Iraqi women visit historic monastery after its recapture from Islamic State

Catholic News Agency | 10/10/2017 | Staff
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Mosul, Iraq, Oct 10, 2017 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Last week 300 women visited a historic monastery near Mosul after its liberation from the Islamic State – a decision their priest said was made in order to show they aren't afraid, and that Christians in Iraq are there to stay.

“We decided to go to San Behnam and Sara monastery because a lot of Christian people are afraid to go to this place, because it is sometimes dangerous,” Fr. Roni Momika told CNA Oct. 6, after returning from the visit.

Group - Monastery - World - Peace - Soldiers

He said the group wanted to go to the monastery “to pray and to tell the world that we are here and we will pray for peace, and we will pray for the soldiers, and we will pray for Christians in all the world.”

“Our message to give is for all people,” he said, “and our message is we want to put the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit out loud and to tell the people we are here.”

Fr - Momika - Syriac - Catholic - Bakhdida

Fr. Momika is a Syriac Catholic priest from Bakhdida, also known as Qaraqosh. As a seminarian he was forced to flee when Islamic State militants attacked the city, 21 miles southeast of Mosul, in 2014. After completing his studies in Lebanon, Momika returned to Iraq and was ordained in a refugee camp in Ankawa, the Christian suburb of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

He served women and youth in the camp, which held some 5,000 families, for over a year and a half as the battle to overthrow Islamic State carried on. However, he returned to Bakhdida two months ago after it was re-captured by the Iraqi army.

Families - Hometown - Capital - Iraq

Some 2,000 families joined him in returning to their hometown, which had formerly been referred to as the “Christian capital” of Iraq....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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