Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mother of 3 Year-old Assyrian Girl Kidnapped By ISIS: 'She Will Die If She Does Not See Me'

Christina Khader Ebada, a 3 year-old Assyrian girl,
was abducted from her family by ISIS as they were leaving Baghdede.

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

(AINA) -- The mother of Christina Khader Ebada, a 3 year-old Assyrian girl who was abducted from her family by ISIS as they were leaving Baghdede (AINA 2014-08-25), was interviewed by Ishtar TV, an Assyrian network based in Arbel. The interview was conducted after Christina's family reached Ankawa, just north of Arbel, where 70,000 Assyrians refugees have come in flight from ISIS.
According to a relative of the family, Christina's mother is physically handicapped and her father is blind.

Here is the text of the interview.

..."We went and sat in the big bus, and then one man came aboard, I was carrying my child in my arms, I sat in the bus and he came and took her from me, snatched her from me, and left the bus. I followed him inside [the building], and my little girl was crying inside the center. An old man, one of those ISIS people, who was apparently their leader then carried her.

He said [she is speaking in Arabic now] "is this your daughter?" I said yes. He said "she is crying for you." I told him give her back to me, poor girl, what is she guilty of? She is breast feeding from me. For the sake of Allah, for the sake of Muhammad, what do you worship? Give me this little one, she is breast feeding from me. She will die if she does not see me. I am her mother.

He said "shut up. if you speak another word I will let them slaughter you. I will call them now to slaughter you." He drew his machine gun and said "go quickly to the car. If you come close to this little girl you will be slaughtered, we shall slaughter you. Come now, go!"...


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Mother of 3 Year-old Assyrian Girl Kidnapped By ISIS: 'She Will Die If She Does Not See Me'

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Early Church Father, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church


Saint Augustine of Hippo (also known as  Aurelius Augustinus; Doctor of Grace) was born around 354 A.D., at Tagaste, Numidia, North Africa (Souk-Ahras, Algeria) as Aurelius Augustinus. He was the son of Patricius, a pagan, and of Saint Monica, and he received a Christian education. 

He lost his faith in his youth and led a wild life. He lived with a Carthaginian woman from the age of 15 through 30, and he fathered a son whom he named Adeotadus, which means the gift of God. Augustine had gone to Carthage to study law, but, he became a slave to immorality and eventually embraced the heresy of Manichaeism.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

St. Francis Dedication

The following video is from Catholic News Herald, Diocese of Charlotte

St. Francis of Assisi Church was dedicated by Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte on Aug. 16, 2014, in Jefferson, North Carolina.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Pope backs use of force against Islamic militants attacking religious minorities in Iraq | Fox News



The following excerpts are from FoxNews.com:

Pope Francis on Monday endorsed the use of force to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq but said the international community -- and not just one country -- should decide how to intervene.

Francis also said he and his advisers were considering whether he might go to northern Iraq himself to show solidarity with persecuted Christians. But he said he was holding off for now on a decision.

In other comments to journalists returning from South Korea, Francis confirmed he hoped to travel to the United States in September 2015 for a possible three-city tour: to attend a family rally in Philadelphia and to address Congress in Washington and the United Nations in New York. He said a Mexico stop on that trip was possible but not decided yet. He also said he might make one-day visit to Spain next year.

On Iraq, Francis was asked if he approved of the unilateral U.S. airstrikes on militants of the Islamic State who have captured swaths of northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria and have forced minority Christians and others to either convert to Islam or flee their homes.

"In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," Francis said. "I underscore the verb `stop.' I'm not saying `bomb' or `make war,' just `stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated."

But, he said, in history, such "excuses" to stop an unjust aggression have been used by world powers to justify a "war of conquest" in which an entire people have been taken over.

"One nation alone cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor," he said, apparently referring to the United States. "After World War II, the idea of the United Nations came about: It's there that you must discuss `Is there an unjust aggression? It seems so. How should we stop it?' Just this. Nothing more."

His comments were significant because the Vatican has vehemently opposed any military intervention in recent years, with St. John Paul II actively trying to head off the Iraq war and Francis himself staging a global prayer and fast for peace when the U.S. was threatening airstrikes on Syria last year.

But the Vatican has been increasingly showing support for military intervention in Iraq, given that Christians are being directly targeted because of their faith and that Christian communities which have existed for 2,000 years have been emptied as a result of the extremists' onslaught.

The U.S. began launching airstrikes against Islamic State fighters on Aug. 8, allowing Kurdish forces to fend off an advance on their regional capital of Irbil and to help tens of thousands of religious minorities escape.

Church teaching allows for "just wars," when military force can be justified under certain circumstances. And in recent days, a few Vatican officials have edged increasingly toward acknowledging the Iraq situation fits the bill.


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Pope backs use of force against Islamic militants attacking religious minorities in Iraq | Fox News


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Najaf Takes in Christians Displaced By Islamic State


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

NAJAF, Iraq -- After Christians were forced to leave Mosul and other areas that fell under the control of the Islamic State (IS), Kurdish and Shiite dominated cities opened their doors to receive them. Religious authorities adopted stances supporting Christians, as they called on residents to host and help their brothers in the country.

The Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, one of the prominent religious institutions in Najaf, issued on July 30 a statement in support of Christians and minorities in Iraq. An excerpt of the statement reads, "We announce our readiness to receive the displaced Iraqi families, be they Christians or Muslims. We call on all Iraqis to offer aid for the displaced families and protect them from the aggressors, in accordance with the principles of humanitarian and national fraternity."


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Najaf Takes in Christians Displaced By Islamic State



Saturday, August 09, 2014

Syria's Christians Under Threat


The following excerpts are from Aina.org:

The wildfire victories of the Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) in northern Iraq and Syria have left the area's minorities under threat.

Torn between fighting back and leaving for good, Assyrians, Syriacs, Armenians, and Kurds, all inhabitants of the area and part of its rich historic legacy, are weighing their ever-diminishing options.

IS policies, inspired by a fanatical version of Islam, were made clear in its conquest of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. There, they destroyed Christian and Shiite places of worship and demanded that all non-Muslims pay the jizya, an ancient poll tax, observe a certain dress code, or convert to Islam.

Exile is another option that the IS has offered to the conquered population. Many escaped before the arrival of the hardened followers of the Al-Qaeda affiliate, which recently declared its leader a caliph and demanded that all Muslims obey him.

Last week, IS forces converged on Al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria, a province dominated by Christians, and claimed it would annex it to its expanding territories.

IS leaders said that they plan to "liberate" the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah from the "hands of the infidels," an epithet which it uses indiscriminately in reference to Muslims and non-Muslims who oppose its brutal methods.

The IS has proved itself to be a tough adversary in battle. Its fighters are toughened by years of fighting in both Iraq and Syria, and have a high morale after their recent successes. Armed with superior weaponry stolen from the arms depots of the Iraqi army, IS fighters are now engaged in skirmishes near Al-Hasakah, testing the city's defences before an assault.

Inside the city, the various communities have come together to defend themselves. Reports from the beleaguered city speak of a growing coalition of Kurds, Christian militia, and regime forces -- groups that have conflicting agendas but are now united by the threat of a common enemy.


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Syria's Christians Under Threat



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