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Catholics rebuild churches in Iraq despite ongoing violence

Fr Nizar Semaan, from the city of Mosul, has told a Rome-based news agency that faith of Iraqi Christians remains intact, and that they are rebuilding churches and chapels destroyed during recent attacks.

Fr Semaan told Fides that Christians who are still in Iraq "entrust our safety first of all to Divine Providence and we continue to pray for peace and national reconciliation in Iraq."

He also pointed out that Iraqis who left the country are sending monetary assistance to those who have remained in Iraq.

Referring to the situation in Mosul in northern Iraq, Father Semaan said, "The week was dramatic and very difficult for everyone here," as "insurgents took control of most of Mosul in only 24 hours."

He said that while some police officers have fought off assaults on police and army barracks, many others have fled leaving arms and equipment to the rebels. "The mayor of Mosul voiced harsh criticism of policemen who fled and praised those who stayed at their posts."

Fr Semaan told Fides that members of the National Guard, mostly made up of Kurds, "intervened to take control of the situation in Mosul. But now Arabs in the city are concerned about the presence of Kurds," he said.

Catholics rebuild churches in Iraq despite ongoing violence (Catholic News Agency 25/11/04)

Where is the centre of the universe? (Ekklesia 24/11/04)
"Here in Iraq things are improving for religious minorities. Everyone looks forward with optimism to the elections and a future of peace" a Chaldean monk told Fides (Fides 24/11/04)
Caritas Sends Aid to Iraqi City of Fallujah (Zenit 23/11/04)
Swedish Prelate Sees Hope for Christianity in Europe (Zenit 23/11/04)
Embattled Iraqi Catholics rebuilding bombed churches (Catholic World News 23/11/04)
Nuncio and Patriarch: " 'Yes' to the U.N., but the future is in the hands of the Iraqi people" ( 22/11/04)
Catholic Relief Services left Iraq last summer (Catholic News Service 22/11/04)

26 Nov 2004