Shuck and Jive

Thursday, September 29, 2011

International Peacemaker from Iraq in East Tennessee

This is the final schedule for our international peacemaker. Please distribute this widely.

The Ethical Issues and Human Needs Committee is excited to welcome Mazen Alsaqa to Holston Presbytery, September 30th through October 6th. This will be the third time in three years that we have been honored to host an International Peacemaker


Dr. Al-Saqa is a medical doctor currently studying to practice medicine in the United States at Wayne State University Medical School in Royal Oak, Michigan. According to the brochure:

Mazen was born in Mosul, Iraq (old Nineveh), where he served in the Presbyterian Church in Mosul as youth leader, assistant lay pastor, and doctor in the church clinic. Following the kidnapping and murder of his father, Mazen fled to Jordan and in 2009 he was granted refugee status and currently resides in Michigan where he is studying to practice medicine in the USA. He is interested in the meaning of being Christian and the effects of persecution on faith and church.

Here is an article about him,

Al Qaeda Turns to the Church:

This latest massacre of Christians, which left 58 dead, is one of the bloodiest on record since the war began in 2003. It also marks a shift in patterns of violence. It's nothing new for militants to destroy empty churches. But this bloodbath in a sanctuary full of worshippers is horribly new.

Upon hearing the news, Mazin was devastated, but not surprised. "This is what's happening to Christians in Iraq," he said by phone from his safe haven in the U.S. "What hurts most is that no one does anything to protect them."

And some others:

Iraqi refugees move to Michigan despite economy

Iraq native on mission for Presbyterian Peacemaking Program

Michigan remains a magnet for Iraqi refugees

He wrote about topics he would like to address (in his words):

  • Church in my home country
  • The Christian faith in our part of the world and the meaning of being Christian
  • Persecution and its effect on your personal and church faith and activity
  • Making peace and fight for your justice.

He will bring his own laptop and has a powerpoint presentation.

This will be a rare opportunity to hear from a Christian in Iraq and the effect that the Iraq War has had on the people there including Christians. It will also be important to hear of his work in Iraq as a medical professional.

Here is his schedule:

  • October 3rd (Monday) He will speak and have lunch with students at King College. For students, staff, and faculty.

  • October 5th (Wednesday) He will speak at chapel at Emmanuel Christian Seminary at 9:30 and have Q&A following. For students, staff, and faculty.

  • October 5th (Wednesday) He will have lunch and speak with students at Tusculum College. For students, staff, and faculty.

If you have questions about any of these venues e-mail John Shuck.

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