Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency

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by Bernardo Cervellera There are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood. Erbil (AsiaNews) – A visit that is a kind of Stations of the Cross. This is … Continue reading

Syria, more than 20 thousand foreign fighters have joined the jihad

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The number of volunteers who have joined the militias of the Islamic State has increased at an “unprecedented” rate. They come from more than 90 nations worldwide, at least 3,400 from the West (150 from the United States). A carefully masterminded propaganda and an “alienated” life are the main factors which lead many to join the jihadists. Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – In the last period the number of foreign militants arriving in Syria via Turkey to join the jihad has increased at an “unprecedented” rate. Worldwide more than 20 … Continue reading

The children of Mosul and the future: the “five-star” refugee camp

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de Bernardo Cervellera In the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children’s choir. Fr. Douglas: “Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations … The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope.” Erbil (AsiaNews) – Before lunch we visit the refugee camp of the parish of Mar Elias, which is not Elijah the prophet, but … Continue reading

“They had to leave at night, under the cover of darkness”

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Archbishop Bashar Warda’s Address to the General Synod of the Anglican Church “For the Chaldean Church, and our sister churches of the East, the persecution our community is enduring is doubly painful and severe” LONDON, February 11, 2015 (Zenit.org) – The following is the address given by Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, Iraq to the General Synod of Anglican Bishops in London. * * * Your Graces, Members of Synod, Thank you very much for inviting me to the General Synod of the Church of England. I am grateful … Continue reading

Maronite Patriarch: ‘Pray for Stability in Lebanon’

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Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai Explains Need of Christian Presence in the Middle East By H. Sergio Mora ROME, February 11, 2015 (Zenit.org) – A bronze bust containing the relic of Saint Maron’s skull was part of the event on Monday, February 9, of the Maronite community of Rome. It began with a Mass presided over by Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai, and was attended by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and several Ambassadors to the Holy See. The Lebanese Catholic Patriarch, who spoke to ZENIT, … Continue reading

Beijing hides the body of bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang: too “dangerous”

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by Bernardo Cervellera The underground bishop of Yixian disappeared in police custody in 2001. In late January news of his death spread. But authorities denied the reports. Family members await his corpse or ashes. The long list of underground bishops who have died in prison after torture. The government is terrified of possible demonstrations at his funeral. The visit of Yu Zhengsheng, “number four” from Baoding Politburo. Out of his 93 years of life, Bishop Shi spent 54 years in prison because of his fidelity to the Church and the … Continue reading

Donations for Iraq’s refugees

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Two parishes, one in USA and the other in Italy have collected money, which they sent us for the refugees. The total donation they sent was $10,000. A community of sisters in Peru also donated some money for the Iraqi displaced people. We want to thank them for such beautiful gesture. Such Christian communities who showed readiness to help the needy ones reflects an act of love, charity and solidarity; they prove that they are alive! They follow Christ’s example who “takes pity on them”. They are helping Christ himself … Continue reading

Apostolic Mission in the Green Zone

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The Latin Church in Iraq has lost tens of thousands members in the war and after the war. Before the invasion there were here around 60.000 Christian foreign workers who were evacuated or left on their own. Most of them were from Arab countries working here and sending part of their salaries to their families abroad. After the war some workers started coming again but mostly diplomats or employees of big security and energy companies. Foreign blue collar workers are nowadays mostly in the safer areas like Kurdistan or the … Continue reading

Iraq Bishop To Speak at UK Parliament

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Rome, January 29, 2015 (Zenit.org) John Pontifex Archbishop Bashar Warda Will Discuss Relief Efforts For Persecuted Christians An Archbishop from Kurdish northern Iraq grappling with the influx of more than 120,000 Christians fleeing ISIS is to come to London to plead their cause. Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil is due to give an address in London’s Houses of Parliament on Monday, 9th February amid increasing concerns about the future of Christians who escaped from Mosul and Nineveh with no more than the clothes they were wearing. At the House of Lords … Continue reading

Christmas’ Mass with the Refugees

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This Christmas we celebrated three masses more than we normally do every year. Two in English (I’ll talk about it in another post) and one in Arabic for the refugees staying in St. Joseph school. The third one was a very special mass because it was celebrated for the displaced people in the school, those who live in very difficult conditions. It was also special because of the Holy Father’s beautiful message he sent for the Christians in the Middle East. Pope Francis sent a message to be read during … Continue reading