The Voice of the suffering and persecuted
“You are the hope of Syria, you are the light in the midst of so much darkness.” The words strike a chord—deep emotion shines in the eyes of these young men and women.
“In terms of the numbers of people involved, the gravity of the crimes committed and their impact, it is clear that the persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history.”
“Is it not significant that God chose children in Fatima to be the recipients of the most momentous peace plan for the new age? The children understood the language of Our Lady and, most importantly, believed her words.”
“Our perception is that she is trying to stabilize the fragile democracy. Democracy is hard won and it took 60 years to get to where the country is today.”
“Qaraqosh, which is the largest Christian city in Iraq, is no longer as it was in the past. It has been truly devastated and has become almost frightening because of all the destruction.”
“It is a clear fact that this situation has created in Christians a state of fear and concern about the possibility that the struggle may develop into a crisis that will have far reaching repercussions for all.”
Beyond the urgency of the physical reconstruction of the Nineveh Plains, the the cardinal said, “there is the more important obligation of reconstructing Iraqi society and consolidating a harmonious and peaceful coexistence. Here, Christians have the specific position to be artisans of peace, reconciliation and development.”
“We appeal to their conscience. We do not have any weapons. Our weapon is the Word of God. We are men of the Word of God. We go and knock on the gate to the hearts of these men and women. The people can either accept this or not. It is our job and duty to tell them: thou shalt not kill.”
“To the Muslims of Marawi and Lanao del Sur, I declare that I continue to believe that we can still be united as Muslims and Christians. We are not enemies, we believe in one God.”
Still, with another 12,000 houses still to be repaired or rebuilt, Father Halemba—who serves as acting chairman of the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee (NRC)—said much more work had to be done, alongside efforts to secure significant funding.