Rome, Italy, Feb 1, 2017 / 06:01 am
An Iraqi priest who was forced to flee his village when the Islamic State seized the area in 2014 said the hardship and persecution Christians in Iraq have experienced has taught them what it really means to fully live out their faith.
"What we have witnessed is a message for us, so we may reconsider what the objectives of being Christian should be, what it means to live as a Christian to the fullest, not through empty words, and not as something that can be carried away by the wind," Fr. Karam Shamasha told CNA.
Fr. Shamasha is from Telskuf, a town on the Nineveh plain 10 miles south of Alqosh. At one time there were more than 120,000 Christians there, he said: "In my village everybody was Christian. There was no other religion."
As a parish priest in the Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh, Fr. Shamasha served some 1,500 Christian families before the Iraq War started.