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  • » 10/08/2008, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Mosul, martyrdom of Iraqi Christians continues



    Yesterday, three more victims - including a father and son - were killed by fundamentalists because they were guilty of "being Christian" in a country where a "systematic persecution" is now underway against non-Muslims. A source denounces "the silence" of the Iraqi media, and the inaction of the international community.

    Mosul (AsiaNews) - More Christian blood in Mosul: yesterday, October 7, a father and son were killed in the neighborhood of Sukkar while they were working. Amjad Hadi Petros and his son were killed because "they were guilty of being Christian" in a place where a "systematic persecution" is being seen. In a second attack, recorded in another of the city's neighborhoods, a fundamentalist group broke into a pharmacy and killed an assistant, also of the Christian religion.

    Yesterday we recounted the execution, on Monday, October 6, of Ziad Kamal, a 25-year-old disabled shop owner in the city. The young man owned a store in the neighborhood of Karama: he was taken by an armed group from inside his store and brought to a nearby spot, where he was shot to death. Also, on Saturday, October 4, two more men were barbarously assassinated in two other areas of Mosul: Hazim Thomaso Youssif, 40, was killed in front of the clothing store he owned, while 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya was shot to death in the neighborhood of Tahrir, outside of his house in front of the local mosque of Alzhara.

    An anonymous source for AsiaNews in Mosul denounces the "systematic persecution" against the Christian community, the only desire of which is that of "living in peace," while for some time it has been the victim of "targeted executions" because of its "faith." The source refers to "the silence" in the local media and in the international community "about the martyrdom" being carried out against the Christians of Mosul and all over Iraq, and speaks of a "superficial solidarity," while in concrete terms there are no tangible steps demonstrating a clear desire to improve the situation.

    The most worrying fact is that the Islamic fundamentalists - to whom the recent attacks are attributed - seem to have taken aim at a precise segment of the Christian community: store owners and commercial activity in the northern Iraqi town. It is a clear sign that the terrorists intend to uproot the Christian community, destroy its economic activity, and force the population to leave.

    Today, the archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, issued an appeal on behalf of Christians of Mosul, who are abandoning the city on account of the attacks in recent days. The following are the words of Archbishop Sako, head of the committee of Iraqi bishops for interreligious dialogue:

    "Appeal to our brothers of the community of Mosul:

    What is happening in the famous city of Mosul to Christian citizens, in terms of persecutions, kidnappings, threats, and killings, is deplorable and worrying. The level of civility, fraternity, and peaceful coexistence in the city of Mosul was exemplary. For this reason, the noble population of Mosul should not give in to people who perpetrate acts that violate the rights of peaceful and loyal citizens. This is also a violation of national unity, which is an essential factor above all at a time when our country is under occupation.

    The Christians of Iraq are native to this place, and have nothing to do with the plots in the country, nor do they know anything about what will happen in the future. They want nothing other than a dignified and peaceful life. They want to cooperate with all for the purpose of building stability for the good of the country and its citizens, as they have always done throughout history.

    We issue an appeal to all honest men of good will, that they reject these attacks and preserve the Christian presence in this historical city. The prophet Mohammed urged 'fellowship.' This ideal is still valid, and applies to all Muslims." (DS)

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    See also

    24/01/2009 VATICAN - IRAQ
    Pope receives robe and stole belonging to Archbishop Rahho and Fr. Ragheed, martyrs of Iraq
    The gifts were given at the concluding audience for the ad limina visit of the Chaldean bishops. Benedict XVI urges the promotion of education among young people, and coexistence with Muslims, defending equal rights for Christians and demanding security from the authorities. Concern over the refugees and emigrants. The value of the synod assembly, and of charity.

    09/10/2008 IRAQ
    Islamic fundamentalists: "expel Christians from Mosul"
    Yesterday, a 38-year-old Chaldean was shot to death, but there could be a total of three victims. Men are driving around the city shouting slogans against the Christians, threatening more slaughter and violence. From the U.S. command, confirmation that Mosul has become the last stronghold of the al Qaeda militants.

    16/10/2008 IRAQ
    Kurds and Arabs exchange accusations over attacks on Christians in Mosul
    The government says it does not believe that al Qaeda is behind the killings. Condemnation of the attacks has also come from the the highest Shiite authority, grand ayatollah Ali Sistani.

    15/10/2008 ISLAM - IRAQ
    Islamic conference condemns attacks on Iraqi Christians
    The organization is calling for an "end to the suffering of our Christian brothers." The Iraqi government sends a commission to support the work to bring security back to the inhabitants of Mosul.

    16/03/2009 IRAQ
    Iraq looks to future with "optimism." Economic crisis feared more than security
    Violence and lack of security are not the main cause of concern. 85% of Iraqis call the current situation "very good or quite good." Sources for AsiaNews confirm the reopening of shops and businesses. The country must promote economic alternatives to oil, like tourism and agriculture.



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    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    KOREA
    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



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