Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Iraqi Christians Rebuild Churches

VATICAN CITY, JULY 29, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Christian communities of southern Iraq launched a campaign for the restoration of churches that have been damaged due to negligence and the war, reports Zenit News:

The news, published by the "BaghdadHope" Web site, was given by Father Imad Aziz Al Banna, of the Archdiocese of Basra of the Chaldeans. He explained that the local Christian community requested that the government finance the project. The community is working in cooperation with the office in charge of non-Muslim groups, and other government ministries.

The priest mentioned the recent reopening of the church of Um Al Azhan in Al-Amarah, and expressed his confidence in the preservation of the Christian religious heritage. He affirmed his hope that the present security situation will encourage this initiative, which he said is urgent since some Christian families who fled southern Iraq are now returning.

The church, built in 1880, was restored. A Mass and baptism were held there, celebrated by Father Al Banna at the end of June.