‘If we are not praying in a consistent and constant way for other members of the Church — wherever they are — who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ, how can we claim to be faithful followers of the Lord?’
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The shrine, which will be the third of its kind in the world, is the brainchild of Father Benedict Kiely.
COMMENTARY: One beautiful sign of hope is the opening of a new church in Erbil, where the first Masses were to be celebrated at Christmas.
As Pope Francis embarks upon his apostolic trip to Iraq this week, Father Kiely asks, ‘Do we believe we are the Body of Christ that is being persecuted today?’
The March 5-8 pilgrimage aims to facilitate Francis’ push toward global human fraternity and help Iraqi Christians, but mounting COVID restrictions and recent bomb attacks are leading to increasing calls for the visit to be postponed.
Founder of charity helping persecuted Christians reflects on a visit last week to some of the liberated towns and villages in northern Iraq.