IRAQ: FROM TODAY FOR THREE DAYS, THE CHALDEAN CHURCH FOLLOWS NINEVEH’S FAST

Nineveh’s fast, which comes three weeks before Lenten fast, officially starts this morning in Ankawa with Mass officiated in the Chaldean Church of Saint Josep. The fast, which according to the Chaldean Catholic tradition, actually began on the night of Sunday 28th, will last three days from today and will involve totally abstaining from all food and drinks from midnight to midday the next day, when people will be able to eat anything except animal foods and sauces. The liturgy will be in the Aramaic language, while, for the increasingly large Chaldeian community escaping violence in the rest of Iraq, who are less familiar with the language, another Mass, in Arab this time, will be celebrated in the afternoon. As early as December 2006, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeians, Emmauel III Delly, had invited the congregation in Iraq and in the rest of the world to adhere to Nineveh’s fast "so that the Lord would grant Iraq the gift of peace, security and stability, and a climate of brotherhood and love would settle amidst the children of Iraq". In the meantime, the website baghdadhope informed that the Babel College, the only Christian theology faculty in Iraq, recently moved from Baghdad to Ankawa, is now working so well it can offer students English courses in addition to the usual philosophy and theology courses.

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