Man who prevented ISIS desecrating Blessed Sacrament now a priest

A young Iraqi seminarian who risked his life to save the Blessed Sacrament from being desecrated by ISIS during an invasion has returned to the same church as a priest.

Martin Baani was 24 when these events unfolded.

Rather than leave Iraq with his family, Baani chose to stay and complete his training in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

He was one of seven seminarians ordained last September.

Baani told international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that he will stay in Iraq because he loves Jesus.

“I am happy to celebrate holy Mass in Iraq, he told .

“Every day I go to the refugee camps to accompany the families,” he told ACN.

“We are Christian refugees. ISIS wants to eliminate Christianity from Iraq, but I have decided to stay. I love Jesus, and I don’t want our history to disappear.”

ACN has planned to reconstruct about 13,000 Christian homes ISIS destroyed.

It says there are over 10,000 Christian internally displaced individuals and families in the greater Erbil region.

While many still hold a hope to return to their homes in Nineveh, they say this is uncertain for most.

They say is because of “the continuing conflict in the region and lack of any stable security plan from the central government in Baghdad or the Kurdistan Regional Government”.


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