Iraqi Church leader offers Mass of thanksgiving for donors in the West

"There will be Christians in Iraq to continue the mission that we have been asked to do for 2000 years."

Homily by Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda

I come from Erbil, where we have worked closely with you, especially in a very difficult moment for Christianity in Iraq. Two years ago we were really afraid, terrified. Some of you came to Erbil and heard our fears and listened to all these words, which we were expressing, and saying “well, we are afraid that in time, there will be no Christians in Iraq because of what ISIS did.”

But today, we can tell you the good news that there will be Christians in Iraq. Today we can tell you that over 12,000 families of Mosul and the Nineveh Plane are waiting for news as their lands and their villages are being liberated—[waiting for the moment that] they could go back again and start their life again.

I am sure some of them will stay in Erbil. I am sure some of them probably will decide to leave the country. But at least there will be Christians in Iraq to continue the mission that we have been asked to do for 2000 years.

Archbishop Warda says Mass.jpg.2.jpg

And this was not going to happen without you. You can be proud that we are the Catholic Church, we are proud that we are really the temple of God. We are proud that we are one family and still caring for each other. And because of your help and the help of others, we can say today: “there are Christians in Iraq.”

So you have to be proud of yourself that what you have done was not in vain. That what you´ve done was really worth all the efforts that you were campaigning for, petitioning political leaders, speaking in communities, in churches, everywhere, writing articles, doing interviews.

So from Iraq, from Kurdistan, I say thank you: Thank you for all what you have done for our community, for our Church, and thank you for the continuous help. Thank you for the consultation that you are giving us, because sometimes we are so involved in this situation that we cannot see clearly, but you could see much clearer than we could see.

I offer this Mass for you, for each of you, so that God will bless you as His temple, always. And for this temple, we will have always the words and action of warm solidarity.

God bless you all.

Archbishop Warda heads the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil in Kurdish Iraq. This Mass was said at the temporary headquarters of international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, in Kronberg, Germany.

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