The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich organ recital for Iraqi Christians

Iraqi Christians in Need are hosting an organ recital at Norwich Cathedral with the proceeds supporting refugee families in northern Iraq.

carlbahoshycf450The recital is on Thursday April 16, 2015 at 1.10pm and features works by Boellmann, Messiaen, Schubert, Verne and Widor. The organ will be played by Carl Bahoshy, a UK born roman catholic pianist and organist of Iraqi catholic parents and Network Norfolk took the opportunity to talk with Carl to find out more about him and the current situation that Iraqi Christians find themselves in.

Carl serves as resident organist of St. Elizabeth of Portugal RC Church, Richmond, and he owes much of his musical achievement to the continuous support and encouragement of his parents and to three piano teachers; Ms. Sheila Kearvell, Mr. Stephen Rhys MBE, and most recently, Mr. Melvyn Cooper.

Carl was born in south-west London in 1984 and grew up exposed to two quite different environments; a home environment where Arabic was used as the predominant spoken language combined with a British Catholic education. He went to Mass every Sunday up until the end of A-levels mainly due to strong parental encouragement. He studied French and Spanish at university and does not remember attending Mass even once, returning to the Catholic faith at the age of 26 as a remedy to some particularly challenging life situations he started to study God’s Holy Word and attended Mass weekly - coinciding with study of the organ.

Carl is currently working part-time as a French, Spanish and piano tutor and spends the remainder of his time organising, publicising and performing piano and organ recitals at churches, schools and Cathedrals nationwide in aid of Iraqi Christians In Need.

Carl continues, “ICIN is a UK-registered charity founded in 2007 which provides direct financial relief to displaced refugees under the care of the churches in northern Iraq with all aid channelled through local Bishops and directed towards the procurement of medical aid and shelter, principally in the form of family caravans. I, therefore, do not have a music career in its traditional meaning but I have now given more than 100 recitals in aid of Iraqi Christians In Need since March 2014 and will continue to take every opportunity offered to do so.” 

icinorganrecital“Active persecution of Christianity in Iraq only began after the last invasion in 2003. From an estimated 1.2 million Iraqi Christians who co-existed peacefully with peoples of other faiths before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an estimated 250,000 now remain. The majority of these families- previously self-supporting and some of whom lived a particularly comfortable life have been driven out of their homes and have flooded into Kurdistan where they are being cared for by churches and both Christian and non-Christian NGOs (non-governmental organisations). There are 125,000 Christians scattered across northern Iraq with the remainder having sought refuge in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The systematic persecution of Christians has been demonstrated through the destruction of churches - some that date back to as early as AD200 - the killing of clergy, the looting of homes marked with the letter ‘N’ (the Arabic word for Christian) and, in the worst cases, rape or beheadings. Over the course of a week in early February 2015 that included talks and meetings at the House of Lords, Westminster Cathedral & the General Synod of the Church of England, Monsignor Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, reiterated that Christianity in Iraq is on the brink of extinction and that desperate action must be taken to protect the displaced and ensure a safe return to their homes.”

Carl Bahoshy is pictured.
For more details on Iraqi Christians in Need please take a look at their website

Andy Latham, 10/04/2015

Andy Latham

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