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Pope invites young Iraqis to have “confidence in the future” despite suffering

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Speaking with Chaldean youngster who is an auditor at the synod, Francis assures his support

Pope Francis received Safa al Abbia, a young auditor at the Synod on youth, at his Santa Marta residence on October 13. The Holy Father told the youngster from Iraq that he hoped young Iraqis will maintain “confidence in the future.”

Next October 20, Safa al Abbia will return to his country to be with his sick mother. The Synod of Bishops will not finish until October 28, so the Chaldean will not be there for the end of the debates.

After meeting with Safa al Abbia, Pope Fracis assured that he is aware of the sufferings endured by Iraqi Christians. Nevertheless, he invited them to “have confidence in the future” and not to “get discouraged.”

The young Chaldean expressed the wish of Christians from his country to see the pope in Iraq someday.

On October 11, Safa al Abbia spoke during the Synodal Assembly. His speech was applauded for several minutes. The challenge that the Iraqis are facing is that of “peace, stability, and the right to live with dignity,” he said. He also invited the participants to pray for the young people in Iraq, but also for all Christian minorities.

Safa Al Abbia is a member of the Chaldean Church. This Church, whose patriarch is Cardinal Louis-Raphaël Sako, is one of the eleven Eastern Catholic Churches present in Iraq. Out of a million faithful in the world, less than half are still in Iraq, while 100,000 live in Europe.

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