Today, volunteers of SOS Chrétiens d'Orient have joined the Christians mourning their martyrs: a very painful memory, which we shared with them.
On 31 October, 2010, a group claiming to be from the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda take over the Syriac Catholic cathedral Our Lady of Perpetual Relief in Baghdad. Sunday Mass turned into a bloodbath. This attack resulted in the deaths of 53 people; 67 others are injured. The cathedral is ravaged, stained with blood; walls and statues riddled with bullets.
The following day, during the Angelus of All Saints’ Day, Pope Benedict XVI call to "pray for the victims of this absurd violence, even more ferocious in that it has been inflicted upon defenseless people gathered in God's house, which is a house of love and reconciliation.”
Today the cathedral is transformed. But its new appearance will never erase the memory of the massacre of that fatal day of October 31, 2010. This tragedy was the cause of the displacement of tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians.
Ten years later, while the situation of Christians in Iraq remains uncertain; let us pray for peace in the Middle East.