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    » 11/26/2009, 00.00


    Mosul: Christian buildings attacked, Church of Saint Ephrem levelled

    At present, there is no information about casualties. Attackers carried out their action in broad daylight without any opposition. The methods used are like those used in the attack against the Bishop’s Palace in 2004. Christian sources say the “attack was like a Mafia warning”, a message to Christians “to leave the city.” The faithful are left with anger, disappointment and fear.
    Mosul (AsiaNews) – Explosive devices were detonated this morning at two Christian sites in Mosul, the Church of Saint Ephrem and the Mother House of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine. At present, there are no reports about casualties but the church was entirely destroyed. The convent also suffered damages but it is not known how much. Christian sources in Mosul told AsiaNews that the “attack was like a Mafia warning”, a message to Christians “to get out of the city.”

    At around 10 am, a commando of about ten gunmen stormed the Church of Saint Ephrem in the al-Jadida neighbourhood, in a new section of the city. Attackers told everyone inside to leave and then calmly proceeded to place explosives around the building. When they were set off the whole structure was levelled. The same thing happened to the Bishop’s Palace in December 2004.

    According to early reports, no one among the faithful was hurt in the blast.

    After the first operation, the attackers moved to the Mother House of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine, where a second explosion was heard around 10.30 am. For the moment, there are no details about the damages inflicted on the building or any casualties among the nuns.

    Sources in Mosul told AsiaNews that the attacks were the work “of a group of about ten people who acted calmly.”

    The area is under the control of Sunni Arabs and had not seen any major act of violence until now.

    “We received threats and episodes of intimidation but nothing major,” a Christian source said.

    This morning’s attacks resemble “the series of attacks that hit Mosul’s Christian community in the past.”

    Local sources suggest that Kurds might be involved in the action in order to get Christians out of the area and into the “Nineveh Plain.”

    “There is a lot of fear among the people because those who carried out the attack acted unimpeded and without opposition,” the anonymous source said.

    In fact, it is more than just fear. A sense of “anger and disillusionment against the local and national governments is growing. It is the latest attack and latest disillusionment for Christians who feel abandoned.”  (DS)

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    See also

    09/01/2008 IRAQ
    Car bombs against three churches in Kirkuk
    It is the first terrorist attack against Christian targets in the city. Harm against people and property are still to be determined.

    16/11/2006 IRAQ
    Bomb against Dominican church in Mosul
    The blast took place on November 1 destroying the entrance to the friars' church. No one was hurt. The situation for Christians is getting worse. After a Syro-Orthodox priest was decapitated many clergymen are afraid of wearing clerical robes, but prayers are encouraging hope. "It's our duty not to despair".

    19/03/2015 INDIA
    Card Gracias calls on Joseph of Nazareth for help against violence on women
    The archbishop of Mumbai co-celebrated Mass on the feast day dedicated to the saint. In his homily, he mentioned "the atrocities that happen in so many parts of our country and for the Middle East," as well as "the nun who was violated" in West Bengal. Today, the prelate also led a Mass of reparation for the attack on the convent of Jesus and Mary.

    14/11/2009 IRAQ
    Mosul armed group kills 16 year old Christian on doorstep of home
    Rami Katchik belongs to the Armenian community. The murder occurred in the neighbourhood of Tahrir. The police say motive is not yet clear. Fr. Hazem Girgis, a local priest: It is one of the many crimes committed to eradicate Christians from the area and force them to leave.

    21/07/2005 CHINA
    Shanghai church draws Korean pilgrims
    Church building was torn down and rebuilt as part of Pudong district's redevelopment plans. Koreans visit the site to see relic of Saint Andrew Kim, the first Korean martyr.

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