Monday, November 19, 2007

Mass in Baghdad

I have complained on this blog that almost every instance of Muslim-Christian ecumenism and/or “bridge-building” invariably seems to entail the Christians going chapel-veil in hand to Islamic turf. We see images of young Catholics, (or not so young, e.g., Speaker of the U.S. House, Nancy Pelosi), wearing hijabs, and learning the history of Islam, but never see Muslims in Christian settings.

In the interests of fairness, and genuinely pleased for the chance to do so, I am linking to a notable exception. Michael Yon has posted an account of Muslims and Christians working together to prepare St. John’s Catholic Church in Baghdad for a special visit by the auxiliary bishop. By all means read the account on Yon’s site. It is yet one more example of the turnaround of the situation in Iraq since this summer.

This photo is from Yon’s site, with the caption he wrote to go with it.

Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St John’s today in force, and they showed their faces, and they said, “Come back to Iraq. Come home.” They wanted the cameras to catch it. They wanted to spread the word: Come home. Muslims keep telling me to get it on the news. “Tell the Christians to come home to their country Iraq.”

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