CWN - An Iraqi archbishop has welcomed the new US policy—set in an executive order by President Trump—that gives preference to religious minorities in applications for refugee status.

Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil said that the policy would preferential treatment would be a boon to suffering Christians in the Middle East. He made a point of saying that this would be true only if the policy offered support fo all religious minorities, not only Christians. Earlier this week another Iraqi prelate, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, had said that a preference for Christians could ultimately harm Iraqi Christians, by increasing resentments among their Muslim neighbors.

Archbishop Warda said that Iraqi Christians “celebrated when Trump won,” hoping that the new American leader would change policies that had ignored the suffering of Christians.

Ironically, the archbishop was denied permission to visit the US, for a scheduled discussion of religious persecution, because of another policy set by the controversial Trump executive order. (See today’s separate CWN headline story.)

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Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue can be firmly established.

St. Symeon the New Theologian