Baghdad Bishop says people are frightened but strong in faith
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- 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

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 1:14-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 1:14-20