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Iraqi priest, torture victim leads school esteemed by Muslim neighbors

Catholic World News - November 10, 2010

The Christian Science Monitor has published a brief profile of Father Douglas al-Bazi, a Chaldean Catholic priest who has decided to stay in his Baghdad neighborhood despite being kidnapped and tortured in 2006. “It’s not that I’m a hero-- I don’t care about that,” the priest says. “I care about staying with my people. My people never asked me to be a hero, they just want to see me here with them.”

As Christians flee his neighborhood, Muslim neighbors vie for a spot for their children at the parish school, in part because the school does not permit teachers to hit their students. The presence of the school has led local Muslims to be willing to defend the Church, according to the priest. “Our neighbors here say if someone touches you that means they touch us.”

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