Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Invader Rapes 14 Year Old Girl -- Faces 3-4 Years

HAMBURG. [Junge Freiheit]  The rape of a 13-year-old girl in Hamburg may not be punished as a child abuse. On Thursday the presiding judge, the prosecutor's office as well as the defense, came to an agreement. Negotiations are now being made on account of the allegation of rape, but not on account of the original allegation of serious sexual abuse of a child.

The accused is a 30-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq. He is said to have brutally raped the now 14-year-old in November 2016 at the S-Bahnhof Jungfernstieg. The student had previously celebrated with friends on the Rathausmarkt and was drunk. They also met a group of men to whom the Iraqi belonged.

The defendant wants to confess

When the girl was going home at around 3 in the morning, the Iraqi grabbed her at the S-Bahnhof Jungfernstieg from behind, dragged her into a room and he fled. After the deportation, the asylum seeker escaped to Hungary, but was arrested and handed over to Germany at the beginning of March.

According to the judge, the defendant could not have known without doubt that the girl was only 13 years old, reports the Hamburger Abendblatt. Therefore, the parties agreed to abandon the allegation of child abuse. In this way, the girl, who still suffers from the act, can be spared a statement.

The defense has announced that the Iraqi wants to make a confession in the course of the proceedings, which will be continued in the middle of June. The judge signaled that he would have to face a term of imprisonment between three and three and a half years. (Krk)
 Trans: Tancred

Friday, May 19, 2017

"The Jihadist Couldn't Behead Me and Asked: 'Who Are You?'" -- The Witness of Abuna Nirwan

(Jerusalem) Abuna Nirwan is a Franciscan from Iraq. Before his ordination he had completed a medical examination. When he went to the Holy Land in 2004, the Dominican Women of the Rosary gave him a relic and a rosary from their founder, which Father Nirwan always carries with him.

Maria Alfonsina Ghattas and the Dominican Women of the Rosary

Maria Alfonsina Ghattas

The Dominican Women of the Rosary, a missionary order, were founded by Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, a Palestinian Catholic who was born in 1843 in Jerusalem, which was still part of the Ottoman Empire. At a young age, she joined a French religious order, but in 1880, according to a vision, she founded her own order for Arab girls.The missionary community, now spread in eight countries of the Middle East, is the only order founded by the Latin Patriarchy, which was reestablished in 1847 in Jerusalem.
In 2009 Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas was beatified in Nazareth's preaching base. On May 17, 2015,  she was canonized by Pope Francis. Her liturgical commemoration day is the 25th of March, when she died in 1927 in A Karim near Jerusalem (then the British League of Nations Mandate for Palestine).
When Benedict XVI in 2009, had ordered the investigation for a miracle for the Beatification of the religious, as usual, he ordered the Exhumation of the Corpse. The local bishop instructs a doctor. With the exhumation of the body of Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, Father Nirwan was commissioned because of his training, and he also wrote the medical report.

Father Nirwan (center) as head of exhumation

As the Spanish Opus Dei priest Santiago Quemada, who lived in Jerusalem, reported on his blog Un sacerdote en Tierra Santa (A Priest in the Holy Land), two years before, extraordinary events had taken place. The report by Quemada has now been taken up by various media.
What was reported occurred on July 14, 2007. Abuna Nirwan, who had been working in the Holy Land for three years, paid a visit to his family in Iraq. In Jordan, he got in a taxi, as he explained it in spring 2016 in the sermon in the almost completely Christian Palestinian town of Beit Jalla near Bethlehem.
"It was not then possible to visit my family by plane. That was forbidden. As a means of transport, therefore, only the car could be considered. My intention was to get to Baghdad and from there to Mosul where my parents lived. 

The driver was frightened because of the situation that prevailed in Iraq. A family - father and mother with a two-year-old girl - had asked if they could go with me. The taxi driver told me they had asked him to. I had no objection. They were Muslims. The driver was a Christian. He told them that there was room and they could come along. We stopped at a gas station, where another young Muslim asked if he could go to Mossul. Since there was still room, we also took him.
The border between Jordan and Iraq was closed until the morning. As the sun rose, the roadblock opened and the 50 or 60 vehicles were slowly moving in succession.
We continued our journey. After more than an hour we came to a checkpoint. We made our passports ready and stopped. The driver said, 'I am afraid of this group'. It was a military control post. However, as it turned out, an Islamic terrorist organization had killed the soldiers and taken control of the position.
When we were at the checkpoint, our passports were checked while we stayed in the car. Then they left with the passports. A person came back and said to me: 'Father, we need to continue to review. You can come to the office.'  "Well," I said, "if we are to come, we'll come." We then walked a quarter of an hour, until we came to a barrack, which had been directed to us.
Once there, two men with hooded faces came out. One had a video camera in one hand and a knife in the other. The other held a Koran in his hand. They came to us, and one of them asked me, 'Father, where are you from?' I said, from Jordan. Then he repeated the question to the driver. Finally, he turned to the young man who traveled with us, grabbed him from behind and killed him with a knife. We were frozen. They tied my hands behind me and said to me, 'Father, we are recording everything for Al Jazeera . Do you want to say something? But no more than a minute.' I said, "No, I just want to pray." They let me pray for a minute.
Then a man pushed me down to my knees and said, 'You are a priest. It is forbidden for your blood to fall to the ground, that would be a sacrilege.' He fetched a bucket and came to cut my throat. I no longer know what prayers I prayed at this moment. I was very afraid. Then I said to Maria Alfonsina: 'If it is so, that the Lord takes me away, I am ready. But if that is not so, I ask you that no one else will die."
The man grabbed my head and guided his knife with the other hand. Then nothing happened. After a moment of silence, he said, 'Who are you?' I replied, 'A religious brother.' Then he said, 'Why can I not manage to set the knife? Who are you?'
Without answering, he left me and said, 'Father, you and all the others, return to the car.'
We did that and were able to continue the journey.
Since that moment, I have ceased to be afraid of death. I know I will die one day, but now I am really aware that this will be when God wants it. Since then, I am no longer afraid of anything and nobody. What happens to me will be done according to God's will. He will give me the strength to take His cross. What counts is faith. God accepts those who believe in Him."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Persecuted Christians Disturb Catholic Interfaith Event -- "You see how the situation has happened in Europe by this attitude, where you live as Christians in the majority and yet are afraid."

(Rimini) The  meeting organized in 2016 by the Catholic community Communion and Liberation (CL),  which has taken place has cast a new interreligious shadow. [All of these linked articles are German, sorry.] The persecuted Christians of the Middle East "disturb" the desired climate. An Iraqi priest  witnessed the genocide of the Christians in his home,which was made ​​bitter by experience that the West not only looks away, but - if it still has to listen again - responds unwillingly and with opposition.
On the opening there was a Marian Publisher  that had been prohibited from showing representations of Mary  "so as not to offend other religions." This meeting is of such importance that the Italian President and Prime Minister arrived in person. Italy left-Catholic president Sergio Mattarella, let it be known in his welcome address that it's not necessary for "all religions to be fundamentalist." But what does "all religions", in a message of greeting to a Catholic event mean without naming the Islam?
This is the "new interreligious shadow", giving a response of a saturated relativism to challenges, and thus, must necessarily remain inadequate and unsuitable.
At the same time the usual CL representatives like Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, and the incumbent Archbishop of Ferrara, Luigi Negri, were no longer included in the meeting program.

Young Iraqi Priest as "Troublemaker"

Also not fitting in the picture is the Iraqi priest Rebwar Basa. Born 38 years ago in Erbil, he is priest of St. George Monastery of Mosul. He comes from the Middle East powder keg, whose fuse was lit in 2011.  He knows the situation of Christians from personal experience, because he himself is one of them. He knows about the persecution of Christians. He knows that Christians are a diminishing minority and are harassed by various Islamic groups in the country, persecuted, expelled and killed. And he also knows from personal experience that even the official state power makes Christian life difficult.

Rebwar Basa, Catholic priest from Mosul

Although Rimini is so far from Mosul, he nevertheless also felt the long shadow of the Middle East conflict cast on the famous seaside resort on the Adriatic Sea, when a statue of Mary must be wrapped in the middle of Italy at a Catholic major event, to be considerate of Muslims. It is the long shadow of Islam. It is above all the long shadow of its own weakness that has plagued European Christianity as an immune deficiency disease, which the Iraqi priest began to feel at the meeting.
Rebwar Basa was a guest at the meeting for three days, told all those who did not turn away, but wanted to learn about the fate of  brothers and sisters in the Middle East. The Catholic  organization Kirche in Not [Church in Need], who works extensively in a special way to help persecuted Christians. KN offered an exhibition on the persecution of Christians, which even Vatican Radio reported.
Last Friday, the first day of the meeting, there was an incredible incident, which is no less incredible than the concealment of a statue of Mary, of which no one knew anything about at that time. However, it fits another incident and gives a worrying picture.

Kirche in Not Informed about Persecuted Christians

For the exhibition Kirche in Not invited Rebwar Basa to give his  testimony.   And the unbelievable happened. The priest described the terrible fate of Iraqi Christians firsthand and was attacked for it from the audience. His credibility was called into question, since what he reported would not be heard by some. The  journalist Franco Bechis present for the newspaper Libero filmed the anachronistic scene and wrote about it in the Sunday edition of his newspaper: "Father Rebwar reported about the Christians  persecuted by Islam and was some were distressed by this message at the meeting."

"We Christians are the main attraction"

The priest came to the West, but rather than solidarity he reaped open contradiction. It came to a violent slugfest with "interreligious" and islamophilic Christians. Some of the audience just did not want to believe that what they propose could possibly also yield unpleasant consequences. Others seem to have come specifically to the event in order to bring the already weak voice of Middle Eastern Christians to silence. Kirche in Not is known for its commitment to persecuted Christians. It's a program that does not fit into the predominant, desired image, which is that supposedly "all" religions want nothing but peace, and "all" religions involve equally, "fundamentalist," dangers, as Christianity was not unlike Islam, anyway not better.

For all Islamic groups "are we Christians not the main objective?"

The young priest could not be upset, though - yet had every reason to do so - simply because of the disappointment. "What I am telling, I have experienced in Iraq. I am a witness of what I report. We are  still 300,000 Christians there. Here one has said a true thing that the Sunnis kill Shiites, and Shiites kill Sunnis.That's right, and there are religious, political and economic reasons for this slaughter. But just as much for one as for the other, we are Christians the ultimate goal. This must be said!  Again and again I read that the Christians were the collateral victim of a conflict. No, that's not true: Christians are the main goal! There is a persecution instead, which is a genocide, and we need to talk about it "
Despite the opposition, Father Rebwar answered his critics, who know so little of the fate of Christians in the Middle East   that they aim to suppress it: "You do not trust me? Do not believe me? You could check it yourself: There are media, there are books, there are other witnesses. So you can inform yourselves." The problem is rather something else:
"Often they are afraid to speak, so as not to affect the sensitivity of other religions. Fear not, and not from saying that. You see how the situation has happened in Europe by this attitude, where you live as Christians in the majority and yet are afraid. So you can imagine what we are going through in Iraq, where we comprise only 0.5 percent of the population today. Here with you, there are young Muslims who go to Iraq and Syria to fight, and are ready to die. And your youth is no longer willing to participate in a Mass."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Chiesa che soffre / Meeting (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...
 Print Article

Monday, January 18, 2016

Turkish Army Bombards Christian Village in Northern Iraq -- Christians Fleeing

 (Damascus/Ankara) On the night of January 17th, the Turkish air force bombed the Sharanish in Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. The Christians have been on the run since then. They had to flee in the middle of the night  in freezing temperatures 25 kilometers to the city of Zaxo because of the Turkish bombing. 
The news was announced by the Chaldean Patriarchate, which sharply condemned the Turkish military attack. The destructive attack on the Christian village was "unjustifiable".

Turkey is   officially fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria,   but in reality   especially against the Kurdish Workers' Party PKK.  Critics accuse Turkey of taking the fight against the jihadists as a  "pretext" to perform an illegal campaign against the Kurdish people in the neighboring countries.
The Chaldean Patriarchate is now demanding  autonomous Kurdish government of northern Iraq to take "reasonable measures to protect the citizens."  Louis Raphael I Sako, the Patriarch of Babylon and head of the Chaldean Church united with Rome, comes from Zaxo.

The difficult fate of Christians in the Middle East

As the papal news service Fides reported that the Christian village had been destroyed in the 1980s by the Iraqi army. Then, too, in the course of an anti-Kurdish military operation. The Christians returned and built the place up again. The reason for the return was the increasing persecution of Christians in Baghdad and Mosul.
Since 2014, several dozen Christian families living on the Nineveh plains fled there  before the conquest of the Islamic State had fled (IS). But even in Saharanish they are not sure.
Last fall the Christian villages in the area became an ​​involuntary battleground between the Kurdish army and other Kurdish organizations. Now it is the Turkish army which has expelled  the Christians  from Saharanish.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Wikicommons / towers of the Mor Gabriel monastery in south Turkey, 130 northwest of Zaxo
Trans; Tancred

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Islamists Blow Catholic Nunnery in Mossul

The reason for the destruction indicated by local sources were that crosses were over the buildings. People apparently were not harmed.

Vatican City ( The terrorist militia of the "Islamic State" has tried to blow up a convent in Mosul in northern Iraq. The convent building of the Chaldean Sacred Heart Sisters and the church were severely damaged, reported the Vatican press Fides (Tuesday). The reason for the destruction indicated by local sources was that there were crosses over the buildings. People apparently were not harmed.

According to sources, a first detonation was unsuccessful. The militias then increased the charges. The residents were warned in advance. The nuns had apparently left the complex. According to Fides, the fighters of the "Islamic State" used the monastery for some time as a headquarters and logistics base, but left apparently out of fear of US air strikes.

According to the press service, the building had been built with a donation from the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Whether an adjacent George's Abbey was also affected by the explosion is unclear. (C) 2014 CBA Catholic News Agency. All rights reserved.

Trans: Tancred

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Leftist Ex-Mayor of Venice: "I Expect More From the Pope Than From a Renzi or Merkel"

(Rome) The Catholic journalist Antonio Socci has been harshly attacked for his criticism of Pope Francis' silence about the tragedy of the Christians in the Middle East. However, similar criticism also comes from an "unsuspected" wing, as expressed by philosopher Massimo Cacciari who was mayor from 1993-2000 and 2005-2010 of Venice. Cacciari began his career as a radical left-winger. For the daily newspaper La Repubblica, which Pope Francis prefers like no other medium,  Cacciari said:
"This is a radical change in the political theology of the Church ... but that's a neat problem ... Francis considered an intervention, where he decides to to legitimate the UN   - but that is a secularization of the Catholic idea of" just war "... The position of Francis is extremely weak. His point of view is actually one that a Renzi or a Merkel might represent. Forgive me, but from the Pope, I expect something more, that is, he should tell me that it is necessary to intervene on the basis of the absolute values he holds."

"No more silence" - Haunting Words of Saint Catherine of Siena

Antonio Socci provides affirmation  to Cacciari's statement  in the words of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380):

Saint Catherine of Siena, with a burning faith and an open heart
"Oh,  end  the silence! Call out  with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is sick because of the silence, the bride of Christ is pale. "With these powerful words, the saint turned to  high church officials.
And what else did Antonio Socci write about in the newspaper  on 20 August  on the topic for Libero:
"Even today, one can feel the need in the Church, that women and men with burning faith and open hearts like St. Catherine, turn anxiously to the Pope (Gregory XI), who did not do what he was supposed to have done:  'In  your place I would fear that the divine judgment would come upon me.'
But in our time a strange clericalism and its flattery predominate and not the voices of the great saints or free men and women, or perhaps they are not heard.
It is very hard and very painful for a Catholic, given the tragedy of Christians and other minorities in Iraq, to understand the attitude of the Vatican by Pope Bergoglio and accept that they are hunted and killed by bloodthirsty Islamists of the Caliphate in these times.

A Week-long Illusion

In the first weeks there was a reluctance to talk about it. Even the prayer initiative of the Italian Bishops' Conference of 15 August, the pope, in open contrast to his predecessors, remained silent. Obviously, he cherishes a dislike of the Italian Church.
Then, finally, after 20 days of the massacre of men, women and children and a thousand times the pressure, especially by the bishops of that country and the Vatican diplomats, Pope Bergoglio decided to express those fateful words, even though he did it very quietly, 'It is legitimate to stop an unjust aggressor '.
What a performance ... That would have been missing, would  he have said that it is legitimate that the attacker kills innocent people, crucifies the  'enemies of Islam', buries children alive and rapes women and sold them as slaves.

The Attitude of John Paul II., And Benedict XVI.

In another tempo and energy, John Paul II called to defend the innocent. 'When I see that my neighbor is persecuted, I must defend him: This is an act of charity. That to me is humanitarian intervention.' He emphatically turned, however, in 2003 with his last strength against the non-UN-supported U.S. military intervention Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.  Similarly, Benedict XVI appealed against the. 2011,  UN-supported U.S. military intervention Opération Harmattan against Libya.
But neither John Paul II. nor Benedict XVI. are sitting on the chair of Peter. Pope Bergoglio hastened to shuffle off his words   immediately that one may legitimately 'stop the attacker, but without bombs and without going to war.'  Thus we imagine the bitter question of whether he really wants to save face or save the lives of innocents. How should a brutal gang of killers be stopped without weapons? What does  Pope Bergoglio suggest to the butcher to stop?  There will be those who will immediately say, a pope could not call for violence, even not when it comes to saving innocents. Wrong. For centuries, the Catholic doctrine teaches the right to self-defense against an unjust aggressor.
It was the theologians of the school of jurists of Salamanca, as well as the Dominican Francisco de Vitoria, precisely on that point, who established the modern basis of International Law on the basis of natural law in the early 16th century.
Pope Benedict XVI. in 2008, recalled to the United Nations: 'The principle of responsibility to protect was viewed from the ancient ius gentium  (international law) as the foundation of every action that is performed by the governing to the governed.' And pointed out that the Dominican Friar Francisco De Vitoria, is rightly regarded as a precursor of the idea of the United Nations.'
Thus John Paul turned II turned in 1995 in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae: On the other hand, "self-defense of the one for the lives of  others  responsible for the welfare of his family or the common good, is not only a right but a grave duty". 1 It unfortunately happens that the need to render the attacker harmless, sometimes brings his killing with it. In this case, the fatal outcome is put the attacker to load, which has exposed him by his act, even in the event that he was not morally responsible for lack of use of reason.' 2
What Pope Francis would have done if following in the footsteps of his predecessor, would have been a proportionate and targeted use of force to disarm the attacker and save the lives of the persecuted. But not for other interests.

Silence is a Child of Catho-progressive Ideology

Moreover, we find no single  mention by the Pope regarding the Islamist slaughter, not even once the word Islam, Islamists or Muslims. If someone had only the words of the Pope to go on,  he would not understand in the least, who is responsible for this humanitarian tragedy.
This serious reluctance is the result of Catho-progressive ideology, for dialogue with Muslims is wrongly understood and  pursued as surrender, even on a psychological level. This goes so far that there are Catho-progressive commentators who go so far as to repeat with zeal, that the butchers of the Caliph have nothing to do Islam and the  'true' Islam, since   actual Islam is something else entirely. Only: The Butcher of the Caliph forces his victims to convert to Islam if they don't want to be killed or driven away.
It is understandable and right that the church leadership does not seek conflict, controversy or even a religious war. But it is also a duty to tell the truth and to give believers a serious cultural judgment about  what is happening to Christians in the world. This is especially true given the cultural subservience of many Catholics, where some are even  seriously concerned, to keep so contemptibly, silent about 'the persecution of Christians.'  Christians are clearly the most persecuted group worldwide.

The Pope's Quiet Words   "at least" Refute the Loud Talkers

Despite all the words of the Pope on the flight back from Korea, it's a step forward, always with the hope that given the dramatic situation he will soon, as soon as possible, follow clearer and more decisive words.
The words should, meanwhile, already serve to order some of their thoughts to help. Even those who wanted to go immediately with sharp words, to  silence everyone in recent days who dared to call the papal silence by name. And those who were not embarrassed, to insinuate the same time, the demand to stop the attacker was the same as calling for a war or even a crusade.
The papal words, as quietly as they may be, at least refute those who  trumpeted the most loudly, that the silence of the Pope meant that he 'wanted to avoid even worse reactions'. Or quite shrewdly: 'If the Pope does not say anything, then it means that he is in secret '. This is much chatter, spoken by well-meaning and less well-meaning people.
In reality, we were under the illusion in the Vatican for weeks that there is a diplomatic way. However, the  Caliph just wants to conquer, massacre and forcibly convert. That's exactly what the situation as it was described by the Iraqi bishops who were perfectly familiar with the real situation for the Vatican, which did not want to hear. The bishops have indicated that the butchers do not even know what the word 'dialogue' or diplomacy mean.

An addendum

And an addendum: In his speeches during the Korean visit to Pope Francis called legitimately on the whole Church to reflect on the example of the martyrs of yesterday and today and for prayer. Quite right. The call is very weak, if he does not at the same time encourage the whole Church to rush to the aid of the victims. And it is weak without that profound cultural consciousness that Benedict XVI. knew how to give those who were willing to listen. Today, however, confusion rules.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Riscossa Christiana / fresco in the church of S Pietro di Carpignano Sesi (Novara)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pope: Intervention in Iraq 'Legitimate' -- Ready for Iraq Trip

Francis: "I am deliberately using the word stop, I'm not talking of bombing or waging war»

Rome ( Pope Francis holds that a military intervention in Iraq can be justified under certain circumstances. To stop an "unjust aggressor", was "legitimate," he said on Monday before traveling journalists on the flight from Seoul to Rome. "I use the word deliberately stop, I'm not talking of bombing or waging war," said the Pope. When asked whether he would even travel to Iraq, he said: "Yes, I'm ready."

"To stop the unjust aggressor is legitimate," said the Pope. However, the means have to be weighed. In the past, states have, intervened under the pretext of an attacker interfering in the affairs of other countries and even leading to a war of conquest. Francis called for an internationally coordinated approach.

 A single state can not take such a decision. In Iraq it was not just about oppressed Christians. "It is true, they are suffering," said the Pope. "But this is about men and women of religious minorities. Not all are Christians. But all are equal before God."

He himself had discussed the situation in Iraq and the problems with the reception of refugees in a personal meeting with the governor of Kurdistan, Francis said. Then he had turned in a letter to the governments with relations to the Holy See states as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and eventually sent Cardinal Fernando Filoni as special envoy to Iraq.  Finally, he had also considered  a personal journey to Iraq in connection the South Korea trip. He said that the moment "may not be the best thing you can do," Francis said, "but I'm ready." 

 At his morning Mass in Seoul, Pope Francis   spontaneously prayed for his Special Envoy Filoni. Then he recalled "the persecuted and all religious minorities who suffer in this country." Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation of Missions and experienced Middle East diplomat, has been present  since last week in northern Iraq,  working towards a solution for the oppressed minorities. Among others, he met with the president of the Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, as well as other politicians and Church leaders. Prior to his posting, Filoni had received instructions for the journey from Francis. Then he said the Pope would rather "most like to go himself."

Iraq is one of the few major countries that John Paul II had not visited  (1978-2005). He had entered at 104 trips abroad 127 countries. 

Korea: Holy Mass at the end of the 6th Asian Youth Day with Pope Francis full-length (C) 2014 CBA Catholic News Agency. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Catholics of Iraq Plead to Pope for Help

The Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul overrun by Islamists have asked Pope Francis and the universal Church for help.

Vatican City ( / KNA) The Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul overrun by Islamists have asked Pope Francis and the universal Church for help. At the same time Archbishop Emil Nona Shimoun announced, according to a statement of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches on Friday, to keep churches, schools and other facilities for refugees of all religions open.

The head of the Congregation of Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, reportedly telephoned on Thursday to the Chaldean Archbishop Nona and his Syrian Catholic counterpart, Yohanna Petros Moshe. Sandri complained then, that in Mosul "in these tragic hours, Christians and Muslims have been forced to flee from their homes and their city in order to survive." The region is associated with the biblical figure of Abraham, “is experiencing an exodus of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children again." Further, the cardinal declared solidarity with the Baghdad resident Chaldean Patriarch Raphael I Louis Sako. He pointed to his use of dialogue and national reconciliation. Pray for peace for the Middle East and the whole world Link to

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oldest Christian Church in Iraq Discovered

Edit: post edited to reflect proper dating criteria, Anno Domini, instead of the Godless C.E..

The article says that the site was "Nestorian" Christian, but that doesn't mean that these people held Nestorian views. In any case, even Nestorians are preferable to Protestants.

Noah Wiener • 08/06/2012

A 2007 expansion of an airport in Najaf, Iraq exposed the remains of the earliest known Christian church in Iraq. Originally built some 1,700 years ago, the remains require proper excavation, but the wartime discovery coupled with a lack of funding has hindered scientific study. The ruins point to a thriving Christian community in early first millennium Iraq. Some scholars believe the site to be the Arab Christian center Hira, an important center of Nestorian Christianity for centuries. Christianity was spread by the Arab Christian Lakhmid dynasty, who made Hira their capital in 266 a.D. The discovery of the oldest known Christian site in Iraq is a reflection of Iraq’s rich and diverse cultural heritage in Iraq, and Iraqi archaeologists hope to conduct a proper excavation in the future.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Children Are Crucified to Force Christians to Leave Iraq

Edit: found a decent translation on google with some minor corrections.

The ultimate source for this story is Pointe de Bascule. It was picked up from a Royalist website from France.

Muslim militants are crucifying children to terrorize their Christian parents and encourage them to flee Iraq, yesterday was told a parliamentary committee studying the persecution of religious minorities.

Since the beginning of the war in 2003, about 12 children, some as young as 10, were abducted and killed, then nailed to makeshift crosses near their homes to terrify and torment their parents.

The Committee was informed that a child has been snatched, decapitated, burned and left on the doorstep of his mother.

Filham Isaac, speaking on behalf of the Advocacy Committee Nineveh, told the committee of human rights as the Christian churches in Iraq were bombed, clergy murdered and unveiled women were raped or marked the acid.

This is part of a systemic campaign - and very effective it is- of the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in the region, he said. Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, known as the Assyro-Chaldeans, were once the largest Christian minority in Iraq. They are also the oldest, being the descendants of ancient Mesopotamians who adopted Christianity in the first century.

The Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Eastern Church are among the Christian churches in Iraq.

Today, about 300,000 Christians, or one out of three, fled, he said.

"It's a crisis point," said Zaya Oshana later, a colleague of Mr. Isaac. "Christians will be completely destroyed."

However, the Assyro-Chaldeans do not want to leave their country en masse.

Instead, they seek help to inhabit the plains of Nineveh in the north-western Iraq, where they can have some independence and form their own state. The land is rich, and could also be oil.

There is some support in the U.S. and Europe for the area independently, and international news show that over 700 police officers have begun training to protect Christians in Iraq, but another 4000 would be necessary to secure full region and establish checkpoints on all highways and roads in the villages.

Link to original...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Iraq: Hope and Fear Among Christians

First Communion in Baghdad -- Attacks on Church in Kirkuk

München-Baghdad ( Despite the dangerous security situation in Baghdad, the same as it was before, over 40 children have celebrated their First Holy Communion in the capital of Baghdad. For Christians it is life threatening, just as it was before, to be seen on the streets of the Iraqi capital. Therefore, the parish must rent a bus to take the children to their communion instruction at the Church.

A young seminarian from Baghdad, who must be anonymous for security reasons, instructed the children during their preparation and sent "Kirche in Not" photos of their instruction for the First Communion.

He says that the children are preparing with "great seriousness and full of joy" in expectation of their reception of the Body of Christ. About the difficult situation of the Christians in Baghdad he says: "This is our home and we will not be driven from it!" The First Communicants are "seedlings of peace" for Iraq. "Christ is our joy and our hope, his message can change our society," explained the Seminarian.

Since the intervention of the "Coalition of the Willing" into Iraq in 2003, Christians have been caught between two fronts in a bloody civil war between Sunnite and Shi'ite militias. Representatives of the Church have stated since, that they are neutral bystanders in this conflict and are working for a peaceful and democratic Iraq.

For that reason there are always more terror attacks on Christian institutions. In this month alone, there have been three attacks on Churches in the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Altogether there were at least 13 people wounded as well as Church and outlying buildings severely damaged. Last monday the Syrian-Catholic St. Ephraim Church in Kirkuk was the target of a car bomb attack. No one was injured, there the security personnel were quickly informed of a suspicious automobile and were able to save the priest and the parish.

Many Christians have left their homes out of fear. Archbishop Louis Sako from Kirkuk reports that in the last two weeks, five families have gone away. Actually the government takes the protection of Christians very seriously. It actually has promised to provide guards for the Churches, says Archbishop Sako, but no one can guarantee that there won't be more explosions.

"Kirche in Not" supports the peace work of the Iraqi Bishops and helps with additionally, to sustain Parishes of the Land and provide pastoral care.

The organization requests its supporters for their prayers for Christians in Iraq and donations for the Church there:

Receiver: Kirche in Not
Account Number [Konto]: 215 20 02
BLZ: 750 903 00
IBAN: DE63750903000002152002
LIGA Bank München

Password: Iraq

Kirche in Note Donation Site, here..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Church in Kirkuk Consecrated -- Sign of Hope

[Kirkuk] In Kirkuk a new Chaldean Church has been consecrated. The church blessing took place yesterday in the neighborhood of Sikanayan, around ten kilometers from the old city. The new church will be dedicated to the Apostle Paul, because the Kurdish place name of Sikyanayan means "at the three springs" and lies outside of the city walls, exactly like the Church at the Three Springs in Rome, which recalls the same site, where the Prince of the Apostles suffered martyrdom. Sikanayan is a new neighborhood, which was built by Christian families, who came to Kirkuk from other parts of Iraq. In the mean time there are already 200 homes and others are in a state of construction. The floor will be built free of charge at the disposal of the families.

The church was consecrated by the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr Louis Sako. In his sermon he encouraged the Christians to remain in the land and witness their faith with courage and confidence. Even members of the provincial government, local sheiks and some Imams took part in the celebration. The Chaldean Schola sang hymns and psalms. Intercession was also recited for the Moslem-Arab Sheik, Kurds and Turkmen. An Imam spoke in prayer the petition that the place, "will be always holy" that the Christians might honor and praise God.

The Archbishop of Kirkuk bid reconciliation and cooperation between the Muslims and the various peoples with the following "In this connection I would not only like to thank those who have taken part that this church could be built, rather also all who have cooperated to make this mosaic of Kirkuk."

Original, here...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pope Erects Eparchy for Catholics in Exile From Iraq

Editor: this community is growing because the one in Iraq is being brutally destroyed.

Pope erects Chaldean eparchy in Toronto; Archbishop Zora to lead it

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has erected a new Chaldean Catholic eparchy in Toronto and named Archbishop Hanna Zora, who has worked with Catholics in Toronto for nearly 20 years, as its head. The new eparchy, or diocese, will be known as the Eparchy of Mar Addai. In making the announcement, the Vatican said there are 38,000 Chaldean Catholics in Canada. Archbishop Zora, 74, and four priests have been involved in the pastoral care of Toronto-area Catholics, the largest community. On May 28, Chaldean Catholic officials consecrated Good Shepherd Chaldean Church in Toronto. Led by Archbishop Zora, the growing Toronto Chaldean community rented out churches and parish halls to celebrate Mass before the construction of the church in 2001. Masses were held in the parish hall, however, until 2009, when the church was partially consecrated, meaning that Mass could be celebrated in the parish but that an official consecration was still required. Archbishop Zora was born in Batnaia, Iraq, March 15, 1939. He was ordained in 1962 and worked in various Iraqi parishes before being transferred to Iran in 1969.

Link to CNS.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Iraq: Catholic Family Man Murdered

Editor: Catholics were in Iraq long before the Muslims. Don't forget that, at least.

Kirkuk ( idea) In Northern Iraq a 29 year old Christian was murdered.  The body of the family father with three children Ashur Issa Yaqub was found on May 16th by Police in Kirkuk.  As the aid organization Open Doors (Kelkheim bei Frankfurt am Main) reported, his body revealed signs of torture and bite wounds. Hands and arms were tied and the head had been completely removed.

According to reports of a local pastor, members of the terror network Al Kheda pressured his employer to dismiss the construction worker \because he was Christian.  Yaqub, who belongs to the Chaldean Catholic Community, was abducted.  Al Kaida fighters demanded a ransom of about 70.000 Euro for his release.  According to estimate by Open Doors, which cares for Christians persecuted and oppressed world wide, the situation in Iraq has significantly worsened.

Christians have lived almost 2.000 years in Iraq.  In the mean time their numbers have been decimated because many of the attacks of Islamic "extremists" happen to them.  1990 figures show that around 29 million inhabitants and 1,4 million Christians were present, now there are about 200.000.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Cardinal Brings Iraqi Catholic Family into Archepiscopal Palace

Edit: Charity begins at home.

The family belonged to some 31 Iraqi Christians who were taken in by the Austrian government.

 Vienna ( "A warm welcome in this house, a warm welcome to our Land, Austria":  Cardinal Christoph Schönborn greeted an Iraqi refugee family to the Archbishop's Palace.

The family belongs to some 31 Iraqi Christians, who have been taken in by the Austrian government. They have received a positive asylum determination and have received recognized refugee status.

The Chaldean-Catholic family from Kirkuk, which will reside in the Archepiscopal Palace had been acutely threatened in Iraq, explained the Viennese Archbishop in "Kathpress".  He condemned in any avent the attack against the Church in Baghdad a few months ago in which more than 60 Mass goers lost their lives. It was therefore just and necessary that the government's decision was made to take in the Iraqi refugees.

Schönborn said:  "For years the government has essayed to be active in this direction.  Till then I have kept my ears to the ground and listened intentively.  Now things have finally come to pass and for that I'm very thankful."

The Church has always insisted upon assisting the refugees with their plight.  The Cardinal stressed that the families were encouraged in this to live in Austria and even learn German, so that they at least soon land on their own feet.

Read further..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mosul Bishop Warns that Patterns of Attacks Against Christians are Changing

Mosul (AsiaNews) - After the church attack in Baghdad that killed 55 people, and the statement of Al Qaeda that Christians are "legitimate targets", there has been no end to the violence against the Christian minority in Iraq. On November 15, in Mosul, two other men were killed in their homes. According to the statements of police, some unknown persons broke into homes and gunned them down with automatic weapons before fleeing. The victims were Nabil Ghanem and Nashwan Khoder, both 36 years old.

The first, Syrian Catholic, worked for the provincial unit of the organization to combat corruption, the second, a carpenter of Armenian origin. This latest attack - a real execution- seems to indicate a different strategy in the attacks against Christians. Mgr. George Basile Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, is convinced of this and spoke to AsiaNews about the dramatic situation of the Christian community in Iraq:

Read further...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Iraq: New Attacks on Christians -- Three Dead, 26 Wounded

Archbishop Matokas cries for help to the international community of nations: 'If someone would like to drive us Christians out of the country, then they would succeed.  We don't know any more what we should say.  Families want to leave.  It is horrible!'

Bagdad []  In Baghdad a new wave of attacks against Christians: On Wednesday in the early morning between 4 and 6AM explosive devices were set off at several Christian homes.

The attacks took the lives of at least three people and 26 were wounded, as reported by a representative of the Interior Ministry.  Already on Tuesday evening, three Christian homes were attacked in Mansur.  No one was injured in those attacks.

"What could we do, what should we say?", complained the Syro-Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Atanase Matti Shaba Matoka.  "In our communities there is great panic.  The wave of violence will become much greater. Ten days ago there was a terror attack against our Cathedral.  Today our homes were targeted.  Families are aggrieved and want to flee.  It is horrible!"

Before his visit to stricken families the Archbishop said to Fidesdienst:  "All of the forewarning and urging the government has done nothing to halt this wave of violence which has swept over us.

Police are standing in front of the churches, really it's the homes of our faithful which have become targets of attack.  Among the victims there are Christians of various confessions in the district of Doura.  The terror knocks on our doors.  The families are horrified.  This is not life any more, they say."

If one would like to drive us from the land, then it would succeed.  This country is the victim of desolation and terror.  The suffering of Christians will become ever greater and lead them to leave their country.  We don't know any more, what we should say."

Finally, the Archbishop appealed to the international community of nations and the world Church:  "We pray for a quick response of the international community of nations and hope for the assitance of the Holy Father and the world Church.

Today there is nothing else for us to hope for and to pray and to put our lives in the hands of God.  Through their tears the Iraqi Christians are saying: In manus tuas, Domine".

Read original...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mass Demonstration: November 20th Brussels for Iraq's Catholics

[European Syriac Union] The European Syriac Union ESU calls for participation to the mass-demonstration of 20th November 2010 in Brussels! We do not tolerate any more murders and demand with a high voice an autonomy in the Ninveh-plain for our people!

The attacks on our people in Iraq have crossed the border line. The terrorist attack of 31th October 2010 at the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in the Syriac-Catholic church in Baghdad killed more than 60 victims. We condemn this terroract as a genocide!

We define the extermination campaign against our people in Iraq as a genocide and we are going to demand a recognition!

European Syriac Union (ESU)
European Syriac Union Youth (ESU - Youth)