CWN - An Iraqi archbishop has welcomed the new US policy—set in an executive order by President Trump—that gives preference to religious minorities in applications for refugee status.

Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil said that the policy would preferential treatment would be a boon to suffering Christians in the Middle East. He made a point of saying that this would be true only if the policy offered support fo all religious minorities, not only Christians. Earlier this week another Iraqi prelate, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, had said that a preference for Christians could ultimately harm Iraqi Christians, by increasing resentments among their Muslim neighbors.

Archbishop Warda said that Iraqi Christians “celebrated when Trump won,” hoping that the new American leader would change policies that had ignored the suffering of Christians.

Ironically, the archbishop was denied permission to visit the US, for a scheduled discussion of religious persecution, because of another policy set by the controversial Trump executive order. (See today’s separate CWN headline story.)

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 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

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Abbot Macarius was asked: "How should I pray?" The staretz answered: "There is no need to waste time with words; it is enough to hold out your hands and say: 'Lord, have mercy.'  If you are hard pressed in the struggle, say: 'Lord, save me!' He knows what is best for you, and he will have mercy on you."

Abbot Macarius, quoted in St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality, Meyendorff, 1974, SVS Press