» 10/05/2009, 00.00
Kirkuk, a Christian nurse killed. Archbishop Sako: the situation is "worrying"
Yesterday, the police discovered the corpse, which showed "signs of torture." On the evening of 3 October three people shot at Imad Elias Abdul Karim, then seized him. The man, a 55 year-old father of two, is known within the world of healthcare. Archbishop of Kirkuk: Christians are targets of kidnappings and assassinations".
Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - Imad Elias Abdul Karim, 55 year-old Christian nurse who was kidnapped on 3 October in front of his home in the suburb of Mualimin in Kirkuk, has been found dead. Local sources tell AsiaNews that yesterday evening, at about 11, police found the body of man "thrown" on the road between the district and Dumez and Asra Mafqudin Wa: the same place where in the past Risq Aziz - a Christian and ranking official of the city - and two other women were killed. From an initial medical report, the body "has obvious signs of torture."
Yesterday, Msgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, appealed to authorities and local papers for the man’s release, calling the situation of Christians "worrying" because in recent months they have increasingly become the "target of threats, kidnappings and assassinations." The attack took place on the evening of October 3. During the hectic assault, the group - made up of three people - opened fire, wounding the man, a husband and father of two children. Local sources state that Imad Elias Abdulkarim was on his way to his car when a "group of three people who shot" at the man appeared. The assailants kidnapped him, disappearing without trace.
"Imad - says a Christian – was well known in the health circles in Kirkuk”. Requests for a ransom or the man’s professional activity could be behind the seizure".
The Christian community confirms the climate of "fear" for the numerous cases of kidnappings and killings this year. "Following the kidnapping of Doctor Samir Gorj”, reveals a local source, “some families have left the city. The government does nothing and Christians – he complains - have become an easy target". Yesterday afternoon, the Archdiocese of Kirkuk had launched an appeal for the liberation of 55-year old nurse. In a message to the media and city officials, Msgr. Louis Sako confirmed that "Christians are a target of violence" and denounced those who "seek political gain" or are "taking advantage of a lack of order" to commit kidnapping and demand "ransom." "Everybody knows - the prelate recalled - that Christians are citizens of this country and this city and no one has any doubts about their devotion to their country or their sincerity." He speaks of "acts against Christians who want to have a role in rebuilding the nation," of "a culture of humiliation that we reject with force" and "calls on government authorities, the decent people of Iraq and Kirkuk, to do everything to protect all citizens, whoever they are". Renewing the call for "dialogue and sincere cooperation", Msgr. Sako asked “the kidnappers of Imad Elias Abdul Karim to fear God" and to release the hostage so he could "return to his family and children as soon as possible." An appeal that went unheard. (DS)
Kirkuk: young Christian teacher is freed thanks to help of Muslims
Joint intervention of army and tribal leaders led to the release of Namir Nadhim Gourguis, kidnapped on May 14th last. No ransom was paid. Decisive the mediation between Imam and tribal chiefs. Msgr Sako: “the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.
Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded
Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was the father of three children. He was abducted three days ago. Negotiations for his released failed. This morning police found his body, which bore “horrific marks of torture”. In voicing his outrage, the archbishop of Kirkuk slammed this “inhuman act,” urging everyone to work together to “protect defenceless citizens”.
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Another Christian abducted in Kirkuk
A 50-year-old man was taken last night from his office. Crime is up in the city because of the power vacuum in the country. For the past four months, politicians have failed to form a government. For Christians, it is a time of martyrdom.
Kirkuk: Christian doctor, held by kidnappers for a month, is freed
Samir Gorj, 50 year old father of two, was released upon payment "of a hefty ransom". He shows signs of torture all over his body. For his release Christians and Muslims had launched a joint appeal. Archbishop of Kirkuk: "a true witness of Christ."
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During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
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