An email from Iraq…..
Hope is everywhere, even in Baghdad, check out this article Mom.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Umm Salam draws her curtains across her windows, then settles
into an armchair in a living room festooned with colored lights and a portrait
of Jesus on the cross. Her Christmas tree glitters in the corner.
One of Iraq’s estimated 800,000 Christians, the 56-year-old widow
celebrates the holiday quietly with her children and grandchildren, as violence
sweeps the country.
“It is very risky to go the church in our neighborhood, so we will have a party
at home and some of our relatives will come to celebrate,” she said. “They’ll
have to stay the night at our home due to the security situation and the
The evening service at the local church was canceled for security reasons.
The spirit of Christmas is still alive in Iraq, but it’s tucked away behind the
closed doors of Christian families, who represent about three percent of Iraq’s
26 million people.
Most of the fighting in Iraq involves Sunni and Shiite Muslims, but Christians
have also become targets. Church bombings and other sectarian attacks spiked
amid a wave of anti-Christian anger over comments by Pope Benedict XVI in
September that seemed to link the prophet Muhammad’s teachings to violence.
In October, a priest in the northern city of Mosul was kidnapped by a group
demanding that he retract the pope’s statements. He was eventually found
According to the United Nations, more than a million Iraqis have fled
since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, with about 3,000 people now leaving daily.
About 40 percent of those leaving are Christian, the U.N. says.
Umm Salam, who goes by her tribal name meaning “mother of Salam” out of fear she
will be targeted if she reveals her Christian name, said Sunday she has no
choice but to keep her religion a secret.
“We cannot show our happiness (about Christmas) to neighbors. But every single
Iraqi has his own wounds, and life must go on,” she said. “Happiness is for the
children when they will awake tomorrow and find their gifts near the tree.”
Even though the AP writer attempts to cast a negative slant in the article, readers may draw other conclusions, including those who are in the middle of the whirlwind.
“Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?'’
Michael Graham writes in the Boston Herald….
This Christmas, I am with Longfellow. My outlook is dark and angry. Why must our enemies love death as much as we love life? Why must they see our good will as weakness? Why are we so weak we cannot admit that their hatred and violence will not fade beneath our wishes of peace and understanding?
You must read on to understand that there is hope despite the pessimistic outlook.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin