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» 11/26/2009
IRAQ
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
01/09/2008 IRAQ
Car bombs against three churches in Kirkuk
11/16/2006 IRAQ
Bomb against Dominican church in Mosul
11/14/2009 IRAQ
Mosul armed group kills 16 year old Christian on doorstep of home
07/21/2005 CHINA
Shanghai church draws Korean pilgrims
06/28/2009 VATICAN
Follow Saint Paul in one’s passion for Christ and the Gospel, says Pope

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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