‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات ENGLISH. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات ENGLISH. إظهار كافة الرسائل

Turkish bombardment damages church in Duhok village, terrifying villagers

Karwan Faidhi Dri

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Turkish forces bombed the vicinity of a Christian village in Duhok province in the early hours of Tuesday morning, damaging several buildings, including the village church, locals have told Rudaw.



“It was around 2:40 am when the rockets hit near the village. As you can see, it is only 100 meters away,” Dawoud Yukhanna, a villager from Miska, told Rudaw, adding that “people were terrified.”

“They could not sleep all night after hearing the loud sound of the bombs.”

Yukhanna also said that the windows of the church and several other houses in the village were broken in the bombardment.


Miska is located in Amedi, and lies some 15 kilometers away from Kesta and Chalke - villages recently abandoned due to Turkish airstrikes. Only eight families have returned to live in Miska.

The Turkish army launched two military operations in Duhok province's Avashin, Basyan, and Metina areas on April 23. Their stated aim is to remove the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters from these areas.

The PKK is a Kurdish armed group struggling for the increased rights of Kurds in Turkey. It is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara which regularly carries out military campaigns against the group at home and in the Kurdistan Region.


The ongoing clashes between the PKK and Ankara have pushed many to flee their homes.

On Tuesday, Edine became the third village to be evacuated since Turkey launched new operations, with the four remaining families leaving their homes.

Most of the families have fled to elsewhere in the province.


A 20-year-old civilian was injured in Deshish village on Tuesday after Turkey bombed a nearby area. Only three families remain in the village.

Additional reporting by Naif Ramadhan 

نيويورك تايمز تخصص صفحتها الأولى لأسماء ضحايا كورونا: ليسوا مجرد أرقام

الخليج الجديد


نشرت صحيفة "نيويورك تايمز" الأمريكية في صفحتها الأولى من عدد يوم الأحد، أسماء بعض الذين توفوا بسبب فيروس كورونا المستجد في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية.


مؤكدة أنهم "ليسوا مجرد أرقام" و"خسارة لا يمكن حسابها"، كما خصصت العدد لقصص إنسانية ومقالات رأي عن الضحايا ولمحات من حياتهم.



وعلى خلفية اقتراب عدد الوفيات بسبب كورونا، في الولايات المتحدة من 100 ألف حالة، قرر محررو الصحيفة، الإشارة إلى هذا العدد الكئيب، وتركيز الاهتمام على من فقدوا حياتهم خلال الوباء.


وجاء في بيان للصحيفة بهذا الشأن: "عندما تقترب البلاد من الحد الكئيب، 100 ألف حالة وفاة بسبب الفيروس، لا يمكن للأرقام أن تقيس تأثير فيروس كورونا على الولايات المتحدة.


ولا يمكن أن يحدد ذلك حتى عدد المرضى الذين تعافوا، أو عدد المواطنين الذين فقدوا وظائفهم. لقد درست صحيفة نيويورك تايمز تقارير الوفيات، هذه الآلاف من الناس، فقط 1% من حصيلة الضحايا".


كما كتبت الصحيفة في عنوان فرعي: "هذه ليست مجرد أسماء في القائمة، هذه القائمة نحن".


وتم على الصفحة الأولى، نشر أسماء وألقاب وعمر ومكان إقامة ووصف موجز أو مهنة لآلاف المرضى الذين ماتوا بسبب فيروس كورونا.


وأشارت مساعدة محرر بقسم الرسومات في الصحيفة "سيمون لاندون"، إلى أن الصفحة الأولى هي طريقة لإحياء ذكرى أكثر تميزا للبيانات المروعة.


وقالت الصحيفة في بيانها إن الصفحة نظمها باحث قام بتمشيط مصادر النعي وإعلانات الوفيات عبر الإنترنت وتجميع قائمة تضم حوالي ألف اسم.


بعد ذلك، عمل فريق من المحررين و3 طلاب من خريجي الصحافة على صياغة العبارات الشخصية لكل ضحية.

يهددوننا بأسلحتهم، لأنهم يشعرون بأن إيماننا يهددهم

اعلام البطريركية الكلدانية


يهددوننا بأسلحتهم، لأنهم يشعرون بأن إيماننا يهددهم شهادة ايمانية للأب الشهيد رغيد تنشر لأول مرة



الأب ريبوار عوديش باسه

 تمر علينا هذه الأيام الذكرى الثانية عشرة على استشهاد الأب رغيد عزيز كني ورفاقه الشامسة وحيد حنا ايشو، وبسمان يوسف داؤد، وغسان عصام بيداويذ، وذلك بعد احتفالهم بالقداس الإلهي في كنيسة الروح القدس في الموصل، يوم الأحد ٣ حزيران ٢٠٠٧. كما نعلم بأن ملف تطويبهم قد قدمته كنيستنا الكلدانية رسمياً للفاتيكان وتتابعه عن كثب، وقد أعلنوا بالفعل “خدام الله”، ونأمل أن يتم اعلان طوباويتهم قريباً.


وبهذه المناسبة ننشر لأول مرة كلمات شهادة ايمانية مهمة ومؤثرة للأب الشهيد رغيد كني كان قد ألقاها في المعهد الكهنوتي الإيرلندي في روما بتاريخ ١٧ تشرين الثاني ٢٠٠٦، أي قبل استشهاده بما يقارب ستة أشهر.


حصلت على نسخة من تسجيل لهذه الموعظة من زميلي كاهن إيرلندي الأب باري هوران (Bary Horan)، وذلك حينما رافقتُ عائلة الأب الشهيد رغيد خلال مشاركتهم في اللقاء العالمي للعائلة لأداء شهادتهم الإيمانية أمام قداسة البابا فرنسيس ولقائهم به.


جزيل الشكر للأب باري هوران الذي حافظ على هذه الشهادة الإيمانية الفريدة والثمينة للأب الشهيد رغيد، وأعطانا نسخة منه وذلك لتعميم الفائدة الروحية للشهادة الإيمانية للأب الشهيد رغيد.


ادناه نص شهادة الأب الشهيد رغيد عن اضطهاد المسيحيين ومعاناتهم والتي كان قد القاها باللغة الإنكليزية:

Homily of Fr. Ragheed Ganni at Vespers, 17th November 2006, Pontifical Irish College Rome


We all believe that each human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and because of this, we understand how evil it is that someone should be killed by another person, without thinking that this person has the right to live and that his life should not be taken away from him, even if they think that God is ordering them to do so.


Three years ago I went back to Iraq, after staying here in the Irish college for seven years. During those seven years I got to know a lot of things about Ireland, about the history of the church in Ireland and about persecution, and I always admired the faith of the Irish and the way they survived and kept their churches open. I often spoke about this. In the college I also came across people from different nationalities, and each one contributed to my knowledge in some way.


When I went back home, carrying my hopes and thoughts of working in my own diocese in the north of Iraq, in particular after the changes that had happened after Saddam’s regime fell, I thought that there was going to be a very bright future and that things would move in a better direction. And then over the last three years my own parish church was attacked, perhaps ten times. And sometimes people were wounded. But Christians still insisted on coming to Sunday masses and other activities. In fact, last Saturday there was another attack on my parish church, and I thought that on that Sunday nobody would come to mass, because within a very short period that church had been attacked six rimes. I was surprised to know that there were about five hundred people at evening mass the following day.


So I have always thought that people under persecution are able to discover the grace of God, and discover how strong their faith is, while there are people trying to threaten us with their weapons, because they are threatened by our faith.


People would often contact me asking me the most important thing that they could do for us. And I always asked for prayers. It is amazing how something like that built up our morale, just knowing there were people sharing our difficulties with us, people united to us though their prayers, and people who were thinking about us while we were suffering in Iraq.


I was very optimistic up to about three months ago, and then things took a turn for the worse, Now the future for Iraq is very grey and I think we need more prayers than ever. There are so many people fleeing to different countries or even to Kurdistan within Iraq, but there are many others unable to move to anywhere else, and they are in some way prisoners within their own homes. They simply cannot leave, and they really need a lot of prayers.


There is still pressure to try to remove Christianity from Iraq, or to stop Christians there from being faithful to their own tradition and their faith, but by the grace of God, as St. Paul says, nobody will ever be able to separate the love of Christ from us, or us from the love of Christ.


Once again, I thank the Irish College for allowing me to have this opportunity to share all this with you, and I ask you to continue praying for peace in Iraq and for the Christians there.

Attack on Catholic church in Burkina Faso leaves six dead

(CNN)Six people were killed Sunday during mass at a Catholic church in central Burkina Faso, according to state media.



Gunmen on motorcycles stormed the church in Dablo on Sunday morning, killing six men, including the priest, before setting fire to the church and buildings in the area, the Burkina Information Agency reported.


Attack on Catholic church in Burkina Faso leaves six dead
By Bethlehem Feleke and Duarte Mendonca, CNN


Updated 1737 GMT (0137 HKT) May 12, 2019
(CNN)Six people were killed Sunday during mass at a Catholic church in central Burkina Faso, according to state media.


Gunmen on motorcycles stormed the church in Dablo on Sunday morning, killing six men, including the priest, before setting fire to the church and buildings in the area, the Burkina Information Agency reported.


In February, CNN reported that the US was considering sending additional military advisers as well as intelligence and surveillance assets such as drones to Burkina Faso to help combat a growing terrorist threat.


The landlocked country in northwest Africa has been beset by extremist violence in recent months as Islamist terror groups expand their reach.


The number of violent incidents in the country linked to the local affiliates of al Qaeda and ISIS rose from 24 in 2017 to 136 in 2018, according to a report by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.


The Trump administration last year announced plans to cut the number of US troops in Africa by around 10%. One defense official told CNN that the planned reductions would eventually lower the number of US counterterrorism troops and their enablers who support operations by approximately 20%.

Debate rages in Egypt as Christian women told to cover up

Egyptian authorities routinely turn a blind eye to sectarian violence involving forced evictions or the shutting down of churches Egyptian authorities routinely turn a blind eye to sectarian violence involving forced evictions or the shutting down of churches (AFP Photo/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA).



Cairo (AFP) - A Coptic priest's comments about women's clothing being too revealing in churches has sparked a heated debate this week among Egyptian Christians, the largest religious minority in the Middle East.


Father Daoud Lamei, a well-known parish priest in an upmarket Cairo suburb with a sizeable social media following, lambasted Christian women for attire that he deemed immodest. "Why are girls and women even coming to church if they're wearing revealing and inappropriate clothes?" he said in a widely-shared video.


"She who does, will be judged," he added. "I personally think any man, who agrees to his wife leaving her home in that way, will be judged before God." Lamei made the comments in an April 30 sermon marking Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated by Egypt's Coptic Christian community.


"At least during Christmas we don't have to worry about racy clothes because it's cold... we want it to be cold always," joked the popular priest. Coptic Christians make up around 12 percent of the conservative country's population of 100 million, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim.


Lamei's remarks sparked a mixed response from women in Egypt, with some criticising his stringent tone while others praised the priest for giving worshippers guidelines. "He is condemning these women... instead of explaining the appropriate dress code and attitude in church in general -- for everyone," said Sandra Awad, a 22-year-old student who has attended Lamei's church in the past.


But another woman, writing on Facebook, said the priest "spoke with complete respect... so they can wake up and revere the church they're entering."


- 'Cover up' campaign -

The debate comes in the wake of a controversial online campaign calling on Christian women to "cover up, so we people can pray". A parallel drive urging Egyptian women to cover up for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, also appeared this week with users drawing similarities between the two in the sexist language employed. Lamei has denied on social media that he endorsed any online drives and did not respond to AFP's requests for comment.


St Mark's Church in the Heliopolis district, where he delivered the sermon, on May 6 published a link on its Facebook page to the full Easter speech. The Coptic Church has become increasingly political under the leadership of Pope Tawadros II, an enthusiastic supporter of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.


It has also taken on a more active role as the sole representative for Copts in public life as a discriminated minority."The clergy are role models for the community who see them as the guardians of their community, its traditions and its faith," said Elizabeth Monier, an expert on Coptic affairs at the University of Cambridge. "This is strongly the case when a community feels that it is under threat," she told AFP.


The Coptic community has suffered a number of deadly attacks on its churches in recent years, while Egyptian authorities routinely turn a blind eye to sectarian violence involving forced evictions or the shutting down of churches. "Perceived attacks on Coptic traditions or teachings are likely to lead Copts to rally around their clergy and uphold traditions more strongly," said Monier.


- 'Justify harassment' -

A group of worshippers at a church in Upper Egypt started an online campaign last week urging fellow young women to dress modestly, which was vehemently criticised by Facebook users for its conservative language.


Marianne Sedhom, 28, a lawyer in Alexandria who took issue with Lamei's sermon, told AFP "women in the church need to speak up more against retrograde and male-centric ideas". Egypt is one of the worst offenders worldwide for sexual harassment -- endured by more than 99 percent of women in the county according to a 2013 United Nations report.


The priest's remarks were dubbed "Christian Salafism" by Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, in reference to the dogmatic school of Sunni Islam. Ibrahim regarded such rhetoric as hardening attitudes that "justify harassment" towards women. "There's a crisis in clerical education so clergy end up tying piety to modesty," he said.

Egyptian govt legalizes 900 churches in three years

By Arnaud Bevilacqua/ la-croix.com


New law replaces the 1934 legislation that made the construction of new churches subject to ten conditions. President Abdul Fattah Sisi's Egyptian government legalized more than 100 Christian churches – 111 to be precise – in March this year.



This makes a total of 984 centers of Christian worship centers that have been legalized, restored or built over the last three years. Law of August 2016 A new law on worship dating from August 2016 provides the framework for the process of legalizing and authorizing the building of new churches.


Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church gave its backing to the new law following months of tension with the Sisi government. The new law replaced 1934 legislation that made the construction of new churches subject to ten conditions.


According to the old rules, building a church – in contrast to a mosque – required compliance with numerous conditions relating to the distance from schools, canals, government buildings, railways and residential zones. Moreover, even when authorization to build was obtained, a project often remained in suspense if it failed obtain the consent of local communities.


In many cases, the rigid application of the rules prevented the building of churches in cities and villages inhabited by Christians, particularly in rural areas in Upper Egypt.
It also led to the spontaneous establishment of places of worship without the necessary authorizations. Discrimination continues As a result, Christians were regularly suspected of building churches without permits. The Coptic Orthodox Church has long hoped that a new law would put an end to these conflict situations.


Islamist groups often made use of these situations to attack Christians with greater or lesser virulence and sometimes carry out their threats. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Initiative for Individual Rights, a local human rights organization, published a report in November 2018 that strongly criticized the 2016 law governing the building of churches. The report concluded that 15 Christian worship centers had experienced incidents and nine of these had been definitively closed between September 2017 and October 2018.


Government aims to win over Coptic community The Copts are one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East, making up 8 per cent to 10 per cent of the Egyptian population, i.e. 8 million people. Often targeted by the local branch of ISIS, the Coptic minority also receives significant attention from President Sisi whose authoritarianism is subject to regular criticism.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian president has sought to present himself as the defender of the Coptic Church, often promising support to the community.


Thus, in January, he attended Coptic Christmas celebrations and the inauguration of the new Cathedral of the Nativity on the site of the new Egyptian administrative capital, which is currently under construction in the desert near Cairo.

Patriarch Sabbah: He who believes in God walks in the path of God

By Patriarch Michele Sabbah


Further fighting at Al-Aqsa Mosque, more Israeli soldiers and more assaults! Is all this for the sake of prayer? This is not the way to pray. Prayer begins and ends with the cessation of aggression and with the respect of every believer in the place of prayer. Jerusalem and the entire Holy Land will not know peace as long as a place of prayer is still a place of fighting and aggression. Peace in Jerusalem and the Holy Land begins with the peace at the Aqsa Mosque, after having been made a place of fighting. Peace in Jerusalem begins when all of Jerusalem restores to its holiness, and when people are recognized as human beings


More "unprovoked killing" of the Palestinians, more humiliations at the checkpoints, more eviction of people from their homes in Jerusalem and replacement by Jews, at a time when the settlers conduct terrorism with no one deterring them, and have protection by a regular army that is supposed to protect all the people. All these practices will neither bring the Palestinian conflict to an end, nor will it bring to the Israelis the security they seek, and nor will it relieve the international community which is impotent in dealing with our tragedy. All these hostilities indicate that the Holy Land needs international protection; it needs protection of Israel from itself as well protection of Palestine and the Palestinians from the "last pressures" imposed on them from all sides designed to eliminate them as humans and people. Is there an international community that can provide guidance and protection


More violence, more death and more humiliations of the people of the Holy Land is not the path to justice and peace in this land. He who believes in God changes way followed and walks in the path of God, which is mercy and love for all people, and considers all human beings equal in humanity, whether being Palestinians or Israelis. This view marks the start of the road towards the solution being awaited for years

Bishop Hinder addresses the dire situation in Yemen

masihyo.com

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has interviewed Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia Bishop Paul Hinder in which he spoke about the situation of Yemen and called for not forgetting the Yemenis suffering from a bloody conflict that has been going on for about four years


He also urged the Western societies in particular and all the parties capable of intervening to put an end to the armed conflict and to exert the necessary efforts to help the Yemenis regain their lost dignity


Bishop Hinder said that he seeks to extend a helping hand to the Catholic groups located in Yemen. He continued that news coming from Yemen is scant because of the disruption of communication lines on the one hand and because people prefer not to talk on the phone and on the Internet. He added: "I have recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of Christian Yemenis, but I prefer not to address this issue publicly, so as not to put their lives at risk


Answering a question about the obstacles that stand in the way of finding a solution to the Yemeni conflict, Bishop Hinder said:"The conflict has a historical background, and there are many parties and political parties that have changed their alliances more than once over the past years. The intervention of foreign powers, instead of seeking a solution to the crisis, has contributed to deepening differences. I think that the matter now needs time, patience and high diplomatic skills so that the international community can bring the various warring parties to the negotiating table


He pointed out that different international parties are seeking to benefit from the Yemeni conflict, which does not facilitate the negotiation process at all. Bishop Hinder indicated that reaching a solution requires a return to dialogue and drafting a new federal constitution for Yemen in which the various parties enjoy a margin of independence while preserving the unity of the country." He stressed that if this project does not materialize, then Yemen may face the risk of division and fragmentation


On the role that the Western powers could play in this regard, he said," The indifference of the Western powers to what has been happening in Yemen over the past years has not helped in finding a solution." He indicated that ''the foreign policies adopted by some countries have not been similar as several governments believed that the conflict could be resolved militarily. The impression prevailed with the start of the war in 2015, and this is something that is being realized nowadays by those who believed in military solution over the past four years


On the future of Christian communities in this Arab country, he said, "Christianity has always existed in this country, although it has always been very weak from a numerical point of view." Stressing that the Christians are now seeking to survive, he said, "If the Yemeni society does not become a tolerant one, the survival of Christians in this country will be very difficult


In conclusion, Bishop Hinder urged the international community not to forget Yemen. He noted that Pope Francis, prior to leaving Rome for Abu Dhabi earlier this month, confirmed that he prayed for Yemen. He also emphasized that the people of Yemen have a very ancient culture, so this nation must be helped to regain its dignity

Egypt: Coptic Christians Forced to Hold Funeral in Street

masihyo.com

This is a consequence of the fact that the Egyptian government is very slow to approve applications for the construction of new churches. All too often, Christians who go ahead with construction of an urgently needed church are then subjected to mob violence, often aided and abetted by government officials. Without a house of worship, Christians are forced to celebrate sacred rites in the street


Please continue to remember in your prayers our brothers and sisters of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt as they are persecuted for their Christian faith. Pray for their safety and peace, and for that of the nation’s Greek Orthodox Christians as well


Coptic Christians Forced to Hold Funeral in Street,” International Christian Concern, February 15, 2019


02/15/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Coptic Christians living in the village of Kom Al-Raheb have held a funeral in the streets for the third time because their church was closed by police in December 2018.  The church, which was operating without a license, is seeking official recognition but has been targeted by hardline Islamists who do not want to see an official church in the village


The village currently has no church, but there are approximately 2500 Coptic Christians living there, according to Watani. The police had closed the church in order to pacify the Islamists, who used a nearby mosque’s microphone to rally Muslim villagers against the Christians


Unfortunately, the situation in Kom al-Raheb is commonplace throughout Egypt. Police frequently cave to the demands of hardline Islamists instead of protecting the right of Christians to freely practice their faith. When churches are closed, Christians are left to worship and hold rites (such as funerals) in the street

Extremist groups could push Christianity to extinction in Middle East

masihyo.com


Senior Policy Officer of the Christian Persecution charity Open Doors, Matthew Rees, revealed that Christians are heavily persecuted in eastern countries like Iraq and Syria by extremists like ISIS. As Christians in this part of the world are often in a minority they are often targeted by terrorist and extremist groups as Christianity is perceived as a Western religion, despite originating in the eastern of the world.


In an interview with Express.co.uk, Dr Matthew Rees explained the hardships and violent persecution that Christians face because of their faith and reiterated that persecution of Christians in some eastern nations was increasing and unlucky to fall any time soon.


Dr Rees said: "Christians around the world are not necessarily the same, they aren't exactly the same as Christians in the UK. They are not rich and they are not privileged and they are not from backgrounds whereby they get the same kind of lifestyle as Christians in this country.


"Unfortunately, around the world, Christians are very vulnerable actually and often part of quite vulnerable communities particularly where they are a minority community. But if you go to Iraq or Syria today those Christian minority communities are extremely vulnerable.


"If there was another rise of a group like ISIS, an extremist group, next time we could be talking about the extinction of Christianity because people are very vulnerable. So unfortunately in the places where Christianity started some of these numbers are going down because of systematic long-term persecution, not just because of ISIS.


"For a long time now the Christian minority has been under pressure and has been pushed to the margin and so it is really important that our government but also societal in general get to grips with the fact that these people are very vulnerable. They are by no means privileged and they are in fact often the lowest of the low.


"Particularly a lot of Christians in places like India are the lowest caste in the caste system and these people are often the lowest of the low and are in need of our support. The Open Doors charity release an annual list of countries where persecution of Christians is most prevalent.


The top five countries for Christian Persecution according to the charity was North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan, countries which ISIS and its affiliated groups are known to operate in.

Syria: A homecoming never to be forgotten

masihyo.com


Christian families in Syria forced from their town by extremists celebrated their return on Thursday, February 14, with a ceremony marking the reconstruction of their homes.


At the service, parishioners packed into St Mary’s Church, in Krak des Chevaliers (Al Husn) village, and received ‘Jesus is my Rock’ stone tablets and bottles of holy water to signify the completion of repairs to houses devastated during a two-year campaign of violence at the height of the war.


We should not hate our enemies, we should forgive them, said Archbishop Nicolas Sawaf of Latakia Presiding at the ceremony, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Nicolas Sawaf of Latakia, thanked Aid to the Church in Need, which funded the programme to repair 55 houses.


He said: Given everything that the people have suffered, the violence and the hatred, who would have thought these houses would be constructed? “For me it is a dream and my sincere thanks to Aid to the Church in Need.


Reflecting on how neighbours were implicated in the attacks on the Christian homes, he added: “We must remember we as Christian citizens of Syria have a special mission of love, compassion and reconciliation.


We should not hate our enemies, we should forgive them. You are not alone… God is always with you… friends and benefactors of ACN are always praying and supporting you.– Father Andrzej Halemba Presenting the ‘Jesus is my Rock’ tablets to representatives of each family, Father Andrzej Halemba, ACN Middle East projects coordinator, said: “These tablets will remind you that you are not alone, that God is always with you and that the friends and benefactors of ACN are always praying and supporting you.


Among those who received a tablet was Hasan Marmari, 60, who returned to his home a few weeks ago after ACN completed repairing it.


Mr Marmari, who described how his son, George, went missing five years ago during military service, said: “Of course there is still so much pain and suffering for so many of us but to be finally back home and able to re-start our lives is a huge step forward and an important sign of hope.”


The Christian area of Krak des Chevaliers village came under attack in 2012 when extremists, including Muslims in the district, turned on them as part of the rebels’ campaign to take the nearby medieval Crusader castle, of crucial strategic significance as they sought to gain a stranglehold over the region. As well as repairing the houses, ACN restored St Mary’s Church, which dates back 900 years and which was badly attacked and desecrated during the violence.


Since the conflict began in 2011, the charity has completed nearly 750 projects in Syria, such as emergency help for displaced Christian families in the Valley of the Christians, which includes Krak des Chevaliers village.

Cardinal Sako named adviser at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

masihyo.com


His Holiness Pope Francis has named Chaldean Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako to the post of adviser at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Vatican.


The appointment was made by His Holiness Pope Francis in appreciation of Cardinal Sako's efforts in Christian-Muslim dialogue.


Cardinal Sako was ordained priest on June 1, 1974 for the Assyrian Archeparchy of Mosul. After his election and subsequent confirmation in 2003 he was consecrated the Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Kirkuk on September 27, 2003. He was elected to the position by a synod of bishops of the Assyrian Catholic Church on 24 October 2002. He was awarded the Defensor Fidei prize in 2008 and in 2010; he was awarded the International Pax Christi Award.


The Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church, convoked in Rome on 28 January 2013, elected him to succeed Emmanuel III Delly as Patriarch of Babylon. Sako chose Louis Raphael I as his regnal name.


In 2015, Sako proposed a "merger" or reunion of his own Chaldean Catholic Church with the Ancient Church of the East and the Assyrian Church of the East to create one united "Church of the East" with a single patriarch in union with the Pope. His proposal would have involved both his own resignation and that of Mar Addai II, followed by a joint synod of all of the bishops of all three churches to elect a new patriarch for the reunited Church of the East.


On November 14, 2015, the Synod of Bishops announced that Pope Francis had named him as one of his three appointments to that body's council.


Pope Francis made Sako a cardinal bishop in a consistory on June 28, 2018.