"Your Love is Better than Life" (Psalm 62)

A testimony on the life of Christians facing terror and death by Archbishop Amel NONA, exiled Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Iraq; a refugee family in Erbil, Kurdistan (on telecast); Fr. Pier Battista PIZZABALLA, Custodian of the Holy Land; and Marta ZAKNOUN (moderator), journalist. This event is organized in collaboration with the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Inc.

“One of the most overwhelming human tragedies of recent decades are the terrible consequences that the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have on civilian populations as well as on cultural heritage. Millions of people are in distressing state of urgent need. They are forced to leave their native lands. …There are many victims of this conflict: I think of all of them and I pray for all. However, I cannot fail to mention the serious harm to the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, where many brothers and sisters are oppressed because of their faith, driven from their land, kept in prison or even killed. For centuries, the Christian and Muslim communities have lived together in these lands on the basis of mutual respect. Today the very legitimacy of the presence of Christians and other religious minorities is denied in the name of a “violent fundamentalism claiming to be based on religion” Yet, the Church responds to the many attacks and persecution that she suffers in those countries by bearing witness to Christ with courage, through her humble and fervent presence, sincere dialogue and the generous service in favor of whoever that are suffering or in need without any distinction.”

— Pope Francis, excerpt from the Address of the Participants of the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” on the Iraqi-Syrian humanitarian crisis, September 17, 2015

What is the situation of Christians today in Iraq, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East? In that situation, is it still possible to look for happiness without being dominated by fear and hatred? Can one look at people of a different religion or culture without distrust or indifference, but rather as an occasion to deepen one’s own identity?

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