Suicide bombers attacked a predominantly Christian village in northeast Lebanon twice in one day, and residents called on the government to support them.
Relations between Christians and Muslims in places where refugees of both faiths have landed -- in countries like Lebanon and Jordan -- are frayed.
Bishop Antoine Nassif, newly ordained bishop for the Syriac Catholic church in Canada pledged to make priority the suffering and spiritual needs of beleaguered Syriacs seeking refuge in Canada.
Lebanon continues to bear the brunt of absorbing massive numbers of refugees. A commonly cited figure is that one in four people in Lebanon is displaced from Syria.
St. Anthony's functions as a primary health care center, serving Iraqi and Syrian refugees, as well as Lebanon's poor. It is accredited by Lebanon's ministry of health.
Despite the extreme hardship of being exiled from their homes in Iraq, the Easter vigil was a day of great joy for the parents of eight babies who were baptized in Lebanon.
Carried by his grandmother, 40-day-old Nimar, was the first to arrive at St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church.
Settling into a pew, the grandmother told Catholic News Service that Nimar is the first of her 12 grandchildren to be baptized outside of the family's ancestral parish near Mosul, Iraq, an area overrun by Islamic State militants.
A pontifical aid organization has begun sending aid to families who fled their homes when Islamic State militants raided a cluster of Assyrian Christian villages on the Khabur River in northeast Syria.
The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, upon learning about the Islamic State attacks, contacted Bishop Aprim Nathniel of the Assyrian Church of the East in Hassakeh, with whom the agency had collaborated on previous projects, said Michel Constantin, CNEWA's regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
The Middle East is suffering a "Way of the Cross" that is the greatest tragedy since World War II, Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham said in a Lenten message about suffering.
He said the church, despite its efforts, is having difficulty meeting the growing needs it faces in the region.
"We fail in front of the suffering of our people in all walks of life, Christians and Muslims. It's a universal suffering," he said.
Returning from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion "pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide."
"What we, the five patriarchs, saw in Ankawa, Irbil and other cities of Kurdistan, was something indescribable in terms of the violation of human rights and the threat of disappearing of various communities among the vulnerable minorities of Northern Iraq," Younan said. "It is a pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide.
Founded in 2000, the Mission of Life community visits 300 to 400 impoverished Beirut families a month as part of its Streets' Mission. This Lent, the 33 sisters and brothers included a group of 10th graders from the Maronite-run St. George School in their outreach.