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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
July 21, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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July 21, 1991

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UPI-Reuters/CN$ truck blocking the road to the Slovenian-Astrian border is pushed out of a le way by a tank of the Yogoslavian army in Pesnica, Yogoslavia. War thgUpted when Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia, a move ao Cked by the Slovenian Catholic bishops. Pope John Paul II has called for thdalogue and an end to the violence. : tht-~..___ ,"raoi Catholics fear Kurds more than Hussein -I iota. ~dao, Iraq (CNS) - The faithful of St. Rev. Lotfis Sabah said about 5,000 Chris- . eorge's Church in the northern Iraqi town fians were among the last 12,000 refugees still 9q" Zakho speak the language used by Jesus. in Turkish camps across the border after the o, o ofmosto OmOon o who fled there from Saddam's troops in March. ye Turkish officials confirmed the presence of conunmfity, which they say is the world's 1~()0 Christians in one refilgee center alone thqdest. . . terr Ne . and said more were in other camgxs. ' S rvous Chnsuans in Zakho, mainly of Many of the Christian refitgees fear return- LJ. ~syrian descent, worship trader paintings of a ing, not because they fought Baghdad like the ty~. olue-eyed, fair-haired kifight in shining armor Kurds, but because theydeserted the Iraqi amW ~aying the dragon. They wish the-it own ha the chaos that followed the Gulf War. PU~ th'atry's conflict ~as as simple. In Zakho, it is hard to find young Chris, o s 7,000 Chaldean Catholics, like thou- tians who do not want to leave - provided they ds of fellow befievers in the zone now oc- can somehow gain entry to the promi~d land afUpied by allied forces, make up islands of of the West. ateSwistianity in a sea of Muslim Kurds. "i'll go to Canada, America, France but not In the dusty alleys of the Christian quarter, a Turkish camp," said Tareq Youssef, a young ff~c~aa~y said-~ey feared a wave of religious vic- engineer. ization if the Kurds won an autonomy agree- In a startling example of the confused loy- ee.~ent with Baghdad which gave them real alties felt by the Christians, he said he was still gr~alrol, serving in Saddam's conscript army. When he .As US. helicopters buzzed overhead from has leave, he commutes ha civilian clothes from ler~. headquarters in Zakho, Chaldeans ex- Baghdad 185 miles a~W through checkpoints i~lamecl their mixed feelings, manned by U.S. Marines. , "Persecution of Christians here does not "But we all want the Americans to stay," he Iol~rrte from the ~overnment. It comes from said. Some Sundays at St. George's, he shares Y KUras when we go into a shop or just walk a pew with allied soldiers. " rr wa the street," one man said. Speaking in Aramaic, the tongue spoken t l aqi Pres. Saddam Hussein's secular Baath by Jesus Himself, Sabah said the Gulf War had d._has not harassed Iraq's Chaldean Catho-cxi~ hastened the decline of the ancient Christian abe~.mmunity though it demands political presence in northern Iraq. ke(~lence. "We want the young people to stay. We ..a'ne priest in Zakho, asked whether he have been heresince beforelslamexisted. But n~t~tdd rather be ruled by Kmdish guemllas or it is so hard," he said. "In my 50 ),ears at this ~'~dara Hussein, paused before answering parish, I have seen nothing happy among ~tly: "Saddam." Kurds, Arabs and Christians." ARKANSAS CAq'HOLIC JULY Z1, 1991 PAGE 15 Iran envoy exchange messages By Candy Wooden Vatican City (CNS) - Renewed spiritual values, better understanding between Catholics and Muslims and respect for re- ligious freedom will help bring peace to the world, Pope John Paul II told Iran's new ambassador to the Vatican. Ambassador Mohammad MasjedJamei told the pope that "the Islamic Republic of Iran aspires at strengthening its relations with the Holy See and at making them closer and more cordial." Masjed Jamei said that by working to- gether, the world's monotheistic religions can "present a united front against any- thing that could menace the foundations of man's spiritual and moral nature." The new ambassador has been an offi- cial in the Iranian govemment office for culture and Islamic orientation and an adviser to the minister of foreign affairs. He told the pope that his assignment to the Vatican is not only a political mission, but he is a religious representative "of a country that aims at the fulfillment of di- vine purposes and ideals." MasjedJamei said his country is marked "by the deepest and spiritual understand- ing of faith," which has "imbued our sodal and religious history with tolerance, with regard, with respect (for) and the defense of the dignity of those who do not share our beliefs." About 12,000 of Iran's 52..5 million people are Catholics served by 22 priests. Vafickn statistics for the end of 1979, the year of the Islamic revolution, said /here were 20,000 Catholics served by 52 priests. Many Catholic missionaries were forced out of the country shortly after the revolution. The pope told Masjed Jamei that "free- dom of thought, ofconsdence, and conse- quently of religion, is an essential founda- tion of peace. I renew the hope that the great religions will continue to foster mu- tual understanding and dialogue on the basis of the many values shared by them, so as to ensure that o tacles to the imple- mentation of that freedom are avoided." Pope John Paul said he repeatedly has affirmed the Church's commitment to dia- logue with Muslims fin order to increase mutual knowledge and understanding, and thus better serve the cause of harmony and peace. The true foundation for re-estab- lishing justice, for achieving and strengdP ening peace and for promoting all aspects of human welfare must be a dncere and wide-ranging exchange laetween Christian and Muslim believers, sed on respect for the specific character of each other's faith." se administrator to be arrested Wadfington (CNS)- Oainese authorities have .~lL~rtedly arrested the underground adminis- ~'ator of the diocese of Shanghai, Bishop jo- ; a' h Fan. J.. Free the Fathers, a human rights ovganiza- "CI Ji~)l.1 . - .. which camDaLom for relieious freedom in ald a, said in a press release that bishop Fan taken into custody June 11 "as part of a ~Ugher crackdown on the Catholic Church." The bishop is said to be in his 70s. John Davies, head of the Signal Mountain, TN-based rights organization, citing under- ground Church sources, said "we are very con- cerned for the health of Bishop Fan while he is in custody. The Chinese secret police are known to use hideous tortures on their victims." Davies criticized Pres. Bush's effort to main- tain a favorable trade stares for China in its commercial dealings with the U~S. "We cannot have business as usual with China while elderly clergymen are being carried away in the middle of the night." Davies said. Leadership of the Shanghai Diocese is con- tested between the Vatican and the progovem- ment Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which rejects the authority of the pope in Chi- nese Church matters. The Vatican recognizes Cardinal~esignate Ignatius Kung Pin-mei, 89, a prelate long im- prisoned for refusing to renounce papal author- ity, as head of the eastern coastal see. But the patriotic assodafion and the Chinese govern- ment say that its bishop is Aloysius Jin Luxian, a Jesuit elevated without papal approval. Fan has run the diocese since Cardinal-des- ignate Kung came to the U S. for medial treat- merit five years ago. Arkansas Catholic wel- comes letters, wlfich must be signed and are subject to condensation. Address letters to: Editor, Arkansas Catholic, P.O. Box 7417, Little Rock, 72217. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiii!iliiiiiiiiil HATHCOTE & SONS- "With us upholstery is a creative art." 50 years experience. Call 372-6486. Remodeling - Additions - Decks - Siding Call 753-7698, GOINES CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. Thank you Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Jude. - M.W. uJ ..._= Eating light ? 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