Church of St. Behnam and St. Sarah in Iraq Restored As a Sign of Hope For Those Willing to Stay

Iraq Christians
A Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq. |

According to FSSPX, the Christians in Baghdeda are going back to the Church of St. Behnam and St. Sarah in Iraq. The church, along with some other Christian buildings have been restored. 

In the report, it said that terrorists destroyed the church when they occupied Baghdeda eight years ago. It added that the church was destroyed and burned by the IS. Additionally, the church steeple was also toppled.

Restoration for Christians of Baghdeda 

Fortunately, the church was eventually restored through the help of Pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.

Beyond the church, there is also the Aid to the Church in Need's efforts when it comes to restorations of Christian towns and villages, as well as schools and other institutions.

Fr. George Jahola pointed out the importance of giving hope to the people who are staying in the city after liberation. He said that there are a lot of people that are moving out west and that with the church, people will see a "symbol of resistance" that would tell them to stay in the land.

Fr. Boutros Sheeto also said that the restoration of the church is a testament to the struggle of the Christians in Iraq to keep the faith alive.

He added, "The restoration of the church gives the community psychological and moral strength. Without this reconstruction, many families today would consider emigrating."

The article also mentioned the continued effort of the CAN to restore important Christian infrastructures in Iraq.

Read Also: International Catholic Migration Commission Calls UN Human Rights to Preserve Rights of Nigerians

The Tragedy of the Christians in Baghdeda

In an article by Aid to the Church in Need, it said that about 120,000 Christians fled Baghdeda in August of 2014 to escape the clutches of the Islamic State group.

It said that during this time, it was the largest Christian city in the country. The territories were occupied by the terrorist group for about two years, turning the city into ruins in the process while desecrating important Christian institutions left behind.

The article also covered the destruction caused to the Great Al-Tahira Syrian-Catholic Church. It said that the important building was left damaged, vandalized, burned, and looted by the terrorists. They also destroyed the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes replica of the church which reports indicate the group used as a firing range.

The church also lost its pure silver cross artifact that is believed to contain a piece of the real cross.

Currently, it is under renovation through the financing of the CAN.

Asia News also reported that the Christian library of Qaraqosh was the other building destroyed by the IS. Although now restored, the library was subject to burning and looting by the terrorist group. 

Today, it stands as a central hub of knowledge for the people in the area. It holds about 650 books in different categories and languages. It has books on sciences, religion, fiction, politics, and young adult literature.

With the restoration of the library, people hope that it would motivate people to read and learn.

Related Article: Nomads on a Mission: Old Methodist Couple Dedicates Divine Service to UMC Ministry