ASIA/IRAQ - Festival of young Christians in Ankawa. To keep hope alive

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Erbil (Agenzia Fides) - The Chaldean Church organized a three-day festival for young people in Ankawa - Erbil suburb inhabited by Christians - with a program characterized by moments of celebration, singing, prayer and reflection. The three-day festival, which has just ended and housed in the convent garden of the Chaldean Sisters Daughters of Mary Immaculate, was attended by at least 250 boys and girls, including many belonging to the families of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain that have found refuge in Ankawa after being forced to leave their homes before the advance of the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS). The theme of the festival was represented by some reflections on the figure of King David, on his travels in the land of Israel and the emblematic events of his human journey, marked by great cruelty but also by repentance for his sins, from penance and the request for forgiveness. The moments of insight into the figure of King David were highlighted by Bashar Matti Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil. Also Amel Shamon Nona, Bishop of Mosul of the Chaldeans took part in the meetings. "Usually", explains Bishop Nona to Fides Agency "a festival for young people of the Churches of northern Iraq was organized in the summer months every year. This year it was not possible, because of what happened after the arrival of the jihadists. Then a decision was taken to do it now, and in the conditions in which we live. In the three afternoons and three evenings we spent together, reflecting on the figure of David was also a way to look at our events in the light of biblical faith. In David, the situations he faces, marked by his sin led him to discover that hope comes from the Lord. It was also an attempt to help young people not to be pessimistic, not to fall into depression".
With regard to material problems, Bishop Nona told Fides that there is growing concern for the approaching cold season, since many people still live in tents. "We try to do everything we can" says Mgr. Nona "but it is not easy to find solutions for the mass of people who find themselves in difficulty. And often, there is only the Church to help them". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 11/10/2014)