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    » 08/19/2009, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Kirkuk: a businessman killed, a doctor kidnapped. Fear returns to haunt Christians



    Yesterday in northern Iraq two violent episodes took place against the Christian community. A man was murdered because he tried to prevent the abduction of a Muslim child. A doctor kidnapped for money; a passer-by killed during the abduction. Local sources confirm a climate of "concern" that could cause "another mass exodus."

    Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - More murders and kidnappings targeting the Christian community in Kirkuk, northern Iraq. Yesterday evening Sabah Daowd Askar, 55 years old, married and father of three children, was killed in front of his home in the district of Almas. Also yesterday, in another episode, a 50 year old doctor was abducted on his way home. AsiaNews sources in the city speak of a "climate of fear" and are afraid of a "new mass exodus" of Christians.

    Sabah Daowd Askar was killed because "he tried to prevent a kidnapping." The man, Christian, saw four people "kidnap a Muslim child." He tried to save him, but the "criminals opened fire”. "He was a businessman - said the source, who knew the victim well - very kind and generous”.  Because of his generosity he had tried to prevent the abduction of the child, “irrespective of his faith or the community he belonged to".

    Samir Gorgia, 50, married with two children, a boy and a girl, was abducted around 9 last night, on his way home. During the course of the abduction a passer-by was killed, also of the Christian faith. "Even in this case - the source tells AsiaNews - this is a well known person. He is a medical specialist, known and appreciated by all” for his dedication to his work.

    Once again "a climate of concern and fear” reigns upon the Christian community in Kirkuk, a victim of fundamentalist and criminal violence in the past.  The source says that "for some time the city has been living in a situation of instability" and a new mass exodus is feared. "Despite some attacks – the source concludes - few faithful have left the city, on the contrary, many families have recently returned. These latest episodes of violence, however, have generated a real concern for the future”. (DS)

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    See also

    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.

    29/09/2008 IRAQ
    Appeal from Archbishop Sako: politics is also trying to wipe out Iraqi Christians
    The archbishop of Kirkuk launches an appeal to the government and to UN representatives, for the protection of Christians and other minorities, excluded from the new law that will regulate the provincial elections. Yesterday, in all of Iraqi Kurdistan, demonstrations were held after the Sunday Masses.

    03/11/2008 VATICAN - ISLAM
    Christians and Muslims: resuming dialogue, thanks to the pope
    For two days, from November 4-6, Islamic and Catholic experts are meeting at the Vatican, after years of chilly relations due to the growth of fundamentalism. Everything has now resumed, thanks to the address of Benedict XVI in Regensburg, where he affirmed that religion embraces reason and excludes violence. The most urgent theme: religious freedom, so that every community may be guaranteed the right to proclaim and spread its faith.

    29/07/2011 IRAQ
    Christian and Muslim women of Kirkuk unite against violence
    A women's movement has organized an interfaith conference on the role and value of women. A poll reveals that 88% of women in the city have experienced some form of violence. A plan to ensure greater social and religious commitment. The archbishop of Kirkuk stresses the importance of women in Christian history: "equal value to the role of males and females."

    09/09/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Christian killed during pilgrimage to the town of Mary
    Sunil Masih, 25, left the group travelling to Mariamabad and never returned. The corpse showed signs of injury. Police deny possibility of his being run over by a truck. Identity of the perpetrators of the murder still unknown. The pain of the family, who lost their only son.



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