Here is the letter to Pope Francis from Iraqi Christians living in Jordan who have escaped violence and persecution from the Islamic State.
The letter was given to the Holy Father yesterday by Fr. Rif’at Bader, director of the Catholic Center for Media and Studies of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (www.abouna.org). Fr. Bader kindly shared their letter with ZENIT.
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IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – AMEN
HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS – HOLY SEE (VATICAN)
We, Iraqi Christians, now present in Jordan were constrained to emigrate from our lands because of the power of the devil, of darkness and of slavery, despite the fact that we have not committed any evil that justifies our flight.
Our only fault is that of bearing the name of Our Lord Jesus Savior and our good works of love and peace to all creatures.
And after they placed before us the choice of giving up being Christians or being killed, we had to flee from our lands with our Christ, with our faith and with our principles.
We chose to go far away from our homes and our country that we love, preferring to become strangers in a foreign land, with all the pain and suffering this entails, rather than become part of that evil and inhuman violence against the innocent.
We chose to escape, leaving behind everything that was dear to us, homes, lands, properties, to become part of the holy flock of Christ, following with conviction and joy the stages of the Via Crucis with the Crucified Christ, to be worthy of being among his sheep, members of his holy flock.
O Father, know that our faith today is much stronger than before. We are not afraid of anything because we are convinced that God is with us, and the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Savior hears our prayers and requests and resolves the problems we face every day.
This is in fact what we feel and live every day. We always thank the Lord, so that we can be reunited with him.
O good Father, simple and humble, we ask you to pray and act for us and for our wounded people in the Arab world for the forgiveness of our sins, so that the peace of Christ can reign. However, we want to pray first for all those who are the cause of all this evil and those wicked works.
We want to pray for all those who have shed the blood of many innocents, observing the laws of evil and darkness.
O Holy Father, we want you to pray so that they can repent before their Creator, so that they can become instruments of peace and love and no longer instruments in the hand of the Evil One, so that they can become true children of God.
We pray to our Loving Jesus, O Holy Father, that He will give you good health and good will and illumination so that you can continue what your predecessors initiated, from Saint Peter and Saint Paul down to the Saint of the century, Saint John Paul II and the rest of the disciples.
Finally, in the name of Christ we want to thank you for taking the time to read our humble letter.
We ask the Lord to give you strength and courage to be able to be always at the service of the poor in the whole world. May the Lord be at your side wherever you go. We thank the local Catholic Church and Caritas-Jordan for all the good they did for us, after our flight.
The fraternity of Jesus – Iraqi families in the parish of Naour / Amman – Jordan
Jamil Elias Ayoub
Amer Elias Ayoub
Daoud Shabo Daoud
Fares Nafe’ Yacoub
Dia Abalhad Moussa
Selwan Adeeb Yacoub
Ma’an George Hanna
Zeid Ghazi Tuma
Feras Ghazi Tuma
Bashar Adeeb Yacoub
Ragheed Salem Matti[Translation by ZENIT]