Syriac Catholic Patriarch honors Baghdede fire victims in Lebanon Divine Liturgy

BEIRUT — Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan presided over a solemn Divine Liturgy in Lebanon, commemorating the 40-day anniversary of the tragic fire that claimed lives of over 130 Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians in Baghdede, Iraq.

The Divine Liturgy, attended by numerous members of clergy and a large congregation of Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans), including families of the martyrs living in Lebanon, was a poignant moment of remembrance and prayer.

In his sermon, Patriarch Younan acknowledged the profound impact of the fire tragedy, emphasizing that its details remain incomprehensible. “We ask God to strengthen our faith and will,” he remarked, expressing solidarity with the grieving families.

“We assure them that our hearts are with them, both in Iraq and among the displaced in neighboring countries,” he continued.

Recognizing the challenges faced by the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in Iraq, the Patriarch recounted past terrorist attacks, such as the massacre at the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance 13 years ago and the more recent tragedy in Baghdede. Despite these hardships, Patriarch Younan emphasized the importance of renewing faith, teaching the younger generation about the meaning of suffering and the Crucifixion of Christ, and embracing life according to God’s will.

“We will not emigrate but remain in the land of our ancestors,” the Patriarch asserted. He highlighted Iraq’s ongoing development despite tragedies and stressed that the authorities respect the rights of Christians, urging them to stay. “The [Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian] people, despite the tragedies and pain, must strengthen their faith,” Patriarch Younan concluded.