Baghdad – The blood of Iraqi martyrs is a
"source of inspiration" that can provide
“spiritual values" to fill “our life with
hope, human dignity, tolerance and peace,”
writes Chaldean primate Mar Louis Raphael
Sako in a message to the Chaldean community
and sent to AsiaNews for wider circulation.
The occasion is the Day of the Chaldean
Martyrs, which will be celebrated tomorrow,
In his letter, the prelate looks at the
violence the Chaldean Church endured in the
recent years of darkness, hoping that the
nation can rid itself of "all forms of
terrorism" and find “stability". Noting the
Church’s long trail of blood – from the
first martyrs and the genocide of 1915 to
the death of Mgr Rahho –, Mar Sako calls for
faster reconstruction of the villages and
cities destroyed in the conflict.
At this historical juncture, the aim of
this is to help displaced people return and
“preserve the remaining number of Christians
in Iraq” as well as “disperse darkness from
this land". The patriarch’s message follows.
The commemoration of the martyrs of our
Church takes place on the Friday following
Easter, which means it comes within the
celebration of the Easter-Resurrection of
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Historically, our Church has been
generous in shedding blood for the sake of
faith, such as Mar Shimon Barssaba’i and his
companions in early centuries, followed by
Bishops: Adday Sher, Jacob Abraham, Thomas
Audo and hundreds of others. As well as the
unforgettable genocide in 1915 and recently
in 2008 Archbishop Faraj Rahho, Father
Ragheed Kenny, their comrades by the
extremists of al-Qaeda.
The resurrection and the blood of the
martyrs are a source of inspiration and have
a spiritual value that fills our life with
hope, human dignity, tolerance and peace.
Our nation will rise up and get rid of all
forms of terrorism, killing, destruction and
displacement, and will enjoy security,
stability, economic and social prosperity.
Remembering Martyrs at Easter time
provides us with hope, renew our trust in
life, and fulfil our wishes.
Currently, there is more awareness among
the church leadership in the Middle East,
that strength comes from our unity, the same
thing applies to Christians at-large at this
region. Therefore, they are looking forward
for more interaction between the church
leadership at this critical time.
As, we hope that the clergy and the
faithful will be aware of the challenges and
threats, we encourage them to realize their
responsibilities in working as one team,
because their existence and strength relies
on unity, which is the only way to make
changes. Christians are also called to be
committed to their “sacred” homeland,
believing deeply that good deeds, love and
peace will ultimately overcome injustice.
Joining Pope Francis, I would like to
stress, that the spiritual, human and social
message of the Church is universal: stating
that our mission is to serve and love by
following Christ. We must find ways to
provide more comfort, stability and
well-being to people after all the anguish
they have suffered from terrorism and
destruction. One of these ways, is to build
the villages and cities that were destroyed
by conflict in order to allow the internally
displaced people returning to their homes.
We hope that this special occasion will
provide a new vision for the mission of the
Church, especially that we need in such
circumstances to preserve the remaining
number of Christians in Iraq and create more
interaction between clergy and their
faithful on one hand and between them and
their fellows of other religions on the
other hand to disperse darkness from this
land of civilizations.