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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 04/03/2012, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Bishop Warduni: Iraqi Christians prepare for Easter. Government assures greater security



    The auxiliary bishop of Baghdad confirms the "satisfaction" among priests for the high number of faithful who attended Palm Sunday celebrations. The hope that the liturgies will be held in "security" and the testimonies of "closeness" of some Muslim leaders. And a call not to leave the Arab Spring in the hands of extremists.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - Iraqi Christians are preparing for Easter "on a spiritual level," fortified by the period of "fasting of Lent" which is observed in the Eastern Churches "with particular rigor." So Msgr. Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary bishop of Baghdad, tells AsiaNews about the beginning of Holy Week in a country still torn apart by violence and attacks, in which the Christian minority - almost halved in a few years - is often the victim of persecution. Abstinence from meat "in the first, fourth and last week," combined with a fast in some cases complete "on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday," the prelate adds, are a source of courage and strength in a community that is still alive and is a treasure for the whole Middle East region. To prevent incidents or attacks, the government has ensured greater protection.

    Bishop Warduni also expresses the "satisfaction" of priests in the capital, for the number of faithful who visited the churches during Palm Sunday celebrated on April 1. "[The churches] were definitely not as full as in the past - says the bishop - but the turnout was higher than expected and the priests were satisfied. On Sundays preceding the number was smaller, so we did not expect to see such a numerous turnout." Many adults with the children, which lent these places of worship an atmosphere of joy and celebration. "We prayed and sang together" continues auxiliary bishop of Baghdad.

    In recent weeks, Iraq has experienced a series of violence and attacks that hit both the capital and the areas north of the country. In recent days in Mosul a faithful was killed and the Christian minority is in danger of being crushed by the power struggle that pits Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds, against each other and which is funded and supported by fundamentalist movements abroad or foreign powers. "So far there have been no incidents of violence - continues Msgr. Warduni - and we hope that this will also be the case in the coming days. Today and tomorrow are days of penance and confession, Holy Thursday, the blessing of the oils and the washing of feet". The real wait is for the Way of the Cross on Friday, with the reading of the passion, alternating moments of preaching. "The Way of the Cross will be held inside places of worship - clarifies the prelate - to avoid incidents." On Saturday, the Easter vigil in some cases, will continue "until at 9 or 10 at night." Then on Sunday, the heart of the celebrations will bring together all Iraqi communities in the capital.

    "The central government has provided more protection - says Msgr. Warduni - to guarantee conditions for the safe celebration of the holidays. We were also recently visited by some Muslims, Islamic religious leaders", to demonstrate their closeness to the Christian holidays. "Fanaticism is not missing - says the prelate - and even the Arab Spring could not prevent the rise of extremist movements that are against their fellow Muslims." However, the prelate concludes, "the Christian hope that comes from our faith tells us not to condemn anything, not even the Arab Spring: we hope that all events are for the good of the world, for the good of the human being, and supressed by fanaticism and by elements far from God and from religion. "(DS)

     

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    See also

    14/04/2009 IRAQ
    Almost calm Easter celebrations in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra
    After years of difficulties this is the first Easter and Holy Week that is fully celebrated. In Baghdad Patriarch Delly urges the faithful not to let attacks stop them. In Mosul about 80 per cent of the Christian community is back in town. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani releases a message of best wishes for the occasion.

    10/04/2012 IRAQ - LEBANON
    Educating people, building peace, Islamic-Christian dialogue from Lebanon to Iraq
    A Lebanese delegation led by Fr Atallah spent Holy Week in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, to call attention to the value of peace. Education and culture are the first steps in this direction since Christians and Muslims can rebuild the Middle East "together". An interfaith meeting brings together political leaders, as well as representatives of the Sunni, Shia, Christian and Turkmen communities.

    23/03/2005 IRAQ
    Christians of Mosul, the light of the Resurrection in the Calvary of war
    Mosul Archbishop's Easter message: "Let us learn from Jesus; let us work so that the last word is not left to terrorism and death." Local priest tells of Easter preparations: packed churches, youth attending Mass despite parents' orders.  Liturgy shortened during Holy Week to limit the risk of attacks.

    31/03/2005 IRAQ
    Easter in Mosul, Christians overcome fear and throng churches
    Churches full of the faithful are a sign of the resurrection, says Chaldean priest.

    21/03/2005 LEBANON
    Palm Sunday, when hope lies with the young
    Despite storms Lebanon won't die, says Maronite Bishop of Beirut.



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