06/14/2007, 00.00
ITALY – IRAQ
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Question presented to Italian Senate about fate of Christians in Iraq

Fifty-four opposition senators call on the government to take action to prevent further persecution and ghettoisation of Christians, sorely tried by the martyrdom of Fr Ragheed Ganni.

Rome (AsiaNews) – A written question by Senator Alfredo Mantovano signed by 54 opposition senators was presented today to the Italian foreign minister regarding the fate of Christians in Iraq following the death of Fr Ragheed Ganni and three aids.

In it the signatories remember the death of Fr Ragheed on June 3 described as “a martyr for a free Iraq, a witness to an steadfast faith that bombs and threats could not shake who died believing until the end that peace in his country was possible.”

The senators also highlighted fears that “these deaths may become tools of propaganda for the creation of an autonomous Christian area in the Nineveh Plains which would amount to chasing Christians from Iraq and reduce them to a ghettoised enclave as envisaged in the Nineveh Plains plan.

The lawmakers asked the Italian government “what steps it intends to take at the international level and in Iraq to stop any plan to ghettoise Christians in Iraq and avoid repeated incidents of open religious persecution.”

Fr Ragheed’s death also found strong echo in political circles in France, Ireland and Sweden.

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