The village was badly damaged during the fighting of recent years but the Christian community has returned—in large numbers. By now, 405 of the 580 homes that were destroyed in Bashiqa have already been rebuilt and about half of the Christians, or 1,585 people, have returned.
“May this prayer make them feel the closeness of God, who is faithful, and touch every conscience to bring about a sincere commitment to peace. May God, our Lord, forgive those who make war, those who make weapons to destroy each other. We pray for peace in beloved Syria.”
“The Pope never stops showing Iraqi Christians that he is there for them. This gift fills us with great hope and is a source of tremendous encouragement! It is important for us to remain here, to resume our lives in Iraq and to bear witness to our faith and to the values of the Gospel.”