LIVES - RUINED IN AN INSTANT: Iraqi Catholics in Lebanon recount their harrowing ordeal
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/12/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Now living in Lebanon, a Catholic family who was forced to flee their home in Mosul, Iraq, have begun to share their horrific ordeal at the hands of Islamic State rebels. The family's patriarch has vivid memories of that June evening. "These people know no limits of humanity, decency, or respect for human life," he said of the Islamic State fighters.
Meeting with reporters in his adopted homeland of Lebanon, the father asked that he and his families real names not be used.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Meeting with reporters in his adopted homeland of Lebanon, the father asked that he and his families real names not be used.
He recalled how his wife and their teenage son, were in their living room while their two other children were asleep late one evening. They then heard an explosion-like crash. Four militants then burst into their house, guns aimed at the heads of father and son.
SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --
"Give us your gold and valuables," he said they demanded. Filled with fear, his wife tried to calmly gather all jewelry she had. One of the militants, noticing his son's cross, ripped off the chain and started to beat the boy, accusing the family of withholding their gold.
"What's for sure is they (the terrorists) are not all Iraqis. The ones with the beards are not Iraqis," he said. The terrorists then warned they would return to the family in 48 hours. At that time, the family must convert to Islam, pay the Islamic jizya tax -- or be killed.
"We were happy, our life was good," he said, collapsing in tears. "All the work of my father and myself and my brothers, all the years . gone in just a few seconds," he said of the trading company he had to abandon.
"I went to the cemetery and said good-bye to my father, and I went to Mass in my church to receive the Eucharist," the father said, recounting his actions of the following day. "I think it was the last Mass celebrated in my village. And I thought, if I'm meant to die at this time, at least I'm in God's house."
Fleeing to Irbil the night after the attack, they boarded a flight to Beirut. The militants had told Joseph's neighbors -- an 85-year-old woman, partially paralyzed by a stroke, and her 60-year-old daughter -- they had six hours to leave their home.
Leaving on foot, with the daughter assisting her disabled mother along the road, the father hopes that they were able to find a ride.
Finding a furnished apartment in Beirut, the rent is rather steep at $850 a month. He's now searching for cheaper accommodations, but jobs in tiny, economically strapped Lebanon are hard to find. New refugees have to compete with other refugees for work.
"My children ask me, 'What will we do?' (Islamic State) made us leave Iraq, and now (it) is in Lebanon," he said, referring to the incursion August 2 by the Islamic militants into a Lebanese town 55 miles northeast of Beirut. "They are afraid."
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2017
Parishes. That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.
Following the liberation of Mosul, Iraq, from the hands of the Islamic State, Christians are cautiously returning to the city. And as they ... continue reading
Workers installing communication cables in Jerusalem's Old City have unearthed a Byzantine Christian mosaic inscribed with honors to ... continue reading
President Trump has announced a new strategy for the U.S. in Afghanistan that involves a significant investment in winning the conflict ... continue reading
A cholera outbreak in Yemen has now infected over half-a-million people, the latest terrible byproduct of a raging civil war that is ... continue reading
Archaeologists think they have found the lost city of Bethsaida, which was once home to the apostles Peter, Andrew, and Philip. LOS ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Saturday, September 23, 2017
- St. Padre Pio: Saint of the Day for Saturday, September 23, 2017
- North Korea threatens to test H-Bomb over Pacific
- It's time to regulate Facebook and other social media
- Daily Reading for Monday, September 25th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 HD Video
- At UN, the Vatican asks all nations to help in fight against human ...
- Woman photographs angel in flight, is it here to deliver a message? HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, September 24th, 2017 HD
- Hurricane Maria: The worst disaster for Puerto Rico HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 HD