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From Iraqi OP Prioress - with Dominicains Strasbourg, Dominican Net
Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,
Thank you for your emails, calls and for keeping us and all the Iraqis in your prayers. You have been probably hearing different things about the situation in Iraq. It is a huge chaos and there is a lot of violence almost all over the country.
Few days ago, the ISIL occupy the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Chaldean Catholics in Mosul, which is on the left side of the city. They threw away in the garbage outside the archbishopric all the portraits of Jesus and Saints, Crosses, and all consecrated items of the church. The Mullah of Ahmed Ismail mosque near the archbishopric went there to stop them and he asked a gunman to leave the place and not destroy its contents because of the places’ sanctity, but they answered him that there will be no churches nor archbishopric in an Islamic state and they put the Islamic state flag on the archbishopric.
The ISIL have been also occupying the homes that are empty in Mosul. Many people left their homes when the violence started in Mosul last month and not everyone was able to return. Our sisters who were living in Mosul have been unable to return in the recent weeks to our convent in Mosul because of safety issues.
There are no news about the Chaldean sisters and the three orphanages (two girls and one a boy) who were kidnapped four days ago. The day after they were kidnapped there were some communication. But since yesterday, July 1st, there has been nothing and people who were communicating with us from ISIL have closed their phones.
The situation in Iraq is very worrisome. We don’t know what to expect and people are afraid and very worried of this present situation. It is really hard to imagine how sad and angry people are in this place. In Karakush- Bakhdida, the ordeal has not completely passed yet. There are rebels on one side of the town beyond the borders and the Kurdish army on the opposite side. The rebels are using some people’s farms and barns that belong to Christian families from Karakush as a base for them.
Also, the electricity and water supplies are still very limited, which makes life so difficult in this weather. Therefore, many people are planning to leave the country which is sad.
Thanks again for your prayers and please continue praying for us that peace may prevail in this land and please pray in special way for the increase of faith in these days of troubles.
Maria Hanna OP
And Dominican Sisters of saint Catherine of Siena –Iraq
July 2, 2014