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


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

But if a person is constantly mindful of God, he will rejoice: as the psalmist says, "I remembered God, and I rejoiced" (Psalms 77:3). For when the intellect is gladdened by the remembrance of God, then it forgets the afflictions of this world, places its hope in Him, and is no longer troubled or anxious.

St. Peter of Damaskos, "JOY" (from "The 24 Discourses), "The Philokalia vol. III," - pp. 260 - 263.