IRAQ: CHRISTMAS IN MOSSUL, WARDUNI (BAGHDAD) "THE COURAGE TO BE CHRISTIANS". MEMORY BY MSGR. RAHHO

"About 1,200 families are back but the fear is not over. In spite of that, we shall celebrate a good Christmas". With this spirit, the Christian community of Mossul is going to live the next Christmas, the first one without its bishop, Msgr. Paulos Faraj Rahho, kidnapped and killed last March. "Marked by a senseless violence which forced them to escape – declared to SIR the patriarchal vicar of Baghdad, Msgr. Shlemon Warduni, who is in close touch with the local ecclesial community, – the Christians of Mossul will celebrate Christmas in an atmosphere of fear, but with the courage granted them by faith. The priests of the diocese met exactly yesterday, guided by their patriarchal procurator, to set up celebrations. The purpose is to celebrate Christmas as usual, even though fear and suffering for the death of Msgr. Rahho are clearly felt. In spite of fear, the priests of Mossul told me that they expect a high number of believers at Masses". Even though nothing is confirmed at present, "it seems that the Christian places of worship will be carefully controlled by the army during Christmas festivities, for reasons of cautiousness linked to security. The fact that there were improvements in relation to security is not sufficient", said the bishop, who counts on the appointment of the successor of Msgr. Rahho at the beginning of 2009. ” “

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