Nick Benson

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Westminster Abbey: Prince Charles salutes courage and faith of Middle East Christians

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the courage and faith of persecuted Christians at a service in Westminster Abbey which brought together Church leaders from across the Middle East.

At yesterday’s service, Prince Charles said: “We can only give thanks for the truly remarkable strength of the Faith with which so many Christians face persecution and which gives them the courage and the determination to endure, and to overcome.”

He also said: “Earlier this year, I had the great joy of meeting a Dominican Sister from Nineveh [northern Iraq], who, in 2014, as Daesh extremists advanced on the town of Qaraqosh, got behind the wheel of a minibus crammed full of her fellow Christians, and drove the long and dangerous road to safety.”

Later on, fellow Iraqi Dominican Sr Nazak Matty gave a testimony, describing how she had returned to Nineveh to help rebuild Christian communities.

In his address, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, highlighted the persecution of Middle East Christians, stating: “When the Church of Jesus Christ is attacked, it is an attack on Christ himself – when any part of the Church suffers, we also suffer and yet distance and ignorance take away the pain we should feel.”

Attending the service were bishops and other Church leaders who had flown in from Iraq, Syria, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and the Gulf.

The Middle East is a priority region for Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which assisted with the preparation of the service.

ACN is giving emergency and pastoral help, providing food, medicine, shelter as well as repair of homes, churches and support for priests, Sisters and Christian education (catechesis).

Picture: The Prince of Wales at Westminster Abbey (©Andrew Dunsmore/Westminster Abbey).

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OTHER NEWS

Far too many homeless people still not safely housed, say charities

"Far too many" homeless people are still on the streets, in shelters and hostels, despite the Government aiming to have all rough sleepers safely housed by last weekend. Last week the Government asked local authorities to do everything to "get everyone in" by the end...

Pope encourages Catholics to contemplate ‘seven sorrows’ of Mary

On the Friday before Holy Week, Pope Francis asked people to keep a long tradition of Catholic piety by focusing on "the suffering and sorrows of Our Lady." "Honour Our Lady and say, 'This is my mother,' because she is mother. This is the title that she received from...

Let’s get back to nature

Top gardening influencer Ellen Mary reveals how families can reconnect with nature in their own garden. By Hannah Stephenson. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, there’s lots of ways you and your family could enjoy it – and connect with nature and benefit...

How to make the most from your daily exercise

The government has announced strict new measures for tackling coronavirus. Now in lockdown in an effort to beat the virus, Boris Johnson announced last week that we are only allowed to leave the house for the following reasons: Shopping for basic necessities One form...

A Tribute to Kenny Rogers

The Music Scene pays tribute to the legendary Kenny Rogers… US singer Kenny Rogers spanned folk, psychedelic rock and country music across a six decade career. However, running throughout was a thread of story telling and complex characters, from the paralysed Vietnam...