- Sep 22, 2020
With its one stoplight and surrounding cornfields, the small Ohio village of Carey seems an unlikely travel destination. Yet, once a year, an estimated 5,000 visitors swell the town population to more than double.
The Chaldean Catholic Church concluded a weeklong synod in Ainkawa, a Christian enclave in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, in which laity from the church’s various dioceses in the Middle East and the diaspora also participated for the first time.
Five years after ISIS forces stormed Christian villages in Northern Iraq, forcing thousands to flee overnight, the militants have been suppressed, but one man working on reconstruction in the area says the situation of Christians remains precarious and their future in Iraq is still at risk.
Iraqi Christians face “extinction” unless Islam recognizes the fundamental equality of all people and takes steps to overcome violent factions that seek to force religious minorities from the country, said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil.
So-called “Christian” militias contradict the Christian approach of love, tolerance and peace, said the Chaldean Catholic Church.
If the pontiff does end up going to Iraq in 2020, it may be Francis’s best shot at the title of “most important papal trip of all time.”