Erbil (AsiaNews) - This year, the Child Jesus will be born amid the containers, halls and schools crammed with Christian refugees who fled Mosul pushed by the militias of the Islamic State, Mosul Archbishop Mgr Amel Nona said to us a in a letter.
A refugee himself in Kurdistan, he is working on meeting the emergency spiritual and material needs of his flock. Yet, he notes, despite the misery of losing everything, Christian refugees have not lost the faith or the desire to bear witness to it in their own land, from which they were expelled.
Mgr Nona's letter, which we publish in its entirety, is a response to the third transfer of funds raised through 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign. In November, AsiaNews transferred 212,901.88 Euros. If we include 672,517.72 Euros already transferred, we reach a total contribution of 885,419.6 Euros. In view of such abundant generosity, our gratitude goes to the Lord and all of you who contributed, in some cases by giving up certain things.
Many readers and friends have asked us whether the campaign will go on, if "adopting" a Christian from Mosul means that help will continue beyond the immediate crisis. We think so since Christians - but also Yazidis and Muslims - are still living in a situation of emergency with radical and essential needs that must be met. Our refugee brothers and sisters remain in need of solidarity.
During a visit to refugees in Kurdistan, the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Sako, called on fellow Christians in Iraq to fast before Christmas and celebrate the holidays - including New Year - with moderation in order to be close to the pain and sense of loss people have experienced because of their faith, and to call on the Lord Jesus to help them go home, to Mosul.
At AsiaNews, we call on all of our friends to do the same, fast and celebrate with moderation, and send any of the money saved as a donation to meet the needs of our refugee brothers and sisters through the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign.
At the end of the article, we indicate how to make a contribution to the campaign. (BC)
Fr Bernardo Cervellera
I confirm that the committee of bishops to help Iraqi Christian refugees received two donations in November from you (AsiaNews):
1. The sum of US$ 86,569 on 19 November 2014.
2. The sum of US$ 180,085 on 30 November 2014.
For a total of US$ 266,654.
These donations will help our people cope with the dire conditions they face, especially the cold, rain and snow of winter, which makes their lives that more dreadful.
Most families are still living in containers, parish halls and school classrooms. It is not easy to live in a situation where families have no privacy, or room to exercise some rights to human life.
Six months have passed, and nothing indicates that our land will be soon freed from Islamic militants. On the contrary, we feel abandoned to our fate, condemned to remain refugees in our own country. It is not easy for anyone to live as a refugee in his or her own country: no home, no work, no positive outlook on the future.
Yet, such a tragic fate shall not stop us from proclaiming loud and clear our trust in our faith: we are proud to be Christians despite all the obstacles that hinder our beliefs. We shall never abandon our Christian way of life.
We may lose everything, but we shall not abandon the Christian faith. We shall endure painful difficulties, and we shall remain faithful to our Lord.
We are waiting with joy for his birth among us and among all nations, so that everyone may seek the peace of the world in the Child Jesus.
May the Lord bless you,
+ Amel Nona
Archbishop of Mosul of the Chaldeans
December 14, 2014
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