Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan has triggered a new wave of violence investing the "Christian citizens of Nineveh plain." The result is that "many inhabitants" have "fled", creating a "renewed atmosphere of anxiety and fear", which will eventually "give rise to new divisions and prevent the reconstruction and return of people to their homes,” stresses the Chaldean primate Louis Raphael Sako, in an appeal published on the patriarchate website and sent to AsiaNews. In the letter, the leader of the Iraqi Church does not hide the danger that this further conflict, on a land already marked by suffering, may give rise to "further migration" of Christians.

In a growing tension, the 71-year-old Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani announced his resignation as President of Kurdistan, shortly ahead of the expiration of the mandate scheduled for November 1st. He says he will not look for another term and launches a harsh accusation against the United States and a part of the Kurdish parliament. Barzani reproaches Washington for having already forgotten the Peshmerga's fundamental support in the fight against the Islamic State in Mosul and other areas of Iraq.

Full story: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Chaldean-patriarch:-Christians-fleeing-the-conflict-between-Kurds-and-Iraqis,-fears-of-a-new-exodus-42185.html


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)

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)

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

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ