Witnesses - Nazarat

Nazarat Committee for the Persecuted Christians in Middle East
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Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa

He's the current Custos, appointed Custos of the Holy Land for the first time in May of 2004, for a period of six years, and reconfirmed by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor in May of 2010 for another three-year term. Born on April 21, 1965, in Cologno al Serio in the diocese and province of Bergamo, he began formation with the friars of the province of Emilia Romagna, to which he still juridically belongs. He was ordained a priest on September 15, 1990, and entered into effective service of the Custody of the Holy Land in 1999. Upon completion of philosophical and theological studies, he received a bachelor's degree in theology on June 19, 1990, from the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome. He completed his studies of specialization at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem, obtaining his license in biblical theology on June 21, 1993, and afterward received his master's degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was a professor of modern Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical and Archeological Sciences in Jerusalem, and has done pastoral work with the Hebrew-speaking faithful for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Fr. Rebwar Basa

Born in Erbil religious 38 years ago, he's a member of the order of St. Anthony Ormisda of the Chaldeans. The Catholic priest of the Chaldean Church lives in Rome where he studied; however, he also follows the refugees of  his country scattered throughout Europe.

Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh

Father Ibrahim Alsabagh, Syrian, 45, pastor of St. Francis Church, guardian of the convent, episcopal vicar and head of the Latin community of Aleppo

Fr. Bernardo Cervellera

Missionary of PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions). He graduated in philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan in 1975. Journalist and current director of the news agency "Asia News". Former director (1997-2002) of the agency Fides, Bulletin of the Vatican department for the Evangelization of popoli. From 1995 to 1997 he lived in Beijing, where he was also a professor of history at the University of Western civilization Beida. Author of three books: Mission to China. Empire traveling between market and repression (2006), The reverse of the medals. China and the Olympics (2008), Asia, the challenge of the Third Millennium (2013). As Director of Asia News has won numerous journalism awards.

Fr. Douglas Joseph Shimshon Al-Bazi

Catholic priest who lives in New Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq; It is Chaldean priest and had a pretty tough life. Born in 1972, as child saw the war against Iran and lived under the regime that controlled his life until 2003, crossing in the meantime the war of 1991 and the tragic years of the international embargo.
Once "liberated" by the Americans, he shared with other Iraqis terrifying experiences: he was shot, a bomb exploded near his church and was kidnapped for 9 terrible days. He lived in Baghdad during the dramatic waves of violence that affected Christians in 2004, in 2006 and 2010, and from 2013 he lived and worked in Iraqi Kurdistan.
In November 2006, Father Douglas was kidnapped by a militant group, he was tortured and released days later. He suffered multiple injuries including two broken vertebrae, his face and knees were smashed with a hammer. Father Bazi is responsible in Ankawa for two reception centers for Christians who have fled the violence of ISIS.

Mons. Yohanna Petros Mouche

Born in Qaraqosh (Bakhdida, in modern Iraq) November 23, 1943.
Ordained in the Syrian-Catholic diocese of Mosul June 9, 1968, by Bishop Emmanuel Daddi. Elected Syrian Catholic archbishop of Mosul in June 26, 2010, confirmed in this appointment on next 1 March by Pope Benedict XVI, then consecrated on April 16, 2011 by Bishop Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch. After the attack of 2 August 2011 in Kirkuk to the Syrian Catholic Church of the Holy Family, Yohanna Petros Mouche denounced the weakness and inaction of the authorities. On the night of August 7, 2014, fleed the Islamic fighters, then visiting Christian refugees in Kurdistan. In February 2015, he went to the training camp of the protection unit of the Plain of Nineveh (NPU), a Christian militia fighting the Islamic State, blessing them.

Don Peter H. Camay
Born 3/1/1968 in Jalingo Nigeria. Ordained as priest on 07.09.1994. Degree in 2002 in Biblical Theology at the Gregorian University of Rome. Currently Professor of Sacred Scripture in the Major Seminary of Saint Augustine of Jos. The Seminary has 400 seminarians who are preparing to become priests. Despite the hardships of attacks and violence, students are mature in faith and accept the Lord's will all calmly and with devotion. We see fruits of prayer and closeness of friends, there are many conversions, vocations to religious life are increasing.

Fr.Mtanious HADDAD

Born in Yabrud (Syria) in 1952, the religious of the Basilian Order of the Holy Savior. Archimandrite of the Patriarchate of greek-Melkite Catholic Church. Rector of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome and apocrisarius (representative) patriarchal to the Holy See.

Filippo di Mario

Born in 1952, former metalworker at Officine stations of Rimini, is one of the first lay from the Neocatechumenal Way to answer the call of itinerancy, back in 1973. It is a lay missionary for evangelization. He served several years for the pastoral service in the Middle East. It worked actively for the Beirut interreligious seminar. He’s been experiencing an intense service for several seasons working in Iraq and in that tormented country.

Fr. Francesco Ielpo

Born in 1970; during the first year university, fascinated by the Franciscan charism, enters a convent. Perpetual vows in the Order of Friars Minor in 1998 and in 2000 was ordained priest. Since 1994 teacher of religion; Since 2000 the Institute Rector Franciscanum Luzzago of Brescia. From 2006 to 2010 the National Council of FIDAE (Federation of Educational Institutions Activities) which has more than three thousand Catholic institutions throughout Italy. Since 2008, then, also Regional President. Founder (with some friends) and President (2005-2010) of the Cultural Franciscanum that deals with school dropouts, help to the study, the study trips and cultural exchanges and, above all, the dissemination of scientific culture through the preparation educational and scientific exhibitions. From 2010 to 2013 pastor of s Franciscan Parish. Anthony of Padua in Varese. Since September 2013 Commissioner of the Holy Land of Lombardy. Brother Francis also is a member of the Holy Land Foundation Board of Directors and is part of the Assembly of shareholders of the NGO ATS Pro Terrasancta.

Lufti Firas

Born in Hama (Syria city center halfway between Aleppo and Damascus) in 1975. After completing his high school studies he joined in the Holy Land Custody. On 17 September 2001, he makes solemn profession in Jerusalem.
The July 11, 2013 in Hama ordination to the priesthood and in the period from 2013 to 2014 at the Holy Sepulchre. In September 2014 he was appointed assistant pastor in Aleppo and vocational animator for Syria. In 2011, in Rome for a licentiate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University Bible. In 2015 in Aleppo is Superior of the College of the Holy Land and Vice pastor of St. Francis parish.

Samaan Daoud

Born in Damascus and Syrian citizenship. Greek-Melkite Catholic rite. In 1991 he studied Italian language at the University of Perugia. Italian-speaking guide in Syria. Since September 2011, after the "Arab spring" he started to observe the situation of Christians in Syria, considering the developments of the war in the Middle East. He collaborated with the newspaper, Times, Avvenire. He is the editor of Radio Maria programs in Arabic.

Fr. Bahjat Karakach, ofm

Born on July 16, 1976 in Aleppo (Syria), from a family of Armenian origin. he entered the Order of Friars Minor (Custody of the Holy Land) in 2001. He completed his theological studies in Italy, specialized in Christian anthropology. He worked five years as a master of postulants (pre-novice) for the Custody, in Montefalco (PG). He is currently engaged in pastoral work in the Franciscan community of St. Paul in Damascus in Syria.

Andrea Avveduto

Journalist and writer, was born in Novara in 1984, he has a degree in Political Science at the University of Milan. He worked as a television analyst in the Talk program on Rai 3. He lived in Jerusalem working as a journalist at Francescan Media Center, the Television Center of the Holy Land Custody. Attualmentelavora at the Association for the Holy Land.

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