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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/15/2012, 00.00

    IRAQ - VATICAN

    Shiite ayatollah launches fatwa: Iraqi Christians, conversion to Islam or death

    Joseph Mahmoud

    From an Egyptian TV Jihad leader Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani speaks of Christians as polytheists and friends of the Zionists. Sources tell AsiaNews: a grave fact, but the government is attentive to these claims. Card. Sandri reconsecrates the cathedral scene of the massacre in October 2010. The tears, said the cardinal, "are seeds of communion and witness".

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - An Advent of light and shadow for Iraq's Christians, who are celebrating the reopening of the cathedral of Baghdad but at the same time subjected to new - and heavy - threats from a radical Shiite Muslim leader. From studies of a television broadcaster based in Egypt, an Iraqi Ayatollah launches a fatwa against the religious minority on the eve of Christmas: "Conversion to Islam or death." However, strength of faith overcomes the fear of violence as witnessed by celebrations for the "rebirth" of the Syrian Catholic cathedral in the capital, the scene of a bloody attack at the end of October 2010 (see AsiaNews 31/10/2010 Al Qaeda attack on Baghdad church ends in massacre)

    In an interview last December 13 on Egyptian television Al Baghdadia, the Shiite ayatollah Ahmad Al Hassani Al Baghdadi issued a fatwa against Christians in Iraq. Labeling them as "polytheists" and "friends of the Zionists", the extremist leader stressed that they must choose "or Islam or death," while "their women and girls may legitimately be regarded wives of Muslims." Al Baghdadi is known for his "jihad" positions and for attacking Americans in the past during their presence in the country, and today he lives in Syria, supporting the armed opposition.

    Catholic sources in the capital tell AsiaNews that it is "a very serious fatwa," but "it is unlikely that people will be upset too much." The government pays "attention" to these proclamations by extremists, however it is possible that such words could "create panic in some areas of the capital," where there are now "very few" Christians.

    This morning meanwhile Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, presided over the rededication ceremony of the restored Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The place which reopened yesterday to worship and to the faithful, was the scene October 31, 2010 of a massacre carried out by a group of al Qaeda, which killed about 50 faithful and two priests.

    During the homily, the cardinal immediately recalled the "testimony offered by many of our brothers and sisters" who "preceded by two young and heroic priests" united forever "their lives to Jesus Christ." He highlighted the "honorable sacrifices" that have allowed the reopening of the cathedral and pointed out that, through the comfort and hope "the Lord encourages Eastern Christians, and especially those of Iraq, to ​​communion and testimony." Bringing the greetings of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sandri invoked the Lord, so that "the tears shed in this sacred place, become the good seed of communion and witness and bear much fruit."

    The Vatican cardinal is in Iraq for a five-day official visit, which began on December 13, in addition to the consecration, Cardinal Sandri took part in the Christmas concert organized for the Year of Faith in the Armenian cathedral in the capital, while over the next days he will visit Kirkuk and Erbil in the north.

     

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    See also

    04/03/2008 IRAQ
    Kidnappers of Mosul bishop, raise the ransom
    Yesterday evening, another telephone call, increasing the ransom and dictating conditions which “complicate the case”. Still no guarantees on the “wellbeing” of the bishop, abducted on February 29th. These latest developments raise fears that these are no ordinary criminals interested solely in money. Iraq’s premier sends a message to the Chaldean Patriarch.

    30/05/2007 IRAQ
    Baghdad, the Mahdi army imposes the veil on Christian women
    following in the footsteps of radical Sunnis, Shiites begin to persecute Christians. A letter is circulating the capital signed by al-Sadr militants announcing that special committees have been set up to insure Islamic behaviour. Russia guarantees that “pressure” will be brought to bear on the Iraqi authority and its international partners to insure respect for Christians. This afternoon the Iraqi Diaspora takes to the streets of Stockholm.

    24/05/2007 IRAQ
    Iraqi government offers its “full support” to the persecuted Christians of Baghdad
    In an official statement the Iraqi cabinet pledges protection to Christian families persecuted by Islamic extremists and condemns all violence perpetrated against the Christian community. Christians in Iraq welcome favourably the government’s statement, but call for “concrete steps”. Muslim religious leaders speak out in defence of their “Christian brothers”.

    31/10/2011 IRAQ
    Forgiveness and prayers for peace one year on from Baghdad cathedral massacre
    The words of Cardinal Sandri at a mass celebrated in Rome to commemorate the killing of over 40 people. Today in the Iraqi capital Archbishop of Baghdad leads celebration with patriarchs of the Maronite and Syrian Catholic Churches.

    26/01/2009 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Muslims against yoga, smoking, abstention from voting
    A fatwa against those who practice yoga, because this "weakens faith in Islam." In the crosshairs of the ulemas are also cigarettes - although there is not unanimous agreement on this - and those who abstain from voting. And candidates faithful to Islam should be elected.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    CHINA
    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


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