Showing posts with label Mosul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mosul. Show all posts

Thursday, November 3, 2016

First Holy Mass in Karakosch (Nineveh Plain) Since Being Liberated From the Islamic State (IS)

Preparing for the first Holy Mass in the Cathedral of Karakosch
Since it Was Desecrated by the Islamic State (IS)
(Baghdad) The Syrian Catholic Archbishop Petros Mouche visited Baghdeda, also known as Karakosh, the largest Christian city on the Nineveh plain in northern Iraq. He celebrated the first Holy Mass in the diocesan Church.  On October 18 Iraqi forces had recaptured the city from the Islamic State (IS).
The Islamic jihadist militias had taken Karakosch early on August 2014 and expelled the Christians .

It's the first time sacred hymns have been heard again in the Aramaic language

The city is littered with war wounds. The site has to be demolished before the population can return to the city. On the church wall there is the inscription "Islamic State".
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception has suffered much damage from the two-year occupation of the Jihadists. It's the first time in 27 months that the sacred hymns have been heard in Aramaic. 

Archbishop Yoanna Petros Mouche

Msgr. Yoanna Petros Mouche is the Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk and the whole of Kurdistan."This church is a symbol for us," says the Metropolitian, born in 1943 in Karakosch. "I will tell you this in all seriousness: If we had not found the church like it is, if it had been destroyed, people would not want to return."
Accompanied by four priests, the archbishop visited the city weeks after its liberation from the Islamic State(IS). In the devastated church he celebrated the first Holy Mass since the flight of Christians. In his sermon, he turned directly to the jihadists, who have sacked this city, his birthplace, and left a trail of destruction.
"We have gathered here today to begin the process of cleansing this city from all traces of the Islamic State, from the hatred of which we have all become victims." And further: "There are not large and small people,  not kings and slaves. This mentality must disappear. "

"The incense begins to take possession of the church again"

"For a long time, the bishop's blue eyes look at every part of the church, every sacred representation, every destruction, and every single one of the small crowd attending the Holy Mass: soldiers of the Christian militia and representatives of the city. The incense began to fill the church and 'take possession'. Each view shows a scene of destruction and each step in the Church commemorates the war: crunching underfoot is ash, dust and charred wood," wrote Asianews .
In the city one sees soldiers, but still no population. Everywhere the traces of the war are visible: burnt-out vehicles, mountains of debris, battered and blackened facades of homes. Shots are still to be heard from time to time. The roar of combat aircraft is not far away.
Father Mjeed Hazem, one of the priests who accompanied the Archbishop to Karakosh, said: "This is a new beginning. It shows the world that we Christians persevere, despite all injustices suffered."
In the forecourt of the cathedral you can see an artificial hedge and some dummies. Here is where the Islamic State(IS) performed shooting exercises. "They have no respect," says Imad Michael. The 71-year-old Christian belongs to the commander of a Christian militia dedicated to protect the Nineveh plain. It has taken over the tasks of an auxiliary police, since there is still no regular police in the city. "These are not Muslims, but unbelievers," emphasizes Imad Michael's statement, while firmly clasping his Kalashnikov.

"Then I will start with the reconstruction"

Next to him stands  Michael Jelal, fifty years younger. He has shouldered his assault rifle. "I used to have many friends," says the 21-year-old Christian. There is sadness about his face: "Now many are dead or fled abroad." He hopes, says Michael Jelal, that soon life will return to the city and they can rebuild it.
"Many humanitarian organizations have come," Imad Michael told him, "and have offered the opportunity to emigrate to Lebanon, Australia or Canada. But we declined. We want our families to return. We also want those who went abroad to return."
For the time being, a lot has to be done. The city areas have been partly mined by the jihadists. The cleanup will take a long time. A nearby church was desecrated by the Islamists as a workshop for the production of bombs. "We will purify them," says Imad Michael.
"In their hearts people want to return," said Archbishop Petros Mouche. But first, security must be guaranteed. The Metropolitan himself still lives in exile in Erbil, Kurdistan.
Access to the city is forbidden for the civilian population. A week ago there was still fighting in the area. Soon the first Christians will return. "My house was burnt down. I just want to see it," says a  father, who was expelled in August 2014 with his entire family. "I do not know what to expect, but I want to see it. Then I'll start the reconstruction. "
Text: Asianews / Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Asianews / MiL
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Christians Bear the New Yellow Star -- Courageous Shi'ites Take Their Side

(Baghdad) The Islamic State (IS) has a new yellow star to identify the Christians. The identification of the members of the other "religions of the book" of Christians and Jews is an invention of Islam, where it has an old tradition that goes back to the late Early Middle Ages. Jews and Christians had to each carry their own clothes, so that they were recognized by all Muslims. Therefore, the yellow color is due in clothing for the Jews, which was first documented in the 9th century in  Islamic occupied Sicily.The yellow Star of David in the Nazi Reich to designate  Jews was borrowed from with Islam.
The Islamic State  identifies the houses of Christians in Sunni Islamist occupied Iraq with the Arabic letter N. It stands for "Nazarene", the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Iraqi journalist Dalia Al-Aqidi (Fig. 1), made a dramatic gesture. The spokesperson for the Iraqi television station Al Sumaria  intentionally put a chain with a cross around her neck and criticized the "political-Islamist fascism" before the camera.  She took a  position against the anti-Christian genocide by the Islamists. Already, several Iraqi Muslims are putting their own life on the line to defend the Christians publicly against persecution. Because, "who is silent on the question of justice is a mute devil", said Dalia Al-Aqidi about  her demonstrative step.

"The Exodus of Christians is a Loss for All"

Dalia Al-Aqidi  demonstratively  wears a cross around her neck on TV
Al-Aqidi explained why she appeared on television with the cross around her neck: not only because in the city of Mosul, which has since June been in the hands of the jihadists "Caliph" Al-Baghdadi, a large Christian community has recently disappeared, that shrank recently to a few thousand members. She did it, as the journalist explained, "for the good of the whole country" because the Islamists are a threat to all.
In an interview with the Lebanese daily Al Nahar, the journalist urged her compatriots and the West, to ask the question: "What benefit could  history and culture draw from a return to a dark past?" The exodus of Christians who are faced with the alternative of flight or death, is a heavy loss to all. "The Christians are a part of the indigenous population of this country. Without them we can not go on. "
The Islamists accused Al-Aqidi of  being a "non-believer". The journalist replied that she "firmly believes", that "Islam is a religion of tolerance." Therefore, the Islamists are the "infidels." The journalist said: "The unbelievers are you. You are the apostates, you are the head hunter and executioner. I am a simple person who defends the rights of children of her own country. "
According to Al-Aqidi, Islamism has led  "moderate Muslims like me, to be ashamed for their religion."  It was true that "the fear has led many to silence, but I will not be silent in the face of injustice." The journalist called on all to follow her example.

The "N" of Christians

The journalist Dim Sadek, a Lebanese Shiite appeared on TV with the "N".
Another Shii'te is  now  sending a comparable signal. This is the well-known Lebanese TV presenter Dima Sadek (Photo 2). The Lebanese television station Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI) showed  her ostentatiously wearing a T-shirt imprinted with the Arabic letter ن (N), with which the Islamists characterize the Christians.  Before Sadek began with the reading of the news, she said: "From Mosul to Beirut, we are all Christians."

The Logo of the TV channel

To support the initiative of Al-Aqidi and Sadek, the Lebanese television station has changed its logo in LB ن and launched a campaign to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians who was supported immediately by thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook. "The darkest place in hell is for those who remain neutral in times of great moral crisis," said Al-Aqidi  in her TV appearance. The letter "N", with which Christians are marked, has become an outcry.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Traditio Catholica / LBCI /
Trans: Tancred

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Persecution Against Christians Continues in Iraq

Mosul (AsiaNews) - Attacks continue against Christians to push them to flee from Iraq. Yesterday afternoon Zhaki Homo Bashir, a Christian deacon, was hit by gunfire from a group of unknown criminals. The man had just entered his shop located in the district of al Jadida. Seriously injured, he was transported to hospital. AsiaNews published the news yesterday of the kidnapping a college student from an Islamic group.

Asia News...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bomb Destroys Church in Iraq

MOSUL: Bombs hit a church and a convent in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, causing severe damage but no casualties, religious leaders said.

One of the attacks hit the St. Theresa Convent of Dominican Nuns in the western Mosul Jadida (New Mosul) district, the chief representative of the Dominican order in Iraq, Father Yousif Thomas Mirkis, told AFP.

‘These attacks are aimed at forcing Christians to leave the country,’ he said noting that the bomb had been placed inside the convent grounds. The second bomb struck the Church of St. Ephrem in the same district, causing major damage to the church building, Patriarchal Vicar George Basman said. ‘It caused major damage and we cannot pray there,’ he said, adding: ‘There were no casualties because it was a working day.’Thousands of Christians fled Mosul last year because of violence that claimed the lives of 40 people from the community.

A report this month by Human Rights Watch said minority groups in northern Iraq, including Christians, have fallen victim to a struggle between Arabs and Kurds for control of a raft of disputed districts.

The Kurds have long laid claim to northern districts which they say had historical Kurdish majorities, including parts of Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, the whole of the oil province of Kirkuk, and parts of Diyala and Salaheddin. Since the US-led invasion of 2003, hundreds of Iraqi Christians have been killed and several churches attacked.

Around 800,000 Christians lived in Iraq at the time of the invasion, but their number has since shrunk by a third or more as members of the community have fled abroad, according to Christian leaders. Although violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq compared to last year, attacks remain common in Mosul and the capital Baghdad.


Asia News article...