www.kofc.org - Over the past two years, Father Douglas Bazi, pastor of Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in Erbil, Iraq, has sheltered hundreds of families displaced after fleeing attacks by militants of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Daesh.
Born in Baghdad in 1972, Father Bazi is no stranger to religious persecution. In 2005, he survived two bomb attacks and was shot in the leg with an AK-47. The next year, he was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by Islamic extremists before the Chaldean Catholic community raised $80,000 as a ransom for his release. Because of the overwhelming danger, Father Bazi was reassigned to Kurdish-controlled Erbil in 2013.
In recent months, Father Bazi partnered with the Knights of Columbus to press Western nations, especially the United States, to recognize ISIS’ actions as genocide. On March 10, he spoke at the public release of the Knights’ extensive genocide report in Washington, D.C., and he also addressed the topic at a congress held at the United Nations in New York on April 28. In May, Father Bazi went on a month-long speaking tour throughout the country to raise awareness of the genocide.
Columbia recently spoke with Father Bazi about his ordeal as a captive, the suffering of his people and the future of religious freedom in his country.
Read the interview at: https://www.kofc.org/en/columbia/detail/save-my-people.html