Thursday, March 6, 2008

Praying for the Chaldean Archbishop

Mosul Iraq continues to be the focus of prayers by Christians throughout the Middle East. The whereabouts of the Chaldean Archbishop who was kidnapped earlier in the week continues to be a mystery. What is clear is that the kidnappers are demanding money and political concessions the church can not agree to. The bishop has health problems and requires daily medications. He has not been heard from since the kidnapping took place.

The attacks underscore how violent Iraq is today. However, what is also clear is that it is dangerous to be a Christian in many parts of the world.

In Nigeria a police officer was killed and two Christian teenagers were injured when Muslim youth went on a rampage after rumors of article defaming the Prophet were spread. In the town of Balaghat in India Hindu Extremist attacked Christians in their home. When the President of Balaghat Christian Association defended the victims he was then attacked. Last spring extremist entered a Christian publishing office in Turkey. The intruders tied up three people in the office, tortured them and then killed them. It is not safe to be a Christian in many parts of the world.

However, at this time much of the world is focused on Mosul. A special Chaldean Mass was said in Rome. Eastern Christians, Catholic and Orthodox are united in praying for the safety of the Archbishop. He represents the precarious position of these ancient Christians in their homeland. Let us join our prayers with our brothers and sisters around the world for the safe return of Archbishop Paulus Faraj Rahho.

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