Iraqi Christians pray for peace at Christmas

2011-12-24 Vatican Radio

Chaldean Catholic officials have cancelled traditional Christmas Eve midnight Masses in Iraq because of security risks. They said Iraqi Christians will spend Christmas in "great fear" because of the risk of new attacks.

“We have many difficulties because of the situation that there is no peace and no security, permanent security,” said Bishop Mar Shlemon Warduni, Auxiliary Bishop of the Patriarchate of Babylon, Iraq, of the Chaldean Catholic Church. “So for these days of Christmas and the New Year, we hope to celebrate the feast, but not Midnight [Mass], because there are too many difficulties.”

Bishop Warduni said that, despite many difficulties, for Christians in Iraq, “Our duty is to pray for peace.” He spoke of his prayer during this holy season: “And so we ask the Child of Bethlehem to give us this security and peace, to give us joy and peace, and we cry with angels ‘Glory be to the Lord in the highest heaven, and peace on the earth. We ask him this only, and not only for the Iraqi people, for Christians in Iraq, but for everybody in the Middle East.”

Listen to Bishop Warduni’s remarks in the interview with Davide Maggiore: