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» 01/15/2007
IRAQ
Chaldean Seminary and Theological University inaugurated in Kurdistan
After being forced to leave Baghdad, the Chaldean Church’s two educational institutions have reopened. Meanwhile the capital is being emptied of its Christians whose historic neighbourhood is presently in the hands of Sunni militias.

Ankawa (AsiaNews) – Erbil’s Chaldean bishop, Mgr Rabban al-Qas, told AsiaNews that the doors to the Chaldean Major Seminary and Babel College, Iraq’s only theological faculty run by the Chaldean Church, have reopened in Kurdistan after shutting down because of the growing insecurity in the Iraq. The two institutions were in fact officially inaugurated last Thursday after moving from Baghdad to Ankawa, near Erbil, in Kurdistan.

The reopening of the college was marked by a mass in the Mar Eliya Chaldean Church, celebrated by Mgr Jacques Isaac, rector of Babel College.

In addition to many faithful, Mgr Andraous Abouna, vicar patriarch representing the Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly who stayed in Baghdad, and Sarkis Aghajan, a Christian and finance minister in Kurdistan’s regional government, were present.

About 25 seminarians are registered at Babel College but there are many other students who are studying theology and philosophy.

Moving the two institutions was a difficult decision. It was made official on January 4 but had been expected for some time.

Abductions, assaults and threats to the Christian community in the capital convinced the Patriarchate first to shut both college and seminar down, then to move them.

AsiaNews sources in Baghdad, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the Christians left in the city are poorest, those who cannot afford to move elsewhere.

“As for the rest, they have all fled,” they said. “Dora, the historic Christian neighbourhood is [now] in the hands of Sunni militias.”

Moving around the capital is increasingly difficult and dangerous. “If you try to go in or out of a neighbourhood you have to ask permission from militias who are in charge; otherwise you might end up kidnapped or killed.”


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See also
06/18/2007 IRAQ
Chaldean priest abducted in Baghdad is free and in good health
08/20/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists
by Fady Noun
06/14/2007 IRAQ
Iraqi Christians’ most urgent needs according to a Chaldean priest
by Bashar M. Warda, CSsR*
05/02/2007 IRAQ
Iraqi leaders indifferent to 'endangered' Christians
06/15/2007 IRAQ
Baghdad: more than a thousand Christian families forced to flee home

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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