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Chaldean Teacher Namir Gourguis Freed
By Amer Hedow :: Thursday, May 21, 2009 :: 58305 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Kirkuk, IRAQ – The disputed lands of Kirkuk continue to foster hostilities as the three major factions of Iraq pound Christian minorities in order to seize property and lay claim to the oil rich lands.  Although Iraq is the native home to the Chaldean Catholic Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee since the US-led invasion of March 2003.  “Our people are easy targets.  Iraqi Christians are the Tibetans of the Middle East.  We are peaceful,” says John Anwya.  “These cowards attack Iraq’s native people.”

In northern Iraq a Christian missionary and teacher Namir Nadhim Gourguis, has been freed after just over a week in captivity, according to the Catholic missionary news agency Asia news.

Gourguis was well known in the community and loved.  Mediation by tribal chiefs and local imams led to Gourguis' release just over a week after he was abducted by a gunmen last Thursday at an elementary school near the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

No ransom was paid for the release of 32-year-old Gourguis, according to Asia News.  The archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, declared Friday a holiday for Christians to celebrate Gourguis' release.  "After eight days in captivity, Namir is free. We thank God - today joy reigns in Kirkuk's Christian community."

Last year saw a wave of sectarian attacks against the Christian community in Iraq. The northern city of Mosul's archbishop, Paulos Faraj Rahho, was found dead last March after having been kidnapped, tortured, and beaten for about two weeks.

At least 14 Christians were killed in the northern city of Mosul in Nineveh province in three months and thousands of Christian families fled the city, according to the United Nations.

Mart Mariam Chaldean Church

Mart Mariam Chaldean Catholic Church
2849 W. Chase Ave.,
Tel: (773) 761-9401
Fax: (773) 761-9045

Founding Pastor:
Mgsr. Edward Bikoma

Administrating Pastor:
Rev. Sanharib Youkhanna
 


 Rev. Sanharib Youkhanna

Rev. Sanharib Youkhanan was born in November 23, 1968 in Mosul, Iraq.  He graduated from Duhouk in 1986 and entered the renowned Saint Peter Seminary in Baghdad.  In 1992 he graduated with degrees in philosophy and theology.  That same year he was ordained a priest, by Mar Youhanan Kello of Saint Mary Chaldean Catholic Church of Dohouk, Iraq.  Fr. Youkhanan served the community of Dohouk for over a decade ministering to their spiritual, social, civil, and community needs.

In 2006, Fr. Youkhanan was recruited by Mar Ibrahim N. Ibrahim as an administrator to Mart Mariam Parish in Chicago, Illinois.  


S A T U R D A Y     E V E N I N G S
5:30 pm Prayers

6:30 pm Mass Begins
 
S U N D A Y    M O R N I N G S
9:00 am Mass in both 
Arabic and Aramaic

11:30 am Mass in Aramaic 

M O N D A Y    E V E N I N G S 
7:00 pm Shamasha (Deacons) Classes
 
W E D N E S D A Y    E V E N I N G S
7:30 pm Choir Practice

8:00 pm Youth Bible Study
 
T H U R S D A Y    E V E N I N G S
 7:00 pm Assyrian/Chaldean Classes 

 For special holidays mass schedule hours, please contact the church.