“May God bless you” – Christians Iraqi bishops thank Aid to the Church in Need

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(Archbishop Warda (centre) with some of the staff and pupils of the newly constructed St Mary’s school, gather in the courtyard of the school complex. The school is in the city of Ankawa in the archdiocese of Erbil © Aid to the Church in Need)
Posted by ACN News
“May God bless you”
• On the anniversary of the flight of tens of thousands of Christians Iraqi bishops thank Aid to the Church in Need for funding schools
By Oliver Maksan

On the first anniversary of the flight of more than 120,000 Christians on 6th August, the Catholic Bishops from northern Iraq thanked the Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for setting up schools for refugee children. In two Chaldean dioceses and a Syriac-Catholic diocese provisional schools were erected from prefabricated components for children and young people who were forced to flee from the terrorist group “Islamic State” together with their parents last year.

“We would like to thank you for your kind support for our community during this difficult time, when thousands of Christian families were forced to leave their homes and properties due to the ISIS attack last June to August 2014,” said Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil. “We are especially grateful for your help for our students in building 5 schools for them in our Archdiocese, the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil, which were completed in the city of Ankawa on land owned by our archdioceses. “Two of the five schools are consequently being used for about 1100 students aged 18 to 25 who were forced to flee, including not only Christians, but also Muslims and Yazidi.

The Chaldean Bishop of Zakho and Ammadeya, Rabban Al Qas, also thanked Aid to the Church in Need. “The Chaldean diocese of Zakho and Ammadeya will take full responsibility for the administration of 2 schools dedicated to internally displaced persons. Thank you so much for your kind help and caring love. We assure you of our prayers for our benefactors and ask for your prayers. May God bless you all with His care and love.”

Another school is being run under the auspices of the Syriac-Catholic Archdiocese of Mosul, Kirkuk and Kurdistan. Archbishop Youhanna Botros Moshi recently wrote to Aid to the Church in Need, “We are especially grateful for your help in supporting our pupils by building a school in the city of Dohuk,” the Syriac-Catholic Archbishop said.

(Some of the students of St Mary’s school in Ankawa, Erbil © Aid to the Church in Need)

By building the schools from prefabricated parts Aid to the Church in Need wanted to help prevent the pupils concerned from having to go without schooling for the as yet unforeseeable duration of their exile. In all, about 7,200 mainly Christian children are to be taught in what is now eight schools. They will be taught by teachers from the Christian towns currently occupied by ISIS. The central government in Baghdad will pay for the upkeep of the teaching staff. The classrooms are to be used not only for schooling, but also for catechetical instruction and other church activities.

(A joyful Archbishop Warda at the front gates of the newly constructed St Mary’s school © Aid to the Church in Need)

ACN is helping the Christian refugees in Iraq in many ways. Immediately following the 6th of August, a delegation travelled to Iraq to get an idea of what was happening. Since then, about $10.5 million have been spent to house and care for the people and to build a number of schools for thousands of refugee children. The charity is calling for prayers on 6th August for Christians in need in Iraq. To join the event please click on this Facebook link.

Editor’s Notes

Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 162 languages and 48 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
While ACN gives full permission for the media to freely make use of the charity’s press releases, please acknowledge ACN as the source of stories when using the material.

For more information or to make a donation to help the work of Aid to the Church in Need, please contact the Australian office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: info@aidtochurch.org or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153.

On Line donations can be made at www.aidtochurch.org