After the vote in the Autonomous Region, Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, speaks to ACN about hope, future and expectations of Christians in Iraq

"From this election we expect a positive political change", says Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, to Aid to the Church in Need refering to the General elections  scheduled to take place in Iraqi Kurdistan on Sunday, 30 September,  to elect Parliament. "Cooperation between central Iraqi Government and authorities of Kurdistan is very important. If it works, the whole country works. If it does not work, many complications arise", says Patriarch Sako, elevated to cardinal by Pope Francis last 29 June.

Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church,(© ACN)

ACN 20171009 62447 Easy Resize

In Pakistan, a Muslim confronts great risks in becoming a Christian:

THIS IS THE STORY of Kainut, a brave 20-year-old girl who grew up a Muslim, with a Christian mother and a Muslim father, but she chose to become a Catholic. As a result, she and her family are suffering harassment, discrimination and worse. According to Islamic law, if someone leaves Islam, that person can be killed with impunity. Kainut, who is studying medicine, speaks about her life and the momentous choice she made:

Image: Kainut (far right) with fellow students at university. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need

ACN 20180926 77200 Easy Resize

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is sponsoring 32 new projects in Syria, at a total cost of AUD $2.9 million, for the restoration of the material and spiritual life of the Christian population there.

  • Children, women and the sick will be among the first to benefit from the aid programmes
  • Three cathedrals are included in the seven reconstruction projects happening in Aleppo

    Image: A man praying amid the ruins of the Armenian Catholic cathedral.© Ismael Martinez Sanchez / Aid to the Church in Need

ACN 20180913 76711 Easy Resize

The Consequences of Becoming a Christian in India: 

In India the Dalits are discriminated against and treated as second class citizens by the majority Hindu population. Dalit means "broken people."  The Dalits were formerly known as "untouchables." The Dalits live at the bottom of India's rigid social order known as the caste system. Many Dalits who convert to Christianity are then further discriminated and oppressed by the Government.

 

SHE WAS THROWN FROM A SECOND STOREY ROOF AFTER REFUSING TO CONVERT TO ISLAM

Binish Paul is 18 years old and a Christian. She attends public school in Pakistan. On 22 August, a young Muslim by the name of Taheer Abbas threw her from the second storey roof because she had refused to marry him and convert to Islam. This is another example of violence being used to force conversion, explained Binish Paul’s solicitor Tabassum Yousaf in an interview with the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

ACN 20170705 57513

National Marian Shrine in Mariamabad, one of Pakistan's oldest Catholic settlements.
Located about 80 km from Punjab's capital of Lahore.
Photographer: Johannes Klausa
Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

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