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» 11/20/2010
IRAQ-ITALY
Archbishop of Kirkuk appeals to the Church and Italy
by 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
03/11/2008 IRAQ
Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
11/22/2010 IRAQ
After the attacks on Christians in Baghdad, 40 families emigrate North
by Layla Yousif Rahema
08/29/2009 IRAQ
In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim leaders for dialogue and reconciliation
01/04/2011 IRAQ
Muslim solidarity towards Iraqi Christians
by Layla Yousif Rahema
10/13/2009 IRAQ
Archbishop of Kirkuk: for 1600 years, Iraq has been a "country of martyrs"

Editor's choices
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Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
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