CWN - The Islamic State damaged more than 12,000 Christian homes in the Nineveh Plain region, and completely destroyed nearly 700 of them, Aid to the Church in Need reports.

In a survey of Iraqis who fled from the Nineveh region during the Islamic State’s offensive in the summer of 2014, Aid to the Church in Need found that 40% planned to return to their homes now that they region has been liberated, and another 46% were considering that option. That result shows a jump in confidence; last November, when the fate of the Nineveh region was still uncertain, only 3% said that they planned to return.

However, most of those surveyed reported that the Islamic State had plundered their property, and 22% said that their homes were destroyed. Another 25% did not know whether or not their property was intact.

About 90,000 Christians from the Nineveh Plain are temporarily living in Erbil. (About 120,000 had originally sought shelter there in 2014.) Aid to the Church in Need estimates that the cost of rebuilding their homes will be over $200 million.


Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)


Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (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.

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“It is necessary most of all for one who is fasting to curb anger, to accustom himself to meekness and condescension, to have a contrite heart, to repulse impure thoughts and desires, to examine his conscience, to put his mind to the test and to verify what good has been done by us in this or any other week, and which deficiency we have corrected in ourselves in the present week. This is true fasting.”

Saint John Chrysostom