Life after Liberation: Rebuilding Christianity in Iraq after IS has gone

  • Written by:

Iraq, IS, Fr Salar Kajo, Bishop Matthew Kukah, ACN, Aid to the Church in Need
Christians return to village of Bartella this Easter
Christian leaders at the heart of efforts to rebuild Iraqi towns and villages liberated from Daesh (ISIS) will speak about their work during events in Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston next week. Aid to the Church in Need, the charity that helps persecuted Christians around the world, is delighted to announce the visit of two figures central to assisting Iraqi Christian refugees to return to ancestral homelands after they were occupied for up to three years by Daesh.

Fr Salar Kajo, the parish priest of St George’s Church, Teleskeof, is overseeing the resettlement of a town over-run and destroyed by terrorists on two occasions since 2014. He will be accompanied by Stephen Rasche, who serves as the programme coordinator for the return of Christian refugees of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil.

The pair will be joined by Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto, northern Nigeria, who will speak about the needs of his people in an area still blighted by Boko Haram terrorist violence.

The visitors will talk about their work to secondary school children in Preston and in Manchester on Monday, 9 October and Tuesday, 10 October.

They will also speak to the wider public at the Lancaster University Catholic Chaplaincy Centre between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on 9 October and at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on 10 October. Admission is free.

The three speakers will travel to London to join other international guests for the Aid to the Church in Need Event at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, 14 October. Mass at 10.30am is followed by talks in the cathedral hall.

There will be a presentation of ‘Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for Their Faith’, the latest annual report into persecution globally by Aid to the Church in Need.

Dr Caroline Hull, manager of the North West office of Aid to the Church in Need, said: “We are delighted to welcome our visitors from Nigeria and Iraq to the North West. I know that they are looking forward to sharing their experiences with all who are able to attend our public events and also with the young people at our Q&A sessions for schools. Life for Christians in places like Iraq and Nigeria can be extremely difficult and ACN, along with our thousands of generous benefactors, can provide hope for a brighter future to those who are suffering.”