Sunday, February 20, 2011

There is only one Christian left in this town. The town is in Iraq. What happened to the days when there were Nuns and Missionary priests spewing their faith all over the world? Now we have “faith clubs” where people of all faiths bring their religious book of choice to a meeting and peacefully they discuss similarities and differences about their beliefs. Not exactly a mission to another country.
The last Christian man in Habbaniya Cece, Iraq goes each morning to the building not to worship but to clean the building. He is Romel Hawal, 48 and was born in the town in Anbar Province back when most of the population was Christian. When his son swears, it is on the Koran, not the Bible. The boy knows no other Christians and has no memory of attending a church service. His wife wants to leave town joining what is becoming an exodus of Christians from Iraq and throughout the Middle East. His Muslim friends encourage him NOT to leave.
There have been so many attacks in the region since 2005 that many have left an area that was friendly to people of all faiths. As Anbar Province became a stronghold for Al Qaeda and other Sunni extremist groups, people fled. His is the one family left down from 70 families in the town. The old Christian population brought the sport of soccer to the region from some of their British roots. About half of Iraq’s Christians have left the country.
Presently people are rioting in the streets all over the Middle East desperately pleading to be free from their Dictators; looking for a more democratic form of government. Egypt even wants to create a constitution very similar to the United States especially the part about term limits for its leaders. This town used to be diversified with many faiths being able to be worshiped in peace. All were present and respectful of each other the Muslim neighbors, both Arabs and Kurds.

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