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ICC Note: Fr. Douglas Bazi is a Catholic priest living in Erbil, Iraq. He will be speaking in Phoenix on May 3 in order to bring more attention to the persecuted church in the Middle East and his homeland of Iraq. Fr. Bazi was, himself, kidnapped and tortured in 2006 by Islamists for his Christian faith. The Iraqi priest is a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church, famous for its martyrs and enduring faith despite constant persecution, now worse than ever.

04/25/16 Arizona (Catholic Sun) A Catholic priest who was kidnapped and tortured by terrorists in Iraq will speak in Phoenix May 3 in a bid to draw attention to the plight of the persecuted Church in his homeland.

Fr. Douglas Bazi lives in Erbil, Iraq and cares for the tens of thousands of families chased out of their homes by ISIS. The Chaldean Catholic priest’s Phoenix visit is one of several U.S. stops he will make to share about the suffering of his people and to ask for assistance.

A Knights of Columbus commercial repeatedly aired on national television since last fall features Fr. Bazi, who recently testified before the U.S. Congress about the Christian genocide.

Fr. Bazi spoke by telephone to The Catholic Sun about the difficult conditions in the refugee camp as well as the ordeal he endured in 2006. He has a message for Americans he hopes they will take to heart.

“First, I ask that you pray for us. When our heart has faith, we can deal with this situation,” Fr. Bazi said. “Second, help us. Faith without action is not faith actually. Third, save us.”

The Chaldean Catholic Church is known as the Church of Martyrs because of its long history of being persecuted and tortured for the faith. There were some 1.5 million Christians in Iraq prior to the 2003 American invasion. That number has plummeted to about 250,000.

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