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 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

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.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Iraq's Christians seek refuge with Kurds - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Armed Kurds are winning favour by protecting religious minorities.
Mohammed A Salih, 26 Jun 2014 08:14                        

Alqosh, Iraq - The world appears serene and tranquil when looking out from the mesmerising 1,400-year-old Rabban Hormizd Monastery here in the heart of the vast rocky plains of Nineveh in northern Iraq.

This is a land where Christianity once thrived. And it has survived numerous bloody forays by generations of kings and rulers.

The calm here seems a world away from Mosul, just 50km to the south, a city now taken over by the al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

What has kept Alqosh safe from the mayhem is the presence of the armed forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) - the Peshmerga.

Yusef and his wife have first-hand experience of how the situation here might develop should the jihadists take over. The newlyweds were among hundreds of Christians who fled Mosul after ISIL and other Sunni fighters stormed the city. "There is no life in Mosul," said Yusef, visibly shaken. "ISIL might kidnap us, kill us, take away our women. "But here, we feel safe," he said, sitting in a small living room adorned with pictures of the late Pope John Paul II.

The recent takeover of Mosul - and of large parts of northern and central Iraq - has set in motion dynamics that have broadened and deepened Kurdish control in the Nineveh plains and other northern areas.

This might even end up bolstering prospects of Kurdish independence, as their control appears - for the time being, at least - largely unchallenged.

The oil-rich, fertile and historic plains of northern and eastern Nineveh have a population of around half a million. Most are Christians, followers of the ancient Mesopotamian Yazidi faith and members of the ethno-religious Shabak community.

The Kurdish Peshmerga has been present here since the US-led invasion in 2003 and is now the force that many residents look to for protection against armed groups.

ISIL forces have launched small-scale attacks on certain targets in Nineveh plains including an attack on Wednesday on Christian-dominated district of Hamdaniya, east of Mosul. But, according to Halgurd Hikmat, a spokesman for the KRG ministry of Peshmerga affairs, the Peshmerga repulsed the attack and prevented ISIL forces from making any advances.

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