“Saints Now” – The Martyrs of Iraq

(h2Onews/ 02/12/2010) After their condemnation of violence, and their prayer in communion manifested in various ways -- such as in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem -- Arab Christians in the Holy Land have now launched a special petition. It calls for those brothers and sisters in the faith who were brutally killed in Iraq to be canonized. The Arab Christians say the example of their lives and their sacrifice is an inspiration to everyone: Christians, Arabs or not, living in the Middle East."

They have issued their appeal in a letter to the Pope and called on the faithful in the land of Christ to offer their support through a website. Listed as www.martyrs-iraq.org, anyone can sign up.

“Despite the affliction that has surrounded this barbarism,” reads the petition, “we want to reaffirm our joy and our desire to live our Christian identity in the same land where Christ died and rose for our salvation.”

It also cites one of the propositions of the Synod for the Middle East, which, under the heading “Participation in the Cross” says: “We must bring worldwide attention to the plight of certain Christian communities in the Middle East who suffer all sorts of difficulties, sometimes to the point of martyrdom.”

“According to Tertullian,” the Christian Arabs in the Holy Land continued, “the blood of martyrs is the seed of new Christians. We ask for this: that the martyrdom of our brothers and sisters killed in Baghdad is officially acknowledged.”

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