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Morning Catholic must-reads: 12/01/17

An Iraqi soldier stands guard during Christmas celebrations at a church east of Mosul (CNS)

Some 215 million Christians are suffering persecution today, according to the charity Open Doors (full report).

World Youth Day will be held in Panama in the first months of 2019, Cardinal Kevin Farrell has said.

A Russian region has banned abortion for a day in memory of the Massacre of the Innocents.

Sandro Magister says a new Vatican commission is seeking the “demolition” of the 2001 Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam (Fr Anthony Ruff, Fr John Zuhlsdorf).

Brian Williams argues that in Rome today talk of liturgical renewal is as welcome “as a drunk uncle at Christmas”.

George Weigel suggests the Church is split between those who want “a return to the free-for-all of the 1970s” and those who want to return to the 1950s.

And Andrew Garfield says the Spiritual Exercises taught him “how easy it was to fall in love with Jesus”.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.