February 14, 2008
Archbishop: Iraqi Christians Not Losing Hope
BAGHDAD, Iraq, FEB. 12, 2008 (Zenit.org).-
The fact that three kidnapped Christians in Iraq were prepared
to die for their faith before converting to Islam shows that the
faithful there aren't losing hope, said the archbishop of Kirkuk.
Archbishop Louis Sako told the SIR news
agency of the Italian bishops today of the recent case of 40
students who were traveling on a road to Baghdad last week and
were kidnapped by terrorists.
The archbishop said the group included
three Christians "who were ordered to be converted to Islam. The
3 students strongly refused, saying they were prepared to die
for their faith."
The group of 40 was eventually released,
but the prelate said the courage of the three Christians means,
"despite so many difficulties, our devotees are not losing faith
or hope, they are actually strengthening them."
Commenting on the process of
reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, Archbishop Sako
said: "Even during Lent, our Islamic brothers come to see us,
but it takes time to promote initiatives and we have to learn."