Saturday, April 5, 2008
Another Priest Killed in Iraq
The Lord's Prayer in Assyrian "Aramaic"
It seems that familiarity has not lessened sadness. Another priest has been killed in Iraq. The priest is Father Yousif Adel of Saint Peter's Church. The father is, was (I hate these frequent transitions) an Assyrian Orthodox priest.
Father Adel was a 40 year old priest who was married. He lived in central Baghdad but had moved from a church in a neighborhood that was viewed as more dangerous for Christians.
Father Adel had been an engineer and then responded to the call to the priesthood when he was 34 years old. He has lived and worked in both Sunni and Shia neighborhoods.
He is described as a loving man who was optimistic and a Christian who cared about all Iraqis.
The violence against Christians in Iraq appears to go unabated despite the “surge”. While everyone is suffering in that sad country it is the ancient Christians that face extinction. This war has opened up the floodgates of ethnic and religious hatred. For 2000 years Christians have lived in the land of Ur. Now Assyrian Orthodox, Chaldean Catholics and members of other Oriental Churches face the very real possibility of ceasing to exist as a culture. The spoken language of Jesus, gone from the land. Apostolic Eastern Churches, gone, the descendants of an even more ancient people, gone.
The Holy Father calls out for an end to murder in Iraq. Now if people would only heed his cry for peace. The Kurds, Shia and Sunnis will survive this horrible period of their history. The Christians may not, what have we all done?