Most people know that Christians in the Middle East have recently endured severe persecution at the hands of ISIS. But most people don’t know that, for years, a brotherhood of men have been quietly and vigilantly working behind the scenes on behalf of those Christians. These men are the Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world.
The Hungarian Lutheran Bishop Tamás Fabiny visited the Middle East and Africa to meet communities of persecuted Christians. In an interview with ECHO TV, a Hungarian television channel, he said: “In Iraq, we discovered the ancient roots of Christianity.” He stressed how it is extremely important to help Christian communities in their own country so that they do not have to flee their ancestors’ land. Together with the Hungarian ecumenical agency, ‘Interchurch Aid,’ Bishop Tamás presented a donation from Hungarian Lutherans to the Iraqi people in need.
Sister Ban Madleen, a Dominican sister from Iraq who had to flee ISIS, has once again been denied entry to the United Kingdom.
Madleen was attempting to visit her sick sister, who lives in the country, but immigration officials said that she had not provided enough evidence that she was not going to overstay her visa and attempt to live in the U.K. permanently. Madleen runs a kindergarten in Iraq and belongs to a religious community there, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena.
Living a normal life in Iraq in the aftermath of the devastating rule of Isis presents significant challenges to the country. The task is not just about rebuilding the necessary infrastructure but first and foremost its about strengthening local families and communities. To this effect and with the help of the Virgin Mary, a three-day long event was organised in the Iraqi city of Qaraqosh, where the people gathered to support the Iraqi Christian women by celebrating the new Feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, introduced by Pope Francis.