18 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

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





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/13/2009 14:03
IRAQ
Car bomb against Mosul church as Mgr Warduni calls attacks in Baghdad premeditated
In northern Iraq Our Lady of Fatima Church is hit; nearby Shia mosque is also damaged. Local sources warn of new attacks “against churches and monasteries”. A new Christian exodus is feared. For auxiliary bishop of Baghdad attacks were “organised”; he appeals for peace.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – A car bomb exploded this morning near Our lady of Fatima Church in Mosul. So far no casualties have been reported but the building was seriously damaged. The incident is the latest in a wave of violence against Christian places of worship. Yesterday seven Chaldean and Orthodox Churches were hit in Baghdad.

The Chaldean Church of St Mary, in Sharaa Philistine, was the worst hit. It is where the patriarchal vicar of Baghdad, Mgr Sleimon Wardouni, officiates.

“The situation is serious. The attacks against churches were carried out in concert; a sign they were not random but premeditated and organised,” Mgr Warduni told AsiaNews.

For the auxiliary bishop of Baghdad the Church of St Mary was “heavily damaged” but “I am more concerned about the two young people who were killed in the blast. Damages can be repaired but the lives of the two young people who were coming out after Mass where they had prayed for peace . . . that is the saddest thing.”

“An atmosphere of mistrust and negativity prevails among Christians,” the bishop said. “What harm or misdeed have we done to deserve these attacks? Perhaps our fault is to want peace, to love everyone,” he added. “Let us pray that the world shakes off its apathy and firmly demands peace.”

This morning a car bomb also exploded in Mosul’s Faisalia neighbourhood. It hit Our Lady of Fatima Church as well as a nearby Shia mosque. For now the bomb’s target remains unclear.

However, a local source told AsiaNews that churches and monasteries have received threats and that police have warned about “new attacks.”

According to the source the new wave of violence could be connected to “the upcoming provincial elections in Iraqi Kurdistan” and be a warning “to the local Christian community about the vote.”

In Karakosh authorities have imposed a curfew, closing access point to and fro the town. In turn this might trigger another “Christian exodus from the city” after a period of relative calm that had convinced many families to return home.

For a source in Baghdad, who spoke to AsiaNews anonymously for security reasons, there is no connection between the attacks against churches, which have the hallmark of al-Qaeda, and the murder of a woman in Germany dubbed the “veil martyr”.

“There are many [unanswered] questions. I cannot exclude police complicity in the attacks against the churches,” the source said, since “Christian buildings are guarded by police and it is highly unlikely that anyone can get in them and place a bomb without anyone seeing him.”

In Baghdad there is talk about a “possible connection” between anti-Christian attacks and provincial elections in oil rich Kirkuk, an area that has become a major bone of contention between Arabs and Kurds.

“When elections are on the horizon Christians always become targets for attacks,” said the source.

This morning another car bomb exploded near the US Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill as he travelled in a motorcade. The US diplomat was not injured and early reports indicate that no one was hurt.

According to the AsiaNews source, US presence in Iraq and support from the Christian world might provide another “possible explanation” for the attacks.

“Some fringe elements in the country view this close relationship as a betrayal of Iraq’s sovereignty or as taking a political position.” (DS)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/09/2008 IRAQ
Islamic fundamentalists: "expel Christians from Mosul"
06/08/2007 IRAQ
Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
by Saad Hanna Sirop*
03/16/2009 IRAQ
Iraq looks to future with "optimism." Economic crisis feared more than security
01/31/2009 IRAQ
Heavy security measures during voting for provincial councils
10/15/2007 IRAQ
Overcrowding and Kurdification threaten Christians in northern Iraq

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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.