Catholic priest in Middle East struggles to preserve what remains of the faith

Four Horsemen

He is rounding up ancient manuscripts and relics and hiding them in secure locations around Kurdistan, hoping to save them from the iconoclastic fury of the terror insurgency.

“If Daesh burns down a church we can rebuild it, but the manuscripts are our history. They trace back our roots, they are part of our civilization,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group. “If they get destroyed, then we are lost, and our culture will be forgotten.”

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Seen on the web: Irrefutable logic

An interesting letter in the Canadian Shooter Magazine, which I quote:

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq Theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington, DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means you are about 25 per cent more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the U.S., than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington!

Patrick J. Buchanan: Syrian Christians likely to be biggest losers if govt. falls

The secular despot Saddam Hussein protected the Christians. But the U.S. liberation brought on their greatest calamity since the time of Christ. Scores of thousands of those Iraqi Christians fleeing terrorism and persecution after 2003 made their way to Syria, where they received sanctuary from President Bashar Assad.

Now, as the FT and Washington Post report, the Christians of Syria, whose forebears have lived there since the time of Christ, are facing a pogrom should the Damascus regime fall.

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The violence against Christians in Iraq is real and is driven by Muslim extremists and government indifference.

The last year has seen bombings directed at Catholic students from the University of Mosul and the massacre at the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, he continued.

He said he personally knows people were only allowed to escape from the church with their lives after renouncing their faith to their kidnappers.

Though the government has decried the attacks and announced its “closeness” to the Christian victims, “the attacks have become ever more ferocious,” he said.

“Amid all this should the world have been silent? Should such a miserable and humiliating position be tolerated?”

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West cannot understand risk of ‘Islamization,’ Iraqi archbishop warns

Kirkuk, Iraq, Feb 11, 2011 / 01:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The secular western world is incapable of fully understanding the threat of a “reawakening of Islam” in the Middle East, according to an Iraqi bishop beset by radical movements in his own archdiocese.

In an interview with the Italian bishops’ SIR news agency, Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Iraq, called the Middle East a “scary volcano” because of the possible consequences of widespread unrest.

“There are Islamic forces and movements that wish to change the Middle East, creating Islamic States, caliphates, in which Shariah (law) rules,” he warned.

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“The strength you get from praying the rosary is remarkable. People in the military learn that pretty quickly.”

Ranger Rosary

That’s true, agreed Father Bill Devine, a military chaplain in Iraq.

“As I travel around, celebrating Mass or talking with Marines, I see the rosary hanging inside their vehicles, tanks and living quarters,” Father Devine wrote to Ranger Rosary volunteers. “They have it hung over their racks or on their flak jackets. Many wear them around their necks. They are an ever-constant reminder of the power of Our Lady’s intercession and protection on these young men.”

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Make ’em. Buy ’em. Donate ’em.

Witness to the carnage, stories from those who were inside the Baghdad church.

When they arrived, they opened fire right away, killing Fr Wasim who was closing the church’s door, shooting in every direction, telling people to lie on the floor, and not to move or shout. Someone was able to send some text messages with a mobile phone, but the attackers shot at anyone who was using a mobile. Fr Tha’er was killed at the altar in his liturgical vestments, still celebrating the mass. His brother and mothers were also killed. Then the slaughter began. We cannot tell you what everyone told us. Even crying children were killed. Some people fled to the sacristy, and blocked the door. Yet the attackers went up to the church’s balcony and threw hand grenades through the sacristy windows, which are high up.

All leads to think that it was a well-planned attack, and that they had inside help. How could they otherwise get through the police line (which blocks the road that leads to the church), and know how to get to the balcony, etc.? They fired at the air-conditioning machines so that gas could be released and kill anyone who was nearby. They fired at the cross, laughing, taunting people: ‘Tell him to save you!’ Then, they recited the call to prayer ‘Allāhu Akbar, la ilaha illa allāhu . . .’. When the soldiers were on the verge of coming in, they blew themselves up.

Link

His Wrath Upon Their Heads


Revelation 1:9-10  I, John, your brother
and your partner in tribulation

and in the kingdom and patience in Christ Jesus,
was in the island which is called Patmos,
for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus.
I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day
and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet…

Revelation 1:13-18  And in the midst
of the seven golden candlesticks,
one like to the Son of man,
clothed with a garment down to the feet,
and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
And his head and his hairs were white as white wool
and as snow.
And his eyes were as a flame of fire:
And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace.
And his voice as the sound of many waters.
And he had in his right hand seven stars.
And from his mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword.
And his face was as the sun shineth in his power.
And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead.
And he laid his right hand upon me, saying:
Fear not.
I am the First and the Last, And alive, and was dead.
And behold I am living for ever and ever
and have the keys of death and of hell.

***

There has been an orgy of violence in Iraq this week, as terrorists have set off a series of bombs, murdering well over 100 people. But what happened last Sunday was so utterly horrific that it merits special, and thunderous, condemnation, backed up with lethal force if necessary.

On Sunday, an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group stormed into the cathedral of the Syriac Catholic Church, Our Lady of Deliverance, during the evening Mass. They immediately killed the priest offering the Holy Mass – three priests in all were murdered. They began shooting members of the congregation, and held hostage others who took refuge in a locked room. When the security forces stormed the church, the jihadists killed as many as they could, and some of them set off the suicide bombs on their belts.

Close to 60 Catholics were killed. In their cathedral. At Mass. It has now come to this, where Christians are killed at prayer by Muslim fanatics.

Christians have been in Iraq from the earliest centuries, long before there was an Iraq or, one might note, there was Islam. Jihadists have launched a campaign with genocidal intent, aimed at driving out every last Christian from what they consider to be an Islamic land. It is now clear that the only place such jihadists envision for Christians in Iraq is the grave.

Read more from Father Raymond J. De Souza

The Murderers of Christianity

Revelation 6:4
And there went out another horse that was red.
And to him that sat thereon,
it was given that he should take peace from the earth:
and that they should kill one another.
And a great sword was given to him.

Sunday, on the eve of All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, 2010, the faithful gathered at the Assyrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad.

As Father Wassim Sabih finished the mass, eight al-Qaida stormed in, began shooting and forced him to the floor. As the priest pleaded that his parishioners be spared, they executed him and began their mission of mass murder.

When security forces broke in, the killers threw grenades to finish off the surviving Christians and detonated explosive-laden vests to kill the police. The toll was 46 parishioners and two priests killed, 78 others wounded, many in critical condition after losing limbs.

Within 48 hours, al-Qaida in Mesopotamia issued a bulletin: “All Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the (holy warriors).”

It was the worst massacre of Christians yet. For Assyrian Catholics known as Chaldeans, whose ancestors were converted by St. Thomas the Apostle, the U.S. war of liberation has been seven years of hell.

Read more from Pat Buchanan

37 killed in Iraq, as a Catholic church is taken over by terrorists

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi security forces stormed a Catholic church Sunday where gunmen suspected of having ties to al Qaeda were holding worshippers hostage, ending an hours-long standoff, police officials said Sunday.

Thirty-seven people were killed in the operation, including hostages, kidnappers and security workers, they said. At least seven of the victims were hostages, police officials said, while another 57 were wounded.

Eight suspects were arrested.

More…

Marine shot in head twice, survives, credits St. Michael the Archangel

Gunnery Sgt. Shelton, a 36-year-old veteran from Nashville, said he had never seen a Marine survive a direct shot to the head.

But next to him was Cpl. Christopher Ahrens, who quietly mentioned that two bullets had grazed his helmet the day the Marines attacked Marjah. The same thing, he said, happened to him three times in firefights in Iraq.

Cpl. Ahrens, 26, from Havre de Grace, Md., lifted the camouflaged cloth cover on his helmet, exposing the holes where the bullets had entered and exited.

He turned it over to display the picture card tucked inside, depicting Michael the Archangel stamping on Lucifer’s head. “I don’t need luck,” he said.

Read the whole story

Ok, finally a few minutes to write …

A letter from my cousin Rich …  who is doing his 3rd tour in Iraq.
Thought y’all would find it interesting – Doria2

Subject: Hey

Ok, finally a few minutes to write.

Sept 11, 2008
Today they had a special tribute dedicated to the victims of 9/11.

There was personnel from 4 different countries, all standing together in the same formation. American, British, Australian & French.

All UNITED under one cause: Stop terror from where ever in the world it tries to seed itself and take root.

It is ironic to me, that I am here now standing outside the very steps Saddam Hussein had walked on.

We had a supervisors conference in the same room Saddam ran his war from. I vividly remember the video of this conference room on TV.

Now I am at the same table, with an all marble floor, walls & columns.

The picture I sent is just outside his building. You can’t see anything but the top of the building because it is blocked by blast walls, but I am here & I happy to be here with 2 of my closest friends in the world.

It has been really quiet here. No attacks for the last 3 months. You would never know that from watching the news.

Today, it was nice until about 10:00 AM when the sun really came out & the temperature peaked at 120 degrees. It was better than yesterday. It was hot but the wind was blowing all the dust up. You couldn’t see 40 feet in front of you.

Well, I am getting tired. It is my third straight 14 hour day.

Hope everyone is doing good.

Richie

Submitted by Doria2

Iraqi Archbishop’s death could drive Christians “underground”.

Archbishop’s death could drive Iraqi Christians underground

Baghdad, Mar 14, 2008 / 03:37 am (CNA).- A group called Iraqi Christians in Need (ICIN) has said that the killing of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho in Mosul could force the Church underground.

Archbishop Rahho was kidnapped by assailants on February 29 in Mosul. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Chaldean church officials said that the Archbishop’s captors made “impossible” demands in exchange for his safe return, among them financial support for opposing Americans.

Archbishop Rahho’s body was discovered on Wednesday. His abductors had claimed he was “very ill,” and later buried his body.

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