Iraq: New church for Christian refugees from Nineveh Plain

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Icon, Mother of Perpetual Help, Church of St Alphonsus, Rome
A new church in Erbil was inaugurated on Monday, June 27 by Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I. Many Christians fled here from their villages in the Nineveh Plain during the IS offensive last year. Their new church in the suburb of Ankawa is dedicated to Mary Mother of Perpetual Help.

The building was funded with the offerings of the faithful. Besides providing a spiritual home for the refugees it will also be a centre for their pastoral care.

The liturgy was attended by Patriarch Louis Raphael I, Archbishop Alberto Orega Martin, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq and Jordan, and Mgr Bashar Warda, who belongs to the Congregation of Redemptorist Fathers, who have a special devotion to the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, kept in Rome at the Church of St Alphonsus on the Esquiline.

During his homily Patriarch Louis described the birth of the new church as a sign of the bond that binds Iraqi Christians to the land of their fathers. He said emigration to distant countries was not the best solution for those cherish the gift of Christian life in their own land.

Source: Chaldean Patriarchate