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In recent weeks, the Muslim militant group, the Islamic State, has been systematically persecuting the Christian people and other religious minorities who live in northern Iraq.
Pope Francis has urged Catholics around the world to pray for peace in this region, and for the relief of the Church and other suffering people of faith there.
In light of the dire situation in northern Iraq, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin has asked all parishes in central and southern Indiana to include the following prayer in the prayers of the faithful at all Masses on the weekend of Aug. 16-17:
“For all who are suffering in the Middle East, and especially for the Christians and other religious minorities in northern Iraq, that God may send them the gift of peace and protect them from all persecution and violence, we pray to the Lord.”
This united prayer of the Church in central and southern Indiana comes at the invitation of Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, to make Sunday, Aug. 17 as a day of prayer across the U.S. for the Church in northern Iraq and for all persecuted people of faith there. †