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    » 06/01/2007, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Terrorists sack and occupy a convent in Baghdad



    It took place yesterday in Dora quarter; in a convent of the Chaldean sisters of the Sacred Heart. Local sources tell AsiaNews that Shiite groups are suspected, as they mimic the fierce Sunni campaign of persecution against Christians in the capital. Today the first session of the Chaldean Church Synod opens in al Qosh.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) –

    Terrorists, believed to be Shiites, yesterday occupied the Convent belonging to the Chaldean Sisters of the Scared Heart in Baghdad.  Sources in the capital in contact with the nuns denounced the event to AsiaNews. The Angel Raphael convent lies in the Mikanik area of the oppressed Dora quarter where for months now a ferocious anti Christian campaign of persecution has been unfolding.   The only two sisters who still lived in there tell that a group of terrorists broke into the building during their absence; on their return they found the convent had been sacked of all its goods and turned into a base for military operations.

    According to anonymous sources, in all probability, Shiite militants are behind the attack; as they too join Sunnis in their anti-Christian campaign.  Two days ago a letter signed by the Mahdi Army, linked to the radical leader al Sadr, which imposes the Islamic veil on Christian women in Baghdad.  Today a spokesperson for the group in Najaf, denied all involvement with the message, yet according to priests on the round, the situation is “very worrying”. 

    Sources maintain that the attack on the convent, “could be in response to the Chaldean, Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly’s condemnation of the attack on the Sunni Abdul Qader Al Dilani mosque”, which took place on May 28th in the capital.  The leader of the Chaldean Church in fact joined the Council of Christian Churches in Iraq in denouncing the episode as an attack against “all Iraq and all Iraqis without exceptions, capable of undermining national unity and fomenting division and discord”.

    Security in places of worship and for the Christian community will be at the centre of the Chaldean Churches Synod, which opens its first session today in the northern city of al Qosh. Tomorrow the Vatican Nuncio, Msgr. Francis Chullikat, is expected in Erbil, in Kurdistan.

     

     

     

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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.

    06/08/2007 IRAQ
    Mosul, "focal point" of Wahabi extremism in Iraq
    Iraqi sources warn: the city is in the hands of rigid Sunni fundamentalists, who aim for an Islamic State; Christians and Shiites, find no space while the “kidnapping industry” gathers pace. The family of a kidnapped Chaldean has already paid a ransom twice over, but there is still no trace of the hostage.

    28/05/2010 IRAQ
    A new pastoral ministry against the Iraqi exodus, terrorism and economic crisis
    It is the most important and urgent pastoral program of the new bishop of Erbil in Kurdistan. Bishop Warduni: Facing the economic crisis. The diocese of Baghdad comes to the aid of other dioceses.

    25/02/2010 IRAQ
    Bishop of Mosul: humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of Christian families fleeing violence
    Mgr Nona speaks of an “unending Via Crucis”. The archdiocese helps the refugees with basic necessities, but "the situation is dramatic." The prelate will go to Baghdad to seek the intervention of the central government. Mgr Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, will launch a "demonstration and a fast" to remember "the massacre of Iraqi Christians."

    06/04/2010 IRAQ
    Baghdad under attack, 35 dead and 140 wounded. Easter for Christians of peace in Iraq
    A series of explosions targeted several parts of the capital, causing the collapse of some buildings. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a downtown restaurant. In Kirkuk, government leaders and Muslim religious leaders attended the Easter vigil. The faithful pray for national reconciliation. Archbishop Sako: the risen Christ reminds us of the value of forgiveness.



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