22 January 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  •    - Bahrain
  •    - Iran
  •    - Iraq
  •    - Israel
  •    - Jordan
  •    - Kuwait
  •    - Lebanon
  •    - Oman
  •    - Palestine
  •    - Qatar
  •    - Saudi Arabia
  •    - Syria
  •    - Turkey
  •    - United Arab Emirates
  •    - Yemen
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 11/08/2017, 09.28

    IRAQ

    Archbishop of Basra: A Christian school open to all to counter poverty and illiteracy



    For the first time since 1970, a Christian educational institute is established in south Iraq. The opening is scheduled for the next school year. It will have Christian, Muslim, and Mandaean teachers. Msgr. Habib: Proclaiming God through "the education of new generations". Opening the doors of hope, creating employment for adults, and improving relations with Muslims.

    Basra (AsiaNews) - The mission of the Church is to "proclaim the kingdom of God" by strengthening human values ​​and morals "through the education of new generations", in particular "in an area like ours where there is a high percentage of poverty and illiteracy,” says Msgr. Alhava Habib Jajou, Chaldean Archbishop of Basra, in southern Iraq.  He tells AsiaNews that days ago the Ministry of Education granted the local church permission to build a Christian primary  school. An exceptional event, given that it is the first Christian educational institution to be granted a permit since the 1970s. Preparatory work for took a year and a half and the opening is scheduled for September 2018.

    The school will be built in the parish of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Tuwaisah. It will employ six teachers full time and will adopt curricula provided by the Iraqi Ministry of Education. It will also provide the opportunity to learn a third language beyond Arabic and English: Chaldean Aramaic. Msgr. Habib points out that it was realized "thanks to the support of the Fraternity in Iraq (Paris)", while teachers "come from three different groups: Christian (of various denominations), Muslims and Mandaeans."

    The Archbishop continues: “Our institution will be open to all groups, even though there will be mostly Muslims. We believe in the culture of diversity. Here, Christians date back to the second century, even before the Mandaeans, but in the last few decades they have abandoned the south in huge numbers and chosen, for many reasons, to migrate. That is why we have decided to invest all of our efforts in helping the [local Christian] community. "

    As a result of the "critical" situation that emerged after the US invasion in 2003, one of the many challenges is "violations of the dignity of children," the Archbishop says. Since the 18th century, the Basra's Christians have opened nine elementary and middle schools, but since 1974 the institutes have been nationalized. "Today," he continues, "we have decided to open the doors of hope, create employment for adults, and improve relations with Muslim families."

    The new elementary school will join the network of six other structures already present and managed by the Dominican Sisters, the Evangelical and the Chaldean Church: these include three kindergartens and three nursery schools.

    At one time Basra's Christians were a significant part of the city, many were exponents of the business class. However, in recent years the community has been decimated as is the case throughout the country, although the south of Iraq has not witnessed the same level of persecution as Mosul, Baghdad, Kirkuk, or Nineveh.

    That said, Basra was home to the first victim of the law prohibiting the sale, import and production of  alcohol, voted just over a year ago by Parliament. At the end of October 2016 a group of armed men killed the Syrian-Catholic businessman Nazar Elias Jaji Al Kas Putrus, owner of a liquor store.

    "Since 2003 - the prelate recalls - at least 50 faithful in our diocese have been killed by Islamic extremists because they worked for the coalition forces (Americans, British or other armies) or because they sold alcohol." Msgr Habib is the only bishop within a vast territory, so "encouraging my people to face the challenges is one of my priorities, as well as being a kind of Christian ambassador to the Muslims."

    According to recent estimates today little more than 10% of the original population remain in the area, a few hundred of the original three thousand Christian families. In September 2015, the local community celebrated the inauguration of the first Christian museum in southern Iraq. Inside, there are over 200 religious artefacts, documents, liturgical objects, photographs, clothes and furniture, some of which date back to the 17th century.

    The Archbishop concludes: "We opened it to protect and preserve the historic heritage, which was used in the Basra churches for the past three centuries." Our priorities, are pastoral care, education, support for the poor, and helping new generations find employment." (DS)

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    29/11/2004 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani textbooks packed with anti-Christian bias
    School curriculum is strong on religious discrimination and the glorification of war but zero on developing critical faculties.

    17/08/2016 17:07:00 IRAQ
    For the archbishop of Erbil, the feast of the Assumption brings hope for the future of Christians in Mosul (Photos)

    More than 2,000 faithful, many of them refugees, attended the solemn Eucharistic celebration. Mgr Warda speaks of a "feast for the whole community", made possible thanks to the work of dozens of young volunteers. The diocese provided free bus transportation from shelters. The situation has improved but aid is still need.



    08/06/2010 IRAQ
    The killing of a Christian businessman in Kirkuk rekindles fear among Christians
    Hani Salim Wadi owned a mobile phone store in downtown. He was 34, married with a daughter. Local eyewitnesses say that he was shot to death in a “targeted killing”. The local Christian community now fears a new wave of violence.

    30/09/2004 pakistan
    Christian minorities in Pakistan: little freedom and rising Islamic pressure
    Parvez Musharraf meets Pope John Paul II

    06/10/2006 IRAQ
    Terror campaign targets Chaldean church in Iraq

    There were two new attacks against the parish of the Holy Spirit in Mosul in as many days. A convent of Dominican Sisters has also been struck. These are the most blatant signs of a campaign that aims to throw Christians out of Iraq. Then there is the problem of emigration, a problem afflicting also Shiites and Sunnis.





    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – LEBANON
    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


    CHINA
    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®