The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.
In an interview Aug. 8, an emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him.
“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he said. “I baptized his child in my church in Baghdad. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”
The fact that Andrew’s brother was named George after St George’s Anglican Church in Iraq’s capital demonstrates the strong ties the family had to the church there. The boy’s father had been a founder member of the church back in 1998 when the Canon had first come to Baghdad. White added, “This man, before he retired north to join his family was the caretaker of the Anglican church.”
ISIS, which has been called a “brutal, extremist group” and which claims to have fighters from across the world, announced the creation of a “caliphate” – an Islamic state – across its claimed territory in Iraq and Syria a month ago. There is a BBC background report here and one from the New York Times here.
The boy’s family, along with many other townspeople, has now fled to Irbil. However, news reports suggest this may be the Islamic State’s next destination…
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in the Telegraph.
I welcome the much needed ceasefire in Gaza and pray that it will lead to a lasting, long-term resolution of a bitter and tragic conflict.
However, the prospect of a lasting cessation of hostilities between a Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel will only be achieved if root causes of the conflict are fully addressed.
What we have witnessed in Gaza is not a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians but a war between Israel and Hamas – a ruthless terrorist organisation.
Within the last month alone, Hamas has fired over 3,000 missiles at population centres in Israel. In its deep-rooted desire to murder and cause maximum damage, Hamas does not distinguish between Jew, Muslim and Christian, so hell-bent is it on killing Israelis…
The Yazidi are a Kurdish ethno-religious community in Iraq. This is a deplorable situation! (and not easy to watch)…
We are being butchered under the banner of ‘There is no God but Allah’
Today a new and advanced version of Hitler is risen and his name is Abu Bakir Albagdadhi, he is carrying out the second Holocaust in our world, by targeting the Christians in Mesopotamia, and Humiliating, Killing, and displacing them, and marking them with a sign (N) which refers to Nasara, as a humiliation to the Christians.
You have three choices:
- Convert to Islam.
- Remain as a (Themi: a weak and undermined status of citizen) and pay an unknown amount of weakly tax
- Leave Mosul OR: The Sword is between us.
This is what ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) leaders told Christian (Chaldean Assyrian Syriac) people of Nineveh to do.
The Christian heritage and history in Nineveh goes back to more than 5000 years. Their ancestors built this city, made it one of the wonders of the ancient world, a beautiful example of Assyrian Chaldean history.
Today, and for the first time since 3000 BC Chaldean Assyrian Syriac people, and since 2000 years as Christians of Mosul, Nineveh is empty of its indigenous people.
More than one thousand and one hundred Christian families have fled Mousil to Kurdistan Region. Now the territories of Nineveh plain are protected by the Peshmarga and Asayesh (Kurdistan Army and Security forces) for the first time since the fall of Baath regime in 2003.
Those displaced families lost their jobs, their homes, and whatever property and belongings they had collected in decades got lost at a glance by a word of the new extremist Khalipha Albagdadi!
This systematic and ongoing ethnic cleansing and demographic changing against the Christians people started in 2004 when several churches in the middle and south of Iraq were targeted and blown up.
As a result, 11 Christians were killed and dozens injured. In the same year, more than 196 Christians were kidnapped and 322 were killed according to the report published Hamurabi Human Rights Organazation.
The series of attacks on Christians continued.
Several clergymen, bishops and priests were kidnapped and killed.
The campaign reached its peak when the bishop of Chaldean Catholic Church (Mar Polis Faraj Rahoo) was kidnapped and killed together with three of his companions in Mousil in 2008. In 2010, more than 46 Christians were killed. The extremists attacked and blew Saydat Alnajat church up in Baghdad. Two Syriac Catholic Priests were killed in the same attack.
Not only the Christian churches were destroyed, the individual Christians were attacked and persecuted too.
The Christian students were forced to wear Islamic clothes in universities in Mousil and Baghdad. And in 2010, the buses carrying the Christians students were attacked by Al-Qaida terrorists, two students and another person were killed. In addition, more than 23 others were seriously injured.
According to “Alsharq Alawsat”, a well-known newspaper, 52 Christian churches were attacked between 2004-2010 and more than 900 Christians were killed and more than one million Christians have fled Iraq.
Most of the Christians, who were unwilling to leave their homes and their town, had no choice but to move to Kurdistan.
Many of them fled also to Ankawa, a town located in the north of Erbil. It was a town of 8000 Christians inhabitants before 2003. Now there are more than 55000 Christians that are living peacefully under the good care of the Kurdistan Regional Government. Others fled to Duhok , Zakho , and Sulamania provinces.
Historically, the Christians have been living in peace and harmony with the Kurdish Muslim majority.
The President of Kurdistan, Mr. Masoud Barzani, last week said to the Christian clergy representatives: “In Kurdistan either we all die, or live together in freedom and dignity.” And this manifests the true nature of the Kurdish Government and people towards Christians of this region and towards the Christian refugees.
The same day, Neqademos Dawod Maty Sharaf , the Bishop of Syriac Orthdox Church said on the radio < Russia Today’ “Without the protection of Kurdistan, the Christians would have been slaughtered by the ISIS.”
Today and after 11 years of the American intervention in Iraq, the Christian existence is in serious danger. More than 25 Christian families are fleeing Iraq every week according to local travel agencies and the number is increasing!
So, what is the best solution to protect the Christians in Iraq?
There are several proposals argued between the different Christian and Chaldean Assyrian parties:
Firstly, the autonomy for Christians : this proposal was made by the Christian politician Sarges Aga Gan Mamando, the former Minister of Finance and the Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government. The draft of the right of getting autonomy within Kurdistan Region was submitted to voting in the Parliament in 2009.
This proposal is widely supported by the Christian political parties such as (Chaldean Syriac Assyrian popular council, Chaldean national congress, Bith Nahrin Democratic Party, Assyrian National party, Chaldean Democratic Platform, Bith Nahrin National Union, and Syriac Independent Movement).
Secondly, the self-governing province for Christians: this proposal was mentioned in the Iraqi constitution in 2005 and was supported by the Christian politician Younadam Yousif Kanna, the Member of the Iraqi Parliament and the former Minister of Industry in the Kurdistan Regional Government. This proposal was supported by Kannas (Assyrian Democratic Movement) as well.
Today the Christians people of Mesopotamia are at a crossroads, either to act fast and defend and preserve their existence in their ancestral historical land, or to face a similar destiny as the Jews in Iraq between 1948-1963. As we know, the Jews were targeted and killed for their religious identity. As a result, the whole Jewish population fled Iraq to Palestine.
How awful! As reported by Fr Z:
As you may have heard, some nitwits have scheduled use of a public venue in Oklahoma City for the purpose of a Satanic Black Mass. It is unclear if they have a consecrated Host.
This is, I think, mostly a sophomoric stunt. It is, nevertheless, a horrible blasphemy.
The Bishop of Tulsa, His Excellency Most Rev. Edward Slattery, has issued a letter to people in his diocese. HEREA letter from Bishop Slattery
Countering with Prayer the proposed Black Mass in Oklahoma City
My Dear People:
As has been widely reported, a Satanic Black Mass has been scheduled for September 21 in Oklahoma City’s Civic Center. As a part of Satanic worship, a Black Mass attempts to invert the action and meaning of the Eucharist in order to mock Christ’s sacrifice and worship Satan through an orgiastic ritual of pain and perversion. It blasphemes everything which we hold as sacred and redemptive; and the spiritual dangers it poses ought not be dismissed. Since the Civic Center has not responded positively to the pleas of the Archbishop of Oklahoma City not to host this event in a tax-payer supported public venue, I am asking the faithful Catholics in the Diocese of Tulsa to fight this blasphemy through prayer and fasting:
- Please keep the nine days prior to the Feast of the Assumption as an extraordinary period of prayer and penance. I am asking every Catholic to abstain from all meat and meat products from August 6 through the 14th. I am also asking that you consecrate your hunger with a daily recitation of a decade of the rosary and the familiar Prayer to Saint Michael. Printed copies of these prayers are available in the bulletin and at the entrances of the church. Be strong and encourage your friends to also be strong.
- On Assumption Day, August 15th, we will ask Our Lady on her Feast, to intercede for us and protect us. On that day I in the Cathedral, and every priest in his own parish, will pray a special prayer written by Pope Leo XIII for the defense of the Church against the attack of the Enemy and his apostate angels.
- Should these prayers and this period of fasting not effect the cancellation of this event, then I will ask every priest in the Diocese to conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour on September 21 at the same time (7:00 p.m.) as this profanity is being celebrated in Oklahoma City. Wherever possible, I ask that Eucharistic Processions – especially outdoor processions – be arranged as part of these holy hours. Let us give a public witness to our faith in the Eucharist which is being so profoundly mocked and ridiculed by this event.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa
To download and/or print this letter and the bulletin announcement in PDF format, click HERE.
To download and/or print the letter to the priests from Bishop Slattery which includes both the Novena prayers and the “Leonine Prayers” from the 1962 Rite of Exorcism, click HERE.
I invite all bishops and priests who read this blog, in solidarity with the Bishop of Tulsa and Archbishop of Oklahoma, to pray for the conversion of these deluded souls and for the overturning of this scheduled event.
The ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, once the most powerful capital of the ancient world, has special importance for anyone familiar with the Bible. It was the setting for the book of Jonah, a place to which God sent the prophet to warn its inhabitants of impending destruction unless they repented of their evil ways.
Today it is known as Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. And last week, almost unnoticed amid the horrific stream of news about violence in the Mideast, a fresh casualty of Islamic extremism was the towering structure that contained the tomb of Jonah. Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham who blew up the prophet’s tomb either didn’t know or didn’t care that it was Muhammad himself who, in the Quran, described Jonah as “a righteous preacher of the message of God.”