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Iraq: 3 Priests Ordained in Refugee Camp to Serve Fellow Refugees

  • Veronica Neffinger

    Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the…

  • 2016 Aug 09

Three priests have been ordained in a refugee camp in Iraq and will now focus on serving those who face persecution for their faith.

According to, Fr. Roni Salim Momika, Fr. Emad, and Fr. Petros were ordained as priests of the Syriac-Catholic Church in a refugee camp in Erbil.

About 1,500 people gathered for the ordination service which took place inside the Aishty 2 refugee camp. About 5,000 people live in the camp after being forced to flee their homes.

The three priests themselves were forced to flee their homes in the city of Qaraquosh, along with 50,000 other Christians, when the Islamic State took control of the area.

“We left Qaraqosh during this time two years ago," Fr. Momika told Catholic News Agency. "Before it was a bad day because we became refugees and ISIS entered to Qaraqosh, but now this day became a good day because it's our ordination and we give hope to our people.”

Fr. Momika added that his calling is “to give Christ to the people.” He especially focuses on ministering to young people and women in the camp.

Christian Today notes that, before it was overrun by ISIS militants, Qaraqosh was home to Iraq’s largest Christian community.

Publication date: August 9, 2016