CWN - The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, said that he opposed US President Donald Trump’s decision to “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

“Every reception policy that discriminates the persecuted and suffering on religious grounds,” Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told the Fides news agency, “ultimately harms the Christians of the East, because among other things provides arguments to all propaganda and prejudice that attack native Christian communities of the Middle East as ‘foreign bodies,’ groups supported and defended by Western powers.”

It is not clear whether the Chaldean Patriarch understood that Trump’s executive order does not give preference specifically to Christians (as many media reports have suggested), but to any people suffering persecution for religious reasons.

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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He [God] not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 2 no. 7)