martedì, agosto 02, 2011


Kirkuk: Christians give 320 kg in medical drugs, Mgr Sako offers his wishes for Ramadan

By Asia News, August 1, 2011
by Joseph Mahmoud

Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, and a group of priests and lay people visited a medical facility (pictured) for Ramadan. On behalf of the city’s Christian community, they brought more than 300 kilograms of medical drugs for local hospitals. The prelate also referred to the Muslim holy month, a time of fasting and prayers, in an open letter to the community.
“We join you in prayer to God,” Mgr Sako wrote, “that he may give us peace and stability.”
A group of young French Catholics had brought the drugs during their visit to the city on 23 July as a token of their “solidarity” (see Joseph Mahmoud, “A group of ten French Catholics to accompany 20 Iraqis from Kirkuk to WYD,” in AsiaNews 25 July 2011).
The head of the medical facility, director Sadik Umar Rassoul, thanked the Kirkuk’s Chaldean Church for all initiatives that improve peaceful coexistence and “strengthen trust in our Christian brothers”. The drugs “are a significant token of their [Christian] charity without exception,” he said.
Following an annual tradition, Mgr Sako issued a letter to Muslims for the start of Ramadan. Speaking to his “Muslim brothers”, he noted that “hot weather” will make “your fast even more meritorious” (according to tradition, Muslims cannot eat or drink from dawn till dusk).
“Let us hope that fasting and prayers will soften everyone’s heart and that forgiveness, love and the fight for peace will prevail over revenge,” the archbishop added.
The prelate also cited the Blessed John Paul II who, on a visit to Turkey on 29 July 1979 at the start of his pontificate, urged Christians and Muslims to begin a “new phase of history” and protect “moral principles”, which are the “principles of peace and freedom”. In concluding, Mgr Sako again urged Kirkuk Christians to join Muslims “in prayer, calling on God to give us peace and stability”.

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