www.kofc.org - Over the past two years, Father Douglas Bazi, pastor of Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in Erbil, Iraq, has sheltered hundreds of families displaced after fleeing attacks by militants of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Daesh.

Born in Baghdad in 1972, Father Bazi is no stranger to religious persecution. In 2005, he survived two bomb attacks and was shot in the leg with an AK-47. The next year, he was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by Islamic extremists before the Chaldean Catholic community raised $80,000 as a ransom for his release. Because of the overwhelming danger, Father Bazi was reassigned to Kurdish-controlled Erbil in 2013.

In recent months, Father Bazi partnered with the Knights of Columbus to press Western nations, especially the United States, to recognize ISIS’ actions as genocide. On March 10, he spoke at the public release of the Knights’ extensive genocide report in Washington, D.C., and he also addressed the topic at a congress held at the United Nations in New York on April 28. In May, Father Bazi went on a month-long speaking tour throughout the country to raise awareness of the genocide.

Columbia recently spoke with Father Bazi about his ordeal as a captive, the suffering of his people and the future of religious freedom in his country.

Read the interview at: https://www.kofc.org/en/columbia/detail/save-my-people.html


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

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

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Demons often transform themselves into angels of light and take the form of martyrs, and make it appear to us during sleep that we are in communication with them. Then, when we wake up, they plunge us into unholy joy and conceit. But you can detect their deceit by this very fact. For angles reveal torments, judgments and separations; and when we wake up we find that we are trembling and sad. As soon as we begin to believe the demons in dreams, then they make sport of us when we are awake too. He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. 'But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man. Only believe dreams that warn you of torments and judgments. But if despair afflicts you, then such dreams are also from demons.

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent