ANKAWA, Iraq, JAN. 16, 2007 (Zenit.org) - Classes have resumed at Iraq's only faculty of Christian theology as well as at a seminary that moved out of Baghdad for security reasons.

Chaldean Bishop Rabban al-Qas told AsiaNews that the doors of Babel College and St. Peter's Major Seminary reopened on Thursday, after being closed for months.

Abductions, assaults and threats to the Christian community in the capital convinced local Church leaders first to shut down both the college and seminary, and then to move them.

The neighborhood of Dora, where the headquarters of both institutions were first located, has become one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad.

The reopening of the faculty of theology was marked by a Mass celebrated by Monsignor Jacques Isaac, rector of Babel College, in the Chaldean Church of Mar Eliya.

Bishop Andraos Abouna, vicar patriarch representing Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly, and Sarkis Aghajan, a Christian and finance minister in Kurdistan's regional government, were also present.

About 25 seminarians are registered in Babel College, but there are many other students studying theology and philosophy.

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Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."