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

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The man who endures accusations against himself with humility has arrived at perfection. He is marvelled at by the holy angels, for there is no other virtue so great and so hard to achieve.

St Isaac the Syrian