Dinner highlights plight of Iraqi Christians, honors Baghdad cardinal

Washington DC,The plight of Iraqi Christians in the chaotic wake of the war in Iraq has, in some places, become quite desperate. After meeting with two Chaldean bishops who explained the intensity of the situation, Deal Hudson decided to get the message out by honoring Cardinal Emmanuel Delly of Baghdad with the 2008 Partnership Award.

On Friday evening, InsideCatholic.com and the Crisis Institute will hold their 13th Annual Partnership Dinner in honor of Cardinal Mar Emmanuel III Delly, the Archbishop of Baghdad, thus also recognizing the ongoing struggles of Iraqi Christians.

In an interview with CNA, Hudson explained that his concern over the circumstances of Iraqi Christians was already growing when he received an unexpected phone call requesting that he meet with Bishop Mar Mawai Soro and Bishop Sarhad Jammo, two bishops from the Chaldean Catholic Church.

After meeting with the two bishops, Hudson realized that one way to bring to attention the struggles and persecution that Iraqi Christians are experiencing, would be to honor their courage and sacrifices at the Partnership Dinner.

Although, Cardinal Emmanuel Delly is being awarded the honor, he is unable to attend because of sandstorms in Baghdad, which prevented traveling. Hudson is anticipating around 230 people to attend, including the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., Samir Shakir al-Sumaydi.

Bishop Jammo, who was a very close personal friend of Archbishop Paulos Rahho, will be paying tribute to the martyred prelate in a speech at the dinner.

The dinner will also be hosting the premier of a 17 minute film on Iraqi Christians produced by Robert Marcarelli, perhaps best known for The Omega Code. Hudson, also explained that a shorter, 7 minute version of the video will be available on Insidecatholic.com.