Silent night: midnight Mass canceled in Iraq over security concerns

The war may be over, but the violence and fear are continuing — and that’s prompted Church officials to call off midnight celebrations of Mass.

From CNS:

Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq told the agency Aid to the Church in Need that Christians will spend Christmas in “great fear” because of the risk of new attacks.

All services and Masses have been scheduled for daylight hours, he said in an interview with Rome-based AsiaNews.

“Midnight Christmas Mass has been canceled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians,” he said, citing the Oct. 31, 2010, attack on the Syrian Catholic cathedral that left 57 people dead in the Iraqi capital.

Archbishop Sako also expressed concern over the growing conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims vying for political power. He said the conflict has led to growing instability, especially in the days since the pullout of U.S. military troops in mid-December.

The archbishop’s concerns follow a series of incidents in the northern province of Kurdistan, which had been considered safe haven for Christians.

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6 responses to “Silent night: midnight Mass canceled in Iraq over security concerns”

  1. We left Iraq in worse shape than we found it. While Sadam was a tyrant, at least the Christian community had certain protection and lived in relative peace. Now the country is rented by civil strife, the Iranians sway as the main influence, hundreds or thousands have died, Christians have fled if they could and there seems to be no end in sight to their woes. Mission accomplished.

  2. Those of us who said pulling out now from Iraq was a huge mistake have been vindicated. I wish we could immigrate the Christians here. May God be with them. I don’t see a happy future.

  3. Prayers for our Assyrian/Chaldean and Syriac brothers and sisters in harm’s way: May the Holy Angels of Christ our God surround and protect them; May the prayers of His All-Holy Mother, His Faithful, and His Holy Ones strengthen, sustain, and comfort them; May their assailants and persecutors even yet come to repentance, conversion, forgiveness, and peace in the infinite mercy of Him Who is Good, and loves mankind.

  4. WAIT! I thought “W” said we had solved everything in 2 weeks! What was with the 8 or so years solving their problems? The trouble makers in the country were just waiting for us to leave—we can’t stay forever—and now they have to handle their own country. IMO it was a total mistake going in there —-(that’s not news to anyone).

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