Un Ponte per...
Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - Young Christians, Yazidis and Shabaks, offer white roses and sweets to their Muslim fellow citizens on the occasion of Eid al Fitr, the Islamic festival that ends the holy month of Ramadan. This is what happened in Mosul, on the morning of Tuesday 4 June, on the initiative of the Italian association "Un Ponte per ...". This was reported by leaders of the association: "We celebrated this special day for the Muslim community together with the girls and boys of our Conflict Prevention Teams. Young people belonging to the Christian, Yazida, and Shabak community, arrived in Mosul from across the Nineveh Plain, to pay homage to their Muslim sisters and brothers with flowers and sweets after morning prayer". The distribution took place in particular in front of the Rashan mosque, in the district of al Muthanna, one of the most devastated during the military operations carried out to take away the city from the jihadist occupation.
The initiative is part of the programs implemented by "Un Ponte per" with the aim of promoting reconciliation between the various components of Iraqi society, torn apart by sectarian conflicts. "The future", underline the leaders of the association, "is to imagine that every person can follow their own religious beliefs and express it freely, with respect and friendship, sharing traditions and happy moments".
On February 28th (see Fides, 1/3/2019), "Un Ponte per ..." had helped celebrate the "Mass for peace" at the Syriac Catholic Church of St. Thomas in Mosul, still full of rubble. The liturgy had also seen the participation of Muslims and members of non-Christian minorities, in sign of the hope to see the end of contrasts among the different components of the local population. On that occasion, the Eucharistic liturgy was celebrated by the Syrian Catholic Archbishop Boutros Moshi.
The news on the return to Mosul and the Nineveh Plain of the displaced Christians always appear to be conflicting. In a recent interview, Chaldean Archbishop Najib Mikhail Moussa OP said that only 10 percent of the Christians who fled from Mosul in recent years have returned to their homes, after the Iraqi metropolis was taken away from the control of the jihadists of the Islamic State. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 5/6/2019)