Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Churches Close Down, Vocations Up (Iraq)

A Chaldean Catholic bishop has disclosed that vocations to the priesthood and religious life are increasing in Iraq, even as thousands of the faithful flee the war-torn country.

Bishop Shlemon Warduni (pic'd alongside) an auxiliary on the Chaldean patriarchate of Baghdad, observed that the rise in vocations is a welcome sign of hope in a country where many Christians feel the pressure to emigrate because of the regular daily violence and the sporadic attacks aimed to intimidate the Christian minority.

Many Christian churches in Iraq are regularly empty, the bishop reported. In some parts of the country, the Divine Liturgy has not been celebrated on any regular schedule since Christmas because of the fear of attacks.

Bishop Warduni asked Christians around the world to pray for Iraq particularly during Lent, in solidarity with the suffering faithful there, and for peace and reconciliation in the country.



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