The Vatican has closed eight churches in the Baghdad (Iraq). This was reported by "International Christian Concern," an association which is committed to persecuted Christians
Rome (kath.net) The Vatican has evidently blocked 8 churches in the Baghdad (Iraq). This is the story according to "International Christian Concern", an association which is committed to persecuted Christians. The churches were closed in May. A reason given was that the churches were hardly visited. After a visit by Catholic church representatives, the closure of the churches was decided upon. Christians have been persecuted in Iraq for many years. Large relief organizations have been trying for quite some time to ensure Christianity does not end in Iraq. Thus, 13,000 houses are being built by the Pontifical Foundation "Church in Need" in the Iraqi Nineveh plain.
Syrian-Orthodox Bishop Daniel Kourie: "Abducted Bishops are still alive" - 47th Annivesary of the Apparition of Mousseitbé
(Beirut) The two bishops who were abducted in Aleppo in 2013, "are still alive". This was from the Syrian Orthodox Bishop, Daniel Kourié, on the 47th anniversary of the Marian apparition above the cupola of the Peter and Paul Cathedral of Mousseitbé, a suburb of Beirut.
The memorial of the apparition of the Virgin Mary is always on the first Sunday after Easter. This year, the anniversary coincided with the fourth anniversary of the abduction of two bishops in Aleppo. On April 22, 2013, the Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of the city, Boulos Yazigi, were abducted.
Bishop Daniel Kourié is the representative of his church for the abduction case. The Commission, led by him, had "knocked at every possible door", in Syria and Lebanon, to find traces of the two bishops.
"Religious and ethnic cleansing in the Middle East"
Bishop Kourié called on the Lebanese state to make the abduction case a "national cause". At the same time, the bishop complained about "religious and ethnic cleansing in the Middle East, especially in Syria, Iraq and Egypt." He criticized the states, which supported these purges under various forms "with men, weapons and money".
The miracles of Mousseitbé have been recognized as genuine by the Syrian Orthodox Church. The other churches in the country took little notice of them "because they were all still fixed on themselves, even to such phenomena as a warning and an appeal to unity, in the face of the first forebodings of the Islamic danger," said Fady Noun , A leading Maronite publicist of Lebanon.
(Madrid) Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Archbishop of Valencia and new Deputy President of the Spanish Bishops' Conference issued a "Holocaust" alert for the Christians in the Middle East.
A "Holocaust", according to the Cardinal and former prefect of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is happening under the eyes of those who "direct the destinies of the peoples". These offer "passivity and silence" against the persecution and extinction of Christians in the Middle East.
Cardinal Cañizares raised his voice in his sermon in the Cathedral of Valencia last Sunday for the protection of persecuted Christians. "Thousands and thousands of Christians are being persecuted today and massacred in a regular and new Holocaust," and under the eyes of the powerful in this world who would be silent and idle.
The Cardinal took advantage of the feast of Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ, to draw attention to the fate of Christians in the Middle East. He called on Joseph, who protected the Jesus Child and Mary from the persecutors, as advocates for the protection of the "persecuted, homeless, displaced and fleeing Christians, who endure so much enmity in their homeland."
(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.
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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Link to Katholisches...
(Rome) This coming April 29, the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome will turn red as "the blood of Christian martyrs". This action seeks to raise awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians in different states.
The initiative for action comes from the Catholic aid charity Kirche in Not.Meanwhile, numerous Catholic organizations have joined the effort.
ACN published a short video to announce the action.The pictures show the horrors of the persecution of Christians. Pope Francis can be heard in the original sound with the words:
"Our brothers shed their blood just because they are Christians."
The Trevi Fountain is the largest fountain in Rome and one of the most famous in the world. It is regarded as one of the main attractions of the Eternal City.
In 1640 the contract was issued by Pope Urban VII. for drilling the well to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, but it was only begun in 1732.
After an extensive and thorough restoration, the fountain was reopened five months ago.
Among visitors to Rome, it is customary to throw a coin into the fountain, which guarantees a return to the city. The coins are fished out once every year by the City Council, most recently since the restoration work began in 2013. From this point forward, this money goes to Caritas. In 2013 there were 1.2 million euros.
(Rome) The Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church will jointly rebuild the churches destroyed in Syrian war.
A joint working group of the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church have travelled to Syria and Lebanon to gain an impression of the extent of the devastation. Consultations were also held on site. This was recently announced by the Moscow Patriarchate with a press release.
The reconstruction is primarily concerned with the sanctuaries and monasteries which were destroyed by Islamic jihadists and in the course of fighting. Soon will they will start generating an accurate list of Christian shrines. Using this list, we'll establish priorities together, so Moscow.
The Catholic-Orthodox delegation that traveled to the Middle East includes the Catholic Archbishop of Moscow, Msgr. Paolo Pezzi, and the Orthodox priest and theologian Stephan Igumnov, the Secretary for Interfaith Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. The two church officials were accompanied by representatives of the Pontifical relief organization Church in Need.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: Youtube (Screenshot)
(Jerusalem) "Israel has blocked the accounts of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem," says Msgr. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Archbishop of the Patriarchate and Patriarchal Vicar for Israel. The Patriarchal Vicar charges that several Israeli communal representatives have seized Church property. "Even my account was blocked," the Bishop told Asia News. The entire situation has "worsened." There is really "no real preparedness to restore peaceful relations. There is always a pretext to put it off. Every day there are new deaths, but nothing happens to restore talks."
Many Fronts: "Soon electricity and water will be cut off."
There are many fronts that have encircled the Christians of the land. One has fallen upon Catholic schools, which will suffer drastic cuts from the Israel Ministry of Educaton. Another front is a concerted attack from several community offices against the property and accounts of the Church. "We have been informed recently that in the past days that several town halls have blocked the accounts of clerics, religious and the church. It is an attempt to force the Church to pay a special tax which religious communities have been free from since the time of the Ottomans."
Even the account of the Patriarchal Vicar has been blocked: "with the bills that come to the house, and the blocked account, we run the danger that we'll soon have our electricity, gas and water shut off."
The same is reported by the Maronites from Haifa and religious communities in Jaffa. "The decisions were made by the city authorities." The government, however has done nothing about it. Officially the government says they are against the measures, but that hasn't helped us. We're not seeing a great desire to clarify the problem. The Nuncio has intervened with the foreign ministry, but that hasn't changed anything." The accounts, "don't merely impact individual persons.“ says the Patriarchal Vicar. They also affect schools and hospitals.
The Bishop also complains that the significant drop in the numbers of pilgrims is "not encouraging". As is seen, "we must speak of a complete crisis."
Holy Land pilgrimages have decreased since 2015 by 30 percent, compared to the number last year. "All European countries, except Poland, have decreased. Internationally, pilgrims are coming from Nigeria, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, but overall there is crisis. "
The decline of pilgrims has had a negative impact on the Christian communities in the Holy Land whether in Israel, in the Palestinian dsssssssterritories or in Jordan. "The pilgrims support the Christian community. If there are no pilgrims, many Christians have no income. With all the consequences for their families. "
The reason for the fall in the number of pilgrims has been the fear of attacks, the war in the Middle East and the Islamic State (IS).
Fear unfounded: "We pilgrims are respected"
"It is important to tell people that the horrific images on TV have nothing to do with the Holy Land. We have our problems, but these are other problems that are not from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land on the way. With us, no pilgrims are attacked. Christians and Muslims here respect pilgrims seeking God, so no one has to fear. "
All in all, said the Vicar, the situation in the Middle East is that peace is the crucial prerequisite to restore coexistence and dialog. The US and the EU should "correct their false Middle East policy: The support and financing of terrorists must be stopped, not only for the Islamic state , but for all terrorist groups."
Initiatives of the Holy Year of Mercy
In the Holy Year of Mercy a number of initiatives of all Christian communities has been launched. These mainly include visiting the sick, in hospitals and at home. "The sick can be powerful witnesses by the example of Saint Mariam Bawardi. We are also distributing relief supplies and food for the needy in Gaza and for the refugees in Jordan. During Lent, all priests have committed increasingly to make confession available. "
"Come to us for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, eat, drink and pray with us"
The Christians of the country would be left alone and isolated, which is true even for the children. A Finish diplomat recently saw this when visiting the Finnish ambassador in a Catholic school in Galilee. "She was welcomed by the children with such enthusiasm that the ambassador was surprised. It showed me how much they clamor that someone cares for them. Then they also draw hope. This applies to all Christians in the country. They need understanding and support. "
The way to support the Christians, "is a pilgrimage to the Holy Land: Come, come to us, eat and drink with us and pray with us," said the Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Custody of the Holy Land
Trans: Tancred email@example.com Link to Katholisches...
(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
The Ghannasid dynasty has ruled a vast territory that included parts of present-day Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan. It was an allied Christian kingdom of the Byzantine Empire. Its importance was vital and contributed to progress to protect and promote trade.The dynasty was overthrown by the Muslims in the seventh century, although its descendants ruled kingdoms until the eighteenth century.
Currently, the heir and head of the royal house is Prince Gharios Gasánida and Actuall is confronting this great challenge: to protect millions of persecuted Christians in the areas in which his family ruled.
Msgr. Piero Marini is the New President of the Special Commission for the Liturgy of Oriental Churches
(Rome) Pope Francis renewed the composition of the Special Commission for the Liturgy of the Congregation for Eastern Churches. The new President he has appointed is Archbishop Curia Piero Marini, the former master of ceremonies of Pope John Paul II.
Msgr. Piero Marini was not confirmed in this post by Pope Benedict XVI.. He was replaced by Msgr. Guido Marini, who in spite of the concurrence of the same name, has a different liturgical sensibility. Piero Marini is a student of Curial Archbishop, Annibale Bugnini, the creator of radical liturgical reform of 1969. Guido Marini, however, is a disciple of Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, archbishop of Genoa, whom Pope Pius XII. had considered his "natural" successor.
Archbishop Piero Marini, who had customized unusual, colorful vestment creations for John Paul II., repeatedly expressed himself disparaging over the attempts and efforts to recover the sacredness of the sacred liturgy by the German Pope. Instead of new acquisitions, the German Pope took advantage of the pre-conciliar vestments of his predecessors, to also be a signal of continuity in the Church also about the Council (St. Francis of Assisi Instead of Annibale Bugnini -. Benedict XVI Exhorts Bishops to Respect Liturgy).
So far, the liturgy of the Eastern Church has been untouched by the liturgical reform of the Vinentian Annibale Bugnini. That could change now. Curial Archbishop Piero Marini is proud of his heritage as a Bugnini student. The Maronite rite could be especially affected by corresponding changes.
(Fatima / Damascus) with the aim to overcome the fanaticism, the statue of the Blessed Lady of Fatima will be brought to Syria, where a merciless struggle for power and the brutal persecution of Christians rages. The number of Christians in the Middle Eastern country has declined since the outbreak of the fighting in 2011 by 30 percent.
The statue of the virgin and the Mary the Mother of God were located in the famous Portuguese pilgrimage site, where in 1917 she appeared to three shepherd children. This coming September 7 it will be brought into Syria with the aim to hal the suffering by Christians in the and stop the "fanaticism and intolerance."
"This is necessary because of the great indifference of the international institutions" toward the suffering of the Eastern Christians. With these words, Bishop Antonio Marto of Leiria-Fatima founded the initiative.
Response to call of the Bishops of the Middle East
"We are responding to a call of the bishops of the Middle East, who have witnessed the destruction of the Christian communities," said Bishop Marto and recalled Pope Francis' plea about the persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq.
According to the Catholic Church in Syria the cruel war has decreased the number of Christians in the country by 30 percent since the war began in 2011. The Christians are persecuted, expelled and killed by the Islamic state (IS) and other jihadists.
"Intolerance and fanaticism" of the jihadists is especially directed at the persecuted Christians, said the bishop, referring to the rise of the Islamic State (IS).
Bishop Marto addressed tens of thousands of Catholics in his sermon who gathered for one of the three traditional pilgrimages to Fatima, to give special attention to the persecuted Christians and pray for the end to the persecution.
(Paris) On the feast of the Assumption 40 diocese of France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland will ring their church bells for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. The 15th of August was chosen because the Blessed Virgin Mary is the patron saint of Christendom and is particularly revered in the Orient.
The diocese will thus set an example of solidarity and solidarity with the persecuted Christians. The bells call for prayers especially for the oppressed, exiled and enslaved Christians. "If everything goes bad and there is apparently no hope, one turns to Mary, which brings down the walls," said Archbishop Jean-Pierre Cattenoz of Avignon the initiative.
Initiative for persecuted Christians from Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon
The solidarity campaign starts from Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, one of the most prominent bishops of France who trains priests of his diocese in both forms of the Roman Rite, and has even celebrated in the traditional rite and promotes this in his diocese. The small diocese in the Provence has by far the highest number of seminarians throughout France.
His announcement, ringing the bells to the Assumption of the persecuted Christians was followed immediately by the bishops of Gap Embrun, Ajaccio, Avignon and Bayonne. All dioceses where the traditional rite has a home.
Meanwhile, the group of dioceses taking part in the action has greatly increased. There are now 40 dioceses and not just in France but also in French-speaking Switzerland, in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Charity concert of singing priests - disability symptomatic of the state of Europe
The singing French priests "Les Pretres" from the diocese of Gap have donated the proceeds from two large benefit concerts for the persecuted Christians in the Orient. Originally, the Parisian society for public transport (RATP) had refused to accept posters for the charity concert, because it is "religious advertising" (see "France suffers from its secularity" - priest of Parisian subways "too political"? ). But this is contrary to the secularism of France. The refusal sparked an intense debate. Many people were outraged because they thought it absurd that a benefit concert for persecuted Christians was considered "religious advertising" and that a relief operation has been hampered by the refusal.
This was partly a fundamental discussion about the fact that in the Middle East Christians die, but rather than providing assistance, the West holds abstract and antichristian discussions. "While we are discussing, people are dying in the East. Solidarity is different, a young woman wrote in the Internet log of the singing priests.
The discussion at least led to such great interest in the charity campaign of the singing priests that one concert became two. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and also Senate President Gerard Larcher attended. Unfortunately, the bishops of other parts of Europe have not taken up the initiative of Bishop Dominique Rey and excepted themselves from the "French," a European mark of solidarity and solidarity with the persecuted Christians.
Orontem region especially dangerous for Christians.
Aleppo / Jerusalem (kath.net/ KNA) A week ago in the Syrian province of Idlib, a kidnapped Iraqi religious is free again. As the Franciscan Administration of the Holy Land in Jerusalem announced on Friday night, apparently police investigations led to the release of 41-year-old Iraqi.
The Franciscan Dhiya Aziz, a minister in Jacoubieh, was arrested last Saturday by an unknown armed group of fighters southwest of Aleppo and brought for questioning to the local emir. Since then, there has been no contact with him. According to information of the Order it was initially suspected that Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliated rebel group, had participated in the kidnapping.
Born in Mosul, Aziz had first worked in Egypt and Jordan, from which he volunteered to go to Syriac Lattakieh and was then assigned to Jacoubieh. The region on the Orontes is considered particularly dangerous, since it has fallen under the control of al-Nusra Jabhat.
In June, a Catholic priest was also killed in an attack on a Franciscan monastery by rebels in the province of Idlib. The monastery was robbed. A friar also living at the place and sisters were unhurt. (C) 2015 Catholic News Agency KNA GmbH. All rights reserved.
Link to kath.net...
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org
(Baghdad) Patriarch Raphael Louis I. Sako of Babylon, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Union with Rome has freely offered his resignation to clear the way for the reunification of the three faiths, which are part of the East Syriac tradition of the ancient Church of the East.
The ecclesiastical hierarchies of all three churches should be set to zero to allow the unions and the provision of a new common patriarch. The old Church of the East dates back to the early Christian evangelization east of the Tigris. The Church of the East brought the first news of Jesus Christ to Persia, India and as far as China.
Jean-Simon Sulaka was appointed in 1553 as the first Chaldean Patriarch united with Rome. Since the Western powers intervened militarily in Mesopotamia, today's Iraq, the Church has suffered a seemingly unstoppable bloodletting. The stronger the military intervention of the West, the more untenable was the position of the Christians in their homeland. They were persecuted, decimated, scattered and whoever was able emigrated.
Assyrian Church of the East Primarily a Diaspora Church
The same fate was experienced by the other two confessions. The Assyrian Church of the East now lives almost only in their thriving communities in the US, Western Europe and Oceania. Because of the persecution of the Assyrians by Muslim Kurds and Arabs, and the massacre of Simele in which several thousand Assyrians were killed, the Assyrian Catholicos of the Patriarchate of the mountains has lived since 1940 in exile in the United States. This Oriental Orthodox Church is currently in a transitional phase, as Catholicos Dinkha IV. Khanania died last March and the decision on the succession has been postponed until September. The Church is considering the relocation of the Patriarchate from Chicago to Iraq specifically to Erbil in Kurdistan.
1964 Elimination of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq
Catholicos Addai II.
Because of the exile situation of Patriarch the Assyrian Church of the East split in 1964, the Iraqi part which has since then been called Ancient Assyrian Church of the East. Because of flight and emigration it also now has diaspora communities in the West and other countries of the Middle East. The Catholicos of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq since 1970 is Patriarch Addai II. with headquarters in Baghdad.
The proposal of Patriarch Raphael Louis I. Sako looks to a union of a canonically independent Church, but united with Rome. His proposal establishes the Patriarch especially with the common threat of Christians in Iraq. There were doubts whether the migrated Christians will return to Iraq again because the situation is unclear. Above all, one does not know how it with the Islamic state would continue (IS), which is a declared mortal enemy of the Christians in the Middle East.
Common "Church of the East" in Full Communion with Rome
The name of the new church would simply read "Church of the East". With regard to the recognition of the Pope in Rome, it refers to the 1994 signed agreement of Louis Raphael I. Sako by Pope John Paul II. and Catholicos Dinkha IV. common Christological declaration that the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church confess the same faith in Jesus Christ. It was also noted that the ancient Christological controversies were largely due to misunderstandings.
Since 2013 talks were being held at the initiative of Patriarch Raphael Louis I. Sako which were welcomed by the late Catholicos Dinkha IV.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: Wikicommons / Mission chaldeene
(Rome) In the dispute within the Ethiopian Catholic Church united with Rome, Pope Francis has intervened with the establishment of a separate Metropolitan Church of Eritrea. The construction of the new Archeparchy of Asmara separates the territories of the states Ethiopia and Eritrea by churches. Thus, the last overriding differences are to be overcome.
As the first Metropolitan of the Archeparchy, the Pope has newly appointed Menghesteab Tesfamariam from the Comboni Religious Order.
Most of the Christians of Ethiopia and Eritrea are of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which emerged from the Patriarchate of Alexandria and is therefore strongly influenced by Copticism. Evangelization in the Horn of Africa had already begun in the first century. The first Ethiopian Christian was already mentioned in Scripture.
In 1450 the first union with Rome took place because of Muslim attempts at conquest. followed in 1603 with another union by Emperor Asnaf Sagad II., but ended with the fall of the Emperor in 1632. Only in the 19th century were lasting unions on a small scale achieved, which were promoted during the Italian colonial rule from 1894 in Eritrea and from 1936 also in Ethiopia. In 1930 the establishment of the first Ethiopian Catholic Ordinariate was established.
Over the years, several dioceses were originated. Now Pope Francis has divided the former ecclesiastical province of Addis Ababa by the establishment of a second ecclesiastical province of Eritrea with three suffragans. Its membership includes about six percent of the Eritrean population. The Ecclesiastical Province of Addis Ababa remain two suffragan dioceses. They contain less than one percent of the Ethiopian population.
Unlike Latin Metropolitans, the Uniates have far-reaching powers within their area of jurisdiction.
(Damascus) Last week was the parish of the Holy Trinity in Aleppo was the target of a brutal attack by Syrian rebels. The parish church was attacked with a rocket that struck just in front of the church. Three Christians were killed, including two nuns. Now the priests and faithful have planted an olive tree in response at the point of impact, as a sign of peace and for the future.
"We had just celebrated the Holy Mass. Had the rocket hit the stairs to the church, the number of victims would have been much greater," said Father Joseph Bazouzou to the news agency Fides. Last Sunday, the priests and faithful of the parish gathered after the Sunday Mass, "to give the only answer to the bombs and the violence that for years always claims new lives," said the priest. As a symbol against violence and for the hope in Christ, they planted an olive tree at the point at which the Islamist rocket struck and took three dead. They wrote in Arabic on the pot: "Peace" and "God is love".
Since the outbreak of the civil war, Christians have been the target of Islamist rebels. Christians are murdered, expelled, or forcibly converted subject to the Islamic dhimmi system.
While the West is silent or finances the Islamists and equips them with weapons, church organizations engage in concrete help. Regarding the Prayer of the Fraternity of St. Peter for the persecuted Christians and the fasting and prayer of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has already been reported. Help for needy Christians, who made up 15 percent of the population, according to the Church historian Rudolf Grulich, until the outbreak of the civil war in 2012, comes from the Relief Organization, Church in Need .
(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 /