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» 03/31/2005
Easter in Mosul, Christians overcome fear and throng churches
Churches full of the faithful are a sign of the resurrection, says Chaldean priest.

Mosul (AsiaNews) – Faithful 'thirsty' of prayers and willing to brave the threat of violence thronged churches to celebrate Easter in Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that has seen many terrorist attacks.

Priests were 'forced' to celebrate services with solemnity and in their full lenght despite pledges to keep things short to reduce the risks of attacks.

Fr Ragheed Ganni, secretary to the Chaldean Bishop of Mosul, Mgr Paulos Faraj Rahho, told AsiaNews that in his church about 1,200 people took part in the Good Friday liturgy.

"The church [. . .] was packed with a lot of people standing, even more than last year," he said. But "I didn't keep my promise in keeping the celebrations short. The big turnout was so encouraging that I arranged for it to last longer", he added. "For us priests, we felt obliged to perform regular services for the faithful who had come out braving possible violence".

Father Ragheed also explained that on Easter Eve he baptised ten children, whilst on Easter Sunday he and a Dominican Father celebrated mass together for two and a half hours before a congregation thirsty of prayers.

The 33-year-old clergyman said the same happened "in many other churches in Iraq", not only in Mosul. "For us, Christians of Iraq, this was the real meaning of the Resurrection," he stressed.

Father Ragheed was present when, on December 17 2004, the Bishop's residence was destroyed in a terrorist attack that horrified the local Christian community. (MA)

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See also
03/23/2005 IRAQ
Christians of Mosul, the light of the Resurrection in the Calvary of war
by Marta Allevato
03/21/2005 IRAQ
Baghdad Christians celebrate Palm Sunday without fear
04/04/2007 IRAQ
Mosul: despite bombs and gunfire near churches the faithful have not forsaken Holy Week
03/24/2005 PHILIPPINES
Easter, a time of crowded churches and terrorist threats
03/22/2005 JORDAN
Easter, the 'Light of Christ', from Jerusalem to the Jordan
by Hana Mouasher
Catholics celebrate Easter in a new church in northern Laos
China - Vatican
Underground Catholic priest arrested
One killed and six injured after an Easter attack by armed assailants
Easter in Pakistan, a time of solidarity despite discrimination
In Antioch Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Easter together
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In Phuket, the Passion of Christ can be seen in the eyes of people
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Easter, a time of crowded churches and terrorist threats
Jerusalem: the Cross breaks down the wall of fear
The joy of the Risen in the midst of the trials of the Mideast, says Patriarch of Jerusalem
Catholic NGO to help widows and children for Easter
Christians of Mosul, the light of the Resurrection in the Calvary of war
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