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    » 11/20/2010, 00.00

    IRAQ-ITALY

    Archbishop of Kirkuk appeals to the Church and Italy

    Msgr Louis Sako

    Archbishop Louis Sako appeals for solidarity from brothers and sisters in the West. Since 2005, 900 Christians have been killed, among them five priests and the archbishop of Mosul, 52 churches have been attacked. A message for the Italian Church on the eve of a day of prayer and solidarity with the persecuted Christians of Iraq, wanted by the Italian Bishops' Conference.

    Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - "Do not leave us alone in this time of tribulation" is the appeal that the archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako, has sent to AsiaNews for publication in Italy on the eve of a day of prayer and solidarity for Christians in Iraq, wanted by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI). Tomorrow, in all the parishes in Italy there will be moments of prayer for persecuted Christians and especially for Christians in Iraq. The Day also aims to raise awareness in Italy and Europe, so they may double their efforts toward Iraq. Yesterday Cardinal. Angelo Bagnasco, president of CEI, spoke to AsiaNews, saying that “Italy and Europe cannot look away because what is at stake is religious freedom, which is the basis for all other forms of freedom".

    In his appeal, supported by other Iraqi bishops, Msgr. Sako reveals that "since 2005, 900 Christians have been killed, among them five priests and the archbishop of Mosul, 52 churches attacked. Many families have been  forced to leave their homes and flee to save their children and their Christian faith. " Here is the appeal sent by Msgr. Sako to AsiaNews:

     

    Appeal to our brothers and sisters in Italy

    Our people in Iraq today are persecuted, threatened and suffer martyrdom. Since 2005, 900 Christians have been killed, among them five priests and the archbishop of Mosul, 52 churches attacked. Many families have been forced to leave their homes and flee to save their children and their Christian faith.

    We are ready to do everything to preserve our faith and our loyalty to Christ. We are conscious that martyrdom is the charism of our Church. This is what gives us the strength to stay and persevere.

    Our ordeal is heavy and seems long. The carnage that took place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad on October 31 has profoundly shaken us.

    We are losing patience, but not faith or hope. We need the prayers and moral support and fellowship of our Christian brothers and sisters of the West. Without their support and solidarity we feel alone and isolated. Do not leave us alone in this time of tribulation. Our journey can continue with your help and your prayers.

     

    +Louis Sako

    Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk

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    See also

    11/03/2008 IRAQ
    Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
    The appeal was launched by the Archbishop of Kirkuk, 12 days on from Msgr. Rahoo’s abduction. To the Bishops and Christians of the world: “do not remain indifferent to this suffering, do not leave us alone to face this trial”. Amid increased fears, today in Kirkuk 15 Muslim leaders ask once again that the prelate be released.

    22/11/2010 IRAQ
    After the attacks on Christians in Baghdad, 40 families emigrate North
    For fear of staying in the capital, many took refuge in Sulaimaniya. Here, Nov. 20, they were visited by the Archbishop of Kirkuk and the wife of Iraqi President Talabani.

    02/08/2014 ITALY
    Italian bishops: We can no longer remain silent in front of the persecution of Christians
    The Italian Episcopal Conference Announces a Day of Prayer for Baptized in countries such as Iraq and Nigeria, "who are going through an authentic Calvary, singled out because of their faith and the object of constant terrorist attacks." May the Pope's visit in Korea and Asian martyrs "stir up our Europe, which has become distracted and indifferent, blind and dumb".

    29/08/2009 IRAQ
    In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim leaders for dialogue and reconciliation
    At the invitation of Msgr. Sako, 50 religious leaders are meeting during Ramadan to launch an appeal to political leaders for an end to conflicts and divisions. "We are all brothers, sons of the same God we must respect and cooperate for the good of the people and our country."

    04/01/2011 IRAQ
    Muslim solidarity towards Iraqi Christians
    A delegation of Arab tribal chiefs visit the archdiocese of Kirkuk following the attacks against Baghdad cathedral and Egyptian Copts in Alexandria to voice their concern and express their closeness to their Christian “brothers”. A Christian woman who survived the slaughter in Baghdad’s Syriac-Catholic cathedral on 31 October is murdered.



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