Showing posts with label Nineveh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nineveh. 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...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Islamists Capture the Largest Christian City on the Nineveh Plain: 100,000 Christians in Flight

Jihadis of the Islamic States (IS)
 (Baghdad) The jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) have conquered the largest Christian town in the Nineveh plain in northern Iraq. 100,000 Christians are fleeing. Organizations speak of a "humanitarian catastrophe." How long will the West will still look away? Christian solidarity is really not a category for the "neutral" Western state doctrine ?
This past July 20, the Christians of Bach Dida (Qaraqosh) was still   a haven to the monks of the 1,600 year old Syrian Catholic monastery Mar Behnamr from which they'd been driven.'  The Islamists had  occupied the monastery and offered the monks with the alternative of "conversion" to Islam, escape or death. The Kurdish Perschmerga brought the monks after a flight of several hours to the Christians of Bach Dida. Now the city which is barely 30 kilometers southeast of Mosul has been conquered by the Islamists. The Iraqi army has abandoned the Nineveh plain after the first advance without fighting. The Christians have organized, despite a lack of weapons,  a kind of militia, but were hopelessly inferior to the battle-hardened jihadists, funded by the oil emirates and Washington.

Christians Defenseless - Radical Cleansing

Christians on the Run
Bach Dida, also known under the name Qaraqosh, is the largest Christian town in Iraq. The city is the largest Christian church in the country on the Euphrates and Tigris. The Christians have in their flight, as far as possible, the preserved in the city and taken venerated relics. Others were buried. They fear that the churches be desecrated or destroyed. The Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk Yousif Thomas Mirkis-Sulaimaniya, a Dominican, speaks of an "unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe" and a "tragic situation". He feared that the largest church in the city could be misused by the Islamists in a command center, as it has already happened in other places. "A show of force," said the Archbishop. "Tens of thousands of people are terrorized and expelled, as we speak. We suffer a disaster that is hard to describe in words."
Not only Bach Dida, but the entire area was conquered by the Islamists, as well as the other Christian places of the valley Kayf, Bart and Ella Karamlesh. The area is "cleaned". Wen the Islamists did not immediately shoot (men) or abducted (women) has only the alternative of "escape or death". Since the Iraqi state power no longer exists in the province of Nineveh, hoped the Christians  to protect the Kurdish Peshmerga. These are ready to offer the Christians in the Kurdish area protection, but do not want to get involved in direct combat due to lack of weapons with the Islamists outside of Kurdistan. This means that the majority Christian area of ​​Qaraqosh is defenseless.

Conquest with the Cry Allahu Akbar  - Mass Executions

"We are witnessing a genocide by cleansing. How long will the world just watch? We called on the UN Security Council to intervene immediately. Here  a disaster of the largest proportions is taking place. Why does nobody help us?
The nearby town of Tal Kayf was conquered by the Islamists: "The Islamists arrived at night. There were shots. Long convoys of armed fighters of the Islamic State invaded the city. WIth the cries of Allhu Akbar they proclaimed their conditions," said a Christian from the valley Kayf, managed to escape in the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
In addition to the Christians, the minority Yazidi were driven as well. Even Muslims took to flight.  About 500 men of the city were executed by the Islamists, hundreds of women, especially Christian women were deported as slaves of the Islamists, says Tempi, citing Iraqi sources.

Patriarch Sako: "People Are Suffering Here Via Crucis "

The Chaldean Patriarch Raphael I Louis Sako of Baghdad, who had directed a desperate cry for help to Pope Francis a few days ago, said: "They create a void, an emptiness. In Syria, there is an intact army fighting against the Islamists. In Iraq, there is no army that can protect anyone. The Kurds withdrew into their territories. They only have light weapons.The Islamists are very well armed. Thousands of people are on the streets on the run. Their goal is uncertain. If no help comes, droit 50,000 of them the death by hunger and thirst. There are women, children, old people. It is necessary to mobilize the conscience of public opinion in all countries. The people on the run, walk, experience their Via Crucis.
Asianews has now started a  concrete relief effort, which will find imitation hopefully also in the  rest of the world.  Donations will be collected under the keywords: "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." With five euros a day a refugee can be helped. The money will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad to coordinate the relief effort for the persecuted Christians.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Asianews / tempos
Trans:; Tancred