DAILY CATHOLIC CHRISTMAS ISSUE December 23-27, 1998 vol. 9, no. 248
NEWS & VIEWS
CHURCH IN IRAQ THANKS GOD AFTER AIR BOMBING ENDS
ROME, 22 (NE) After the ceasing of the recent Anglo-American air bombing over Iraq, the Catholic community in the Mid East country thanked God for listening to their insistent prayers. "We have prayed everyday so that the attacks end. Now we pray to God and we thank Him for the end of the air bombings… Now we can celebrate Christmas," said Father Bassel Marrougi, from the parish Sacred Heart, in Al Wadha, a neighborhood in Northwest Baghdad. Ceasing the attacks five days before the celebration of Christmas has filled with joy the hearts of the catholic Iraqis. The possibility of a new attack and the difficult economic situation that Iraq is going though due to the blockade and the sanctions that the UN has imposed for more than 8 years generate an atmosphere of great suffering and tension in the Iraqi people.
The Catholic community in Iraq is trying to confront this fact
with hope in the Lord and with fervent prayers. The Catholic
Church in Iraq, say official sources, has 621,000 members, which
represents 3.04% of its population. The bordering countries to
Iraq have considerably less: Syria has 295,000 Catholics
(2.08%), Kuwait has 152,00 (9.14%), Jordan has 66,000 (1,21%),
Turkey has 30,000 (0.05%) and Iran has 13,000 (0,02%).
Therefore, within the countries of the region, Iraq is the one
that has, by far, the greatest number of Catholics and is the
second in percentage compared to its total population.
Furthermore, it is one of the Muslim countries where Catholics
are best treated.
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NEWS & VIEWS