Archbishop of Kirkuk appeals to the Church and Italy
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.
Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk