A few days after addressing the United Nations in New York about the genocide of Christians in Iraq, a priest from Baghdad brought his message to Sacramento, California.
KTXL reports, Father Douglas Bazi addressed an overflowing crowd Wednesday night at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chaldean Catholic Church in Orangevale, in a visit sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.
"To be Christian in Iraq, it's impossible mission," Father Douglas Bazi told KTXL.
"But even so, I'm not actually surprised when they attack my people. I'm surprised how my people still exist."
Father Bazi described how he survived bomb attacks and a brutal 2006 kidnapping by members of the Islamic State.
"They destroyed my car, they blew up my church in front of me," he explained.
"I got shot by AK-47 in my leg. The bullet is still in my leg. And I been kidnapped for nine days. They smash my nose and my teeth by hammer. And they broke one of my back discs," KTXL reports.
He shared how the kidnappers released him after nine days when his church paid a ransom, and how he stayed in Iraq, but because of continued persecution from the Islamic State, he eventually fled to the Northern Kurdish territory where he sheltered other Christians.
The crowd in Orangevale gasped when Father Bazi explained that there were more than 2 million Christians in Iraq before 2003 and now there are less than 200,000.