hinterland into the conurbation in the heart of the island state – and perished in a maelstrom of violence, drugs and prostitution. Like Wendy, who for many years procured in the red light districts of Cebu. She became pregnant by a German sex tourist; since then she has lived with her young son as a living among the dead.
Daily struggle for survival The cemetery also became the last refuge for Amalia and her family. Why she came here is something the 45-year-old is reluctant to talk about. For this, she proudly tells of her children, who already contribute to her livelihood. Joshua collects the remains of deadlights during the day, which his sister Junalyn then makes into new candles. The equivalent of one euro for 60 copies of recycled goods. A daily struggle for survival that Junalyn wants to escape as soon as possible. "I'm trying hard at school and want to be a teacher later," the 13-year-old says earnestly. So that she would no longer have to sleep in the cemetery and could live in a real house. To help Junalyn and her peers, Father Max has embarked on an ambitious plan. Together with the Catholic aid organization missio, he wants to start a project in the coming year that will offer new perspectives to 400 children and their parents. At the heart of the initiative is a kindergarten and preschool – in Cebu's largest cemetery. Sounds absurd? Not for Father Max, who is convinced of his mission education. "We're just helping the children develop their own skills," he says, smiling. Around 74.000 euros have been budgeted by the project partners for their cemetery campaign. Money to be raised again on Saturday by German television viewers. Father Max gets support from Stephanie zu Guttenberg, wife of the German defense minister. A lot of support for him and his proteges, shortly before Christmas and from a completely different world.

Note: "A Heart for Children" fundraising gala, ZDF, Sat. 12.12., 20.15 – 22.45 o'clock.

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Yellow card from the vatican

The Vatican has reprimanded the moral theological positions of the US-American nun Margaret Farley in a doctrinal examination procedure. Several statements of the Yale professor of Christian ethics contradict Catholic teaching, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced in a "Notification. The main points of contention are statements on homosexuality, marriage, divorce, remarriage and masturbation.

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Empty promises?

Several victims of abuse and mistreatment in Ettal monastery have joined forces and are demanding compensation with the help of lawyers. The reproach to the monastery leadership: the declarations of intent have so far not been followed by action. Those responsible refer to the "Ettal help concept.

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“Largest reform of the ecclesiastical landscape”

The comprehensive reorganization of Catholic parishes in the Ruhr bishopric has now been completed in the city deanery of Essen. The legal restructuring ended Tuesday with the creation of five major parishes there, according to a statement from the city church. The biggest reform of the ecclesiastical landscape since the founding of the Ruhr bishopric 50 years ago is not yet finished.

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“Not that al gore propaganda!”

Critically acclaimed, invigorating the climate debate, successful at the box office and now nominated for an Oscar, "An Inconvenient Truth" has been one success story for Al Gore so far. But now resistance is stirring. Evangelical Christians in the U.S. want to prevent their children from seeing the documentary. And have their own explanation for climate change.


"Our nation – the greatest nation" The email received by the school lacked nothing in explicitness or aggressiveness, despite the stilted sentence construction, "No, you will not show or teach my child this Al Gore propagandist video that blames our nation – the greatest nation that has ever existed on this planet – for global warming."Meant was the documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth", also successful in Germany, which warns of catastrophic consequences of climate change and environmental destruction. The relevant school board in Washington state reacted promptly: spooked, it cancelled screenings of the film in Seattle and area schools as part of science classes. However, after protests against this censorship in anticipatory obedience, it eventually released the film. Especially since Al Gore's film, which was only defeated by a razor-thin margin in the presidential election by George W. Bush failed, has since been nominated for an Oscar.But the Oscar nomination has only emboldened letter-writer Frosty Hardiman, who describes himself as an evangelical Christian, in his action. Expressing the conviction that "the liberal left has a firm grip on Hollywood". The controversy in Seattle is not an isolated incident. Evangelical parents in other parts of the country are also campaigning against a screening of the documentary, hoping to banish the ie of climate change from classrooms as well as the unpopular topics of sex education and the teaching of evolution – both complexes have long been in the crosshairs of fundamentalist Christians in America. Renewed debate – about principles Along the way, these debates are also helping to reinvigorate the currently lively discussion in the U.S. about climate change and to re-emphasize the ideological – or religious – contrasts that divide the country on this ie as well as on important others: from the war in Iraq to immigration to the abortion ie. But the fact that even President Bush spoke of climate change and protection for the first time in his State of the Union address Tuesday night could prompt a rethink, at least among the political right, if not the religious right.In Seattle, at least, Al Gore's film is now being shown again; other schools still have this controversy ahead of them. Yet America's evangelical Christians are by no means in the majority behind fundamentalists like Hardiman, who writes in email, on this ie. Various church spokesmen warn of threat to divine creation from human emissions. Leading evangelical church leaders last week joined prominent climate scientists in launching an initiative against global warming, calling on President Bush in an open letter to do more to protect the environment. "God will hold us accountable for the destruction of creation," insisted Rich Cizik, a spokesman for the influential National Evangelical Association.Hardliners like Hardiman, however, who find the truths of Gore and climate scientists too uncomfortable, don't see the warming of the planet as a threat. On the contrary. They understand them positively: as "one of the signs" of Christ's imminent return.

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Memorial made of 740 teddy bears

Memorial made of 740 teddy bears

Syria memorial made of 740 teddy bears © Christian Ditsch (epd)

Seven years of violence in Syria and no peace in sight: one of the few aid convoys arrived in embattled Eastern Ghuta on Thursday, but the delivery is not enough for all residents. Meanwhile, in Berlin, teddy bears were making news.