Diocesan News

Congressman, Dominican discuss Iraqi Christians

LINCOLN - Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) recenly met with Sister Diana Momeka, a Dominican nun who with great courage, he said, has labored under the ISIS genocide to secure the well-being of persecuted Christians in Iraq and the wider Mideast region. 

Sister Diana has emerged as a noted international advocate on behalf of Iraq’s Christian community.

The rampage against Christians, Yezidis, and innocent Muslims continues.

“I am so grateful to have met Sister Diana,” Fortenberry said. “I know of her courage, of her humble pleas, of her cries on behalf of her people.”

As the world laments the horrific ISIS violence against religious minorities in the Middle East, persons like Sister Diana are striving to create the conditions for a proper security settlement so that members of these ancient faith communities can return home. Sister Diana lived near Mosul and belongs to the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. The order of nuns, which has a 150-year-old presence in Iraq, has long run schools and clinics in the country. Now the Dominican Sisters’ work to aid Christians displaced by the ISIS genocide.

“Sister Diana showed me pictures of how ISIS destroyed her monastery, her family’s home, and her retreat center,” Fortenberry continued. “The most jarring moment for me was seeing the ISIS battle plans on a whiteboard at the Dominican teaching center.”

“I shared an idea with Sister Diana,” Fortenberry said. “The proposal is to mobilize American Christian communities to ‘Adopt a Persecuted Parish’ in the Middle East. Christian parishes in America could support beleaguered sister churches in that region, so that those in the West can better use their resources to aid families who are confronting genocide at this hour of great need.”

Fortenberry stated that Sister Diana is counting on all persons of goodwill to save Christianity in the Middle East. As he told Sister Diana, “You need our aid; we need your suffering.”

On March 14 this year, the House of Representatives voted 393-0 to pass Fortenberry’s resolution naming and decrying ISIS atrocities against Christians, Yezidis, and others as “genocide.” Three days later, Secretary of State John Kerry officially adopted that position on behalf of the United States Government.

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