Baghdad Bishop says people are frightened but strong in faith

.- Bishop Andreas Abouna, Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, has told Aid to the Church in Need that a recent attack on a church in his diocese demonstrates the daily fear that his people live in and the faith that they continue to display.

Bishop Abouna described how a parish community spent the night consoling their traumatised parish priest after a rocket was fired at his church.  Father Jamil Nissan narrowly escaped with his life when the bomb smashed through a wall at the Church of the Ascension, in the east of Baghdad about 10 days ago. The church hall was damaged but nobody was hurt. As news spread of the disaster, parishioners rushed to the church and stayed with the priest until morning in an attempt to calm his nerves.

Abouna praised the courage and faith of his people at a “desperate and very tense” time. The prelate said that he is now to the point of “expecting” attacks at any time.

“Of course, the people here are frightened,” he added, “but there is something stronger than their fear - it is their faith. When the people were told about the attack on the church, they telephoned the priest. They were very aware that the priest was alone, that as a human being he was very afraid. They wanted to stay with him.”

According to Bishop Abouna, nobody has admitted responsibility for the attack, but he is convinced that it was a deliberate assault on the Christian community.

The bishop said the incident was part of a growing cycle of violence, which the government is trying to stem with “very severe” curfews. “People are desperate,” he stated. “They have waited three years for peace and they are still waiting. This makes people very sad; they feel that there is no solution for them.”

“We always ask why the churches are targeted,” the Bishop lamented, “They are places of peace and prayer - just somewhere for Christians to come together and be happy - nothing more than that.”

Bishop Abouna also responded to reports that Christians were being targeted as alleged sympathisers with so-called ‘crusader’ forces, saying: “People here understand that we are Christians. They know that this does not mean we are one and the same as the West.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: