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Shamiran Merkhaal fled Christian persecution in Iraq and discovered her dream here in Australia

WHEN Shamiran Merkhaal and her family fled Iraq because of persecution of their Christian faith, she could barely speak English.  Ten years later, Ms Merkhaal now teaches disadvantaged students in Melbourne’s western suburbs. “I’ve been teaching for 11 months. It’s still new. I still have my bad days and my good days,” Ms Merkhaal said.  “I never thought I’d be ... Read More »

Brisbane priest witnesses the Church and people of Iraq rebuilding after ISIS devastated their country

BRISBANE priest Fr Gerry Hefferan has visited some of the towns devastated by ISIS in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq and been struck by the “incredible resilience” of families rebuilding their lives there. “I remember the courage and perseverance of returning families and their hospitality,” Fr Hefferan told parishioners at the Parish of St Joseph and St Anthony, Bracken ... Read More »

Medical couple studying in Australia returning home to run Iraq’s first and only Catholic hospital

Iraqi medical students with Archbishop Mark Coleridge

AN Iraqi medical couple studying in Australia are preparing to return to their war-torn homeland to operate a new and unique Church-run hospital. Dr Saveen Oghana and Ban Isaqi, a dentist, have spent the past year studying master’s degrees at ACU’s Brisbane campus – equipping them with health administration skills needed to run a new Catholic hospital in Erbil in ... Read More »

Australia picked to help rebuild shattered Christian town Qaraqosh

Benjamin Blanchard

CHRISTIANS rebuilding their homes in devastated Qaraqosh could soon receive financial support from Australians concerned about the diminishing presence of Christianity in Iraq. Benjamin Blanchard, the founder of a non-government organisation helping persecuted Christians living in the Middle East, SOS Chretiens d’Orient, will visit Australia later this month with the hope of raising $150,000 to help rebuild Qaraqosh. Mr Blanchard ... Read More »

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