Photo Credit: Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf
The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Cardinal-Patriarch Louis-Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon, joined other ecumenical guests and VIPs at the official opening of a new Anglican school in Baghdad. The Anglican School of the Redeemer – al-Fadi – was officially opened on Saturday (29 September) by the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, Michael Lewis. The bishop also opened a newly re-sited and refurbished Hope Resource Centre.
The new school will enable St George’s Church in Baghdad to offer primary-level education to children after they have completed their time at the existing Redeemer Kindergarten. It has been planned for a number of years.
Like the Kindergarten, the Primary School will serve all the local community. Some 90 per cent of the Kindergarten’s 150 children are from Muslim families. “The parents greatly value the safe environment of learning, the subjects offered in the school, including simple things of behaviour and values”, the Anglican Chaplain in Baghdad, Father Faiz Jerjees, said in February 2017. “Children are able to relate what they learn in school to everyday life experience, and the parents are very happy to see the positive development of their children.”
Speaking earlier this year in a video by the NGO Stand With Iraqi Christians, Father Faiz said the school was focused on “not just language, not just to teach them Arabic or English; but we want to also [teach] them how to live together, how they can learn together, eat together and love each other. This is very important for the future in Iraq.”
St George’s is the only Anglican church in Iraq. In addition to the kindergarten and school, the church runs a health clinic for its local community.
Before and after: The photo above shows Father Faiz Jerjees outside the Anglican School of the Reseemer – al-Fadi – during construction; while the photo below shows the completed building.
Photo above: Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME)
Photo below: Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf