- Mar 4, 2021
Father Naim Shoshandy has plenty of reasons to be angry: On March 23, 2014, the terrorist organization known as Islamic State murdered his 27-year-old brother, for no other reason other than the fact that he was a Christian. Today, he welcomes Pope Francis’s “bravery” in deciding to visit the “martyred nation” of Iraq.
A priest from Qaraqosh helping to prepare the city’s youth for Pope Francis’s visit next month has said the fact that a pope is coming has shown young people that the Church, which can often seem far away, is close to them.
The largest Syriac Catholic congregation in the world is preparing physically and spiritually for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Qaraqosh, Iraq.
Amid suffering and despair, further darkened by the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East urged their faithful at Christmastime to hold on to hope.
More than 100,000 Christians driven out from Iraq’s Ninevah Plain by the Islamic State in the summer of 2014 are living as refugees in Lebanon.
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the massacre by Islamic militants at Our Lady of Deliverance Church in Baghdad, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan reminded the faithful that “our martyrs are the torches of faith that illuminate our paths of life and ignite in us the fire of love toward everyone.”
Parts of Syria’s north where Kurds, Christians and Yazidis have practiced religious freedom in recent years are reportedly again under attack by mainly Turkish military and their allied Syrian Islamist fighters.
Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East, in Easter messages from churches barren of the faithful due to the coronavirus, lamented the scourge of the pandemic while evoking the hope of the Resurrection.