Festival held for Chaldean Church families in northern Iraq; Project to prevent violent extremism concluded in Iraqi governorates

KERKESLOKH, Iraq — Under the slogan “Love in Family: An Invitation and Path to Holiness”, the Chaldean Archdiocese of Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk) and Sulaymaniyah held a festival for families in the cities Kerkeslokh and Sulaymaniyah in Iraq.

The festival, organized in response to the call of Pope Francis, lasted from 22–26 June at the Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Kerkeslokh, St. Paul/Sikanian Church in Kerkeslokh, and St. Joseph Church in Sulaymaniyah.

The festival program included prayers, family meetings, discussions, and a recreational trip on the last day for the participating families from Kerkeslokh to Sulaymaniyah.

The festival was concluded with a Mass held by Chaldean Archbishop Mor Youssef Touma on Sunday evening in the Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Kerkeslokh.

Earlier, Pope Francis called families and couples to meet and listen to each other in order to highlight love of the family as an invitation and path to holiness due to the deep meaning of family relations in daily life.

In other news, Italian non-profit organization Un Ponte Per (UPP), with the support of the United Nations Development Program and funding from the German government, organized the final conference of their project “Promoting Community Resilience to Prevent Violent Extremism in Return Areas”.

The project was implemented in five governorates: Anbar, Salah al-Din, Kerkeslokh, Diyala, and Nineveh.

The conference was held on Sunday morning at the Van Royal Hotel in Erbil. The conference was attended by government officials, clerics, members of the local government, and influential people and civil society activists from the five governorates.

The speakers at the conference referred to the great efforts made by UPP in making change in areas of Iraq liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS).