29 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/07/2008
IRAQ
All the Christian denominations at funeral for slain priest
Yesterday at Saints Peter and Paul in Baghdad, the funeral was held for Youssef Adel, killed Saturday by unknown persons. Also present at the function, the Vatican nuncio and Cardinal Delly. The plan to drive Christians out of Iraq could be part of a more general strategy of Shiite supremacy in the Middle East.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - There is a climate of "great fear" in the Iraqi Christian community in Baghdad, where the funeral was held yesterday for the Assyrian Orthodox priest, Youssef Adel, killed in cold blood last April 5 in the capital.  The funeral, in the church of Saints Peter and Paul in the neighbourhood of Karrada, was celebrated by the Assyrian Orthodox archbishop of Baghdad and Basra, Saverius Jamil Hawa.  Various members of the faithful and religious representatives from all the Christian denominations were present, including Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka, the Assyrian Catholic bishop of the capital, the patriarch of the Chaldeans, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, the apostolic nuncio in Iraq and Jordan, Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt.

Youssef Adel, who was married but had no children, was about 40 years old and was the director of a mixed high school, attended by Christians and Muslims, young men and young women. He was assassinated by a group of unknown persons. In the past, he had received a number of death threats. Condemnation of the attack has been expressed by the Iraqi vice president, the Sunni Tareq al-Hashemi, and by the Assyrian Orthodox patriarch of Damascus. As soon as he heard the news, Benedict XVI expressed his profound sadness. In a telegram sent to Saverius Jamil Hawa, the pope "calls upon the Lord, that the Iraqi people may find the way of peace, in order to build a just and tolerant society".

The latest murder strikes at a community still in shock from the killing of the Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Faraj Rahho, found dead on March 13 after 14 days in captivity. Many Christians are fleeing in order to survive the persecution, and it is now said that only 400-500,000 faithful remain in the country.  In 2003, the figure was around one million.  But at the funeral of the priest yesterday, there were also some - cited by the international news agencies - who said they were determined to stay: "it is a question of faith".

Christian leaders have frequently denounced a plan to eliminate their millennia-old presence from Iraq.  And some advance the hypothesis that the Shiites are carrying out a calculated strategy in the Middle East, as demonstrated by the clashes in Basra in recent days, and by the situation in Lebanon and Palestine.  In the perspective of this plan for Shiite supremacy, Christians - who are equated with the West - must be driven out.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/10/2008 IRAQ
Archbishop of Kirkuk says bombs will not kill hope or stop dialogue
10/07/2008 IRAQ
Mosul, another "targeted murder" against the Christian community
06/04/2007 IRAQ
The Chaldean Church mourns Fr. Ragheed Ganni and his martyrs
09/23/2004 iraq
Terror group beheads second US hostage, while British hostage pleads for his life
10/16/2006 IRAQ
Patriarch Delly: World has forgotten Iraqi Christians
by Yousef Hourany

Editor's choices
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
LEBANON
Islamic Makassed launch doctrinal battle against Muslim extremism
by Fady NounOfficial reference point for Lebanon’s Sunnis approves a document entitled "Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom". Speculation over whether Dar el-Fatwa will succeed in gradually regaining control of Islamic religious teaching in the nation’s mosques.
HONG KONG – CHINA
For Card Zen, removing crosses in Zhejiang is an insult to the faith of CatholicsHong Kong’s bishop emeritus has come to the conclusion that the campaign to dismantle crosses and religious buildings is part of a broader, nation-wide strategy, and constitutes regression in terms of the mainland's religious policy. Catholics and Protestants in Hong Kong now fear that it might happen to them. In Zhejiang, another 15 religious buildings are slated for destruction by 1 September.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.