25 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/21/2010
IRAQ
Financial crisis forces Patriarchate to rent out the courtyards of churches in Baghdad
by Layla Yousif Rahema
Economic aid from Kurdistan interrupted, collection money halved due to emigration of the faithful, Mgr. Warduni sets out the Chaldean Churches’ plan "to help pay the salaries of priests and catechists".

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Facing a critical economic situation, to the point where it can’t even pay its’ priest’s salaries, the Chaldean Church in Iraq is obliged to rent a private space adjacent to its parish in Baghdad. Branded as "dangerous lies" rumours of the sale of the church of Our Lady of Sorrows (the first cathedral of Iraq, where the patriarchs are buried, of priceless historical value,-ed), the Auxiliary Bishop of the capital. Shlemon Warduni explains to AsiaNews how the Church in Iraq is coping with this crisis.

A number of factors explain the current difficulties facing the Chaldean Patriarchate. "For about 10 months, the finance minister of Kurdistan, Sargis Agajan, halted all funding to the Christian community, which in recent years had ensured a stable income. Not only that: "With the massive migration of our people - says the bishop - the revenue coming from church collections have halved, while the government gives us absolutely no help."

Thus, a Patriarchate committee - composed of four lay people, of which Warduni is supervisor with Card. Emmanuel III Delly in charge - is studying plans to utilise Church property to generate revenue to help pay the salaries of priests, to cover the cost of running parishes and catechesis (such as the transport of children and books). This emphasizes the bishop of Baghdad, is an important point: "The Protestants are taking our young people away and say they are evangelizing in our place, we must safeguard our children and our catechism."

For now, it has been decided to "rent the land adjacent to the former cathedral of Baghdad (outside the walls of the church itself) for 15 years, to a private party who will build stores there." At the end of the contract everything will return to the Patriarchate. The area surrounding "Our Lady of Sorrows" is the first Christian neighbourhood of Baghdad, "the Haqid Nasara" (in English "the meeting place of Christians"). Here, until the '70s, all Christian denominations in the country were focused. Now it has become a very commercial area filled with markets and shops, the heart of the city, where the value of buildings and land has increased a lot. For logistical reasons - the church is situated in an alley that cannot be accessed in a car - the Chaldean cathedral was transferred some years ago to the Church of St Joseph in the neighbourhood of Karada. Despite the security problems faced by the Christians in the capital, "Our Lady of Sorrows" is still open: "A priest has also been appointed to say mass on some occasions" says Bishop. Warduni.

"The diocese of Baghdad, -  the auxiliary bishop concludes, -  is studying and working on projects that can bring economic help to the other dioceses of Iraq."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/09/2009 IRAQ
Attacks are isolated episodes to destabilise a country on its way to rebirth, Iraqi bishops say
12/09/2009 IRAQ
Baghdad massacre “barbaric and reckless” response to election deal, bishop says
03/16/2009 IRAQ
Iraq looks to future with "optimism." Economic crisis feared more than security
01/30/2005 IRAQ
Msgr Warduni: a vote against terrorism
06/05/2007 IRAQ
May Fr Ragheed’s sacrifice help Iraq’s Church find “renewed unity”

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.