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California, USA - Tears were wept, emotions were stirred, and the presence of God was felt for the first time in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Friday, March 25 as Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo consecrated the new church in front of a congregation of literally hundreds of faithful who came from as far as Arizona to witness and commemorate the momentous occasion. Among the crowd were our seminarians and sisters, who drove 8 hours on Thursday in order to stand alongside the 70 families who belong to the new parish.
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Californai, USA - Chaldean leaders from around the world recently met in Rancho San Diego, California to discuss the ongoing challenges the Christians of Iraq continue to face. Frustrated over the lack of support and reluctance to support Christians of the Middle East, the representatives gathered to discuss options. Chaldean leaders from as far as Australia, Canada, UK, Syria, Jordon, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Mexico, Norway, and the US made up over 15 countries of delegates. A historic gathering they called it. The first of its kind -- at least in modern memory, they said.
More than 300 people attended the local conference, which took place March 30 and April 1. Including Ambassador Peter Bodde, assistant chief with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, spoke at the conference. Bodde told the group that the U.S. government is working to safeguard Chaldeans and other minority communities in Iraq. A U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state also attended, telling the group that the Obama administration has requested funds from Congress to promote the safety of Christians in Iraq.