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Archbishop: Diaconate is “essential to keep alive the Church in the Middle East”

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/11/16


The diaconate in Iraq is a “noble and dynamic mission” because it focuses on “human dignity” and, at the same time, is an effective means to “unite Christians, especially those in need, and in need. ” This was stated by Msgr.Alnaufali Habib Jajou Archbishop of Basra, in southern Iraq, participating in recent days in Beirut, Lebanon, to a meeting on the diaconate and its importance for the Church in the Middle East. The prelate, along with other Iraqi delegate, Ekhlas Almaqdacy took part in the meeting scheduled July 7 to 9, together with 16 other experts, theologians and religious leaders from across the region. In a period of crisis and violence, emigration and decline in vocations, the diaconate has proved an essential resource to keep alive the work of the Church in the Middle East. Hence the idea to investigate the role and mission of the developments, in the context of a meeting organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). In his speech, the bishop stressed that the Iraqi diakonia teaches “humility” and to share “life with joy”; it goes beyond the satisfaction of “material needs” and helps to “improve” the Christian personality. The role of deacons becomes essential in a situation like that of Iraq today and, more generally, in the Middle East where Christians are often subject to persecution, fighting “for their dignity and their rights” in the face of abuse and violence in many areas of daily life. The figure of the deacon, added Mgr.Habib Jajou, enjoys “respect” and “witness of the faith” in the company’s fields motions. The Church has the duty to keep open “the door of hope” and diakonia “is an essential element” and part “of this program.” In the face of the violence that fuel migration, says the Archbishop of Basra, “we have the duty to remain and serve not only ours, but the entire community” of Iraq, including other ethnic and religious groups. “The priority – he added – is to serve the displaced and those who have had to flee their homes [at least 120 thousand people from June 2014] when Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State] attacked Mosul and Nineveh Plain”.

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