Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 9th September, 4pm

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.




Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Iraq's battle to save its Christian souls: 'Christians are finished here' - Sunday Telegraph

Ten years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Christians have dwindled from more than a million to as little as 200,000. Colin Freeman reports on attempts to stem the exodus from Iraq's churches

For centuries, Iraq has been home to a small but thriving community of Christians. Speaking the same Arabic language as their Muslim neighbours, they can be found in nearly every Iraqi city, and have traditionally prospered as doctors, teachers and academics.

But ten years on the fall of Saddam Hussein, their numbers have dwindled from more than a million to as little as 200,000. Churches have been bombed by Islamic extremists, while the prosperity that the Christian community was seen to enjoy has seen them frequently targeted by kidnappers.
Altogether, 62 churches have been attacked in the decade, and around 1,000 Christians have been killed, according to senior Iraqi churchmen. They have warned that a time may come when there are
no longer any Christians in Iraq at all.

As the last remaining Christian priest in the Baghdad suburb of Doura, Archdeacon Temathius Esha no longer just puts his trust in God's all-seeing eye. Built into the wall of his vestry, amid pictures of Catholic saints, is a 16-screen CCTV monitor, keeping watch on every corner of his church in case of possible attack.

Along with the armed guard outside and concrete anti-blast walls, it makes St Shmoni's feel more like a fortress than a house of worship. And after a decade in which Doura's Iraqi Christian community has been robbed, kidnapped and murdered by Islamist extremists, it finds itself offering sanctuary to an ever-dwindling flock.
 
"Doura was once one of the biggest Christian communities in Iraq, with 30,000 families," said Mr Esha, as he prepared for an afternoon congregation that barely filled two of the 22 rows of pews. "Now there are only 2,000 left. They feel they are strangers in their own land, and that makes them want to leave. The bleeding from migration is continuous."
 
Today, St Shmoni is one of just two of Doura's original seven churches still open, casualties of a period in which the area become one of the most notorious al-Qaeda strongholds in Baghdad. In the years that followed the US-led invasion of 2003, two churches were car bombed, while the others closed due to lack of numbers and the kidnapping for ransom of four of Mr Esha's fellow priests, which has left just him and a local monk remaining.

Read Freeman's full piece here:
Iraq's battle to save its Christian souls: 'Christians are finished here' - Sunday Telegraph
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