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» 01/10/2008
IRAQ
Archbishop of Kirkuk says bombs will not kill hope or stop dialogue
Following yesterday’s two attacks against the Chaldean cathedral and a Syro-Orthodox Church, Msgr. Sako speaks of a “political message aimed at Christians” and guarantees that “our commitment to building peaceful coexistence will not stop”. Appeal to the faithful of the world: we will not give in but we need your prayers.

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – “We are concerned by yesterday’s attacks but we continue to have hope and we will continue in our commitment to inter-religious dialogue”.  Msgr. Louis Sako, Archbishop of Kirkuk declared to AsiaNews in the aftermath of yesterday’s two car bomb attacks (not three as it had first been reported) which targeted the Chaldean cathedral of the Sacred Heart and the Syro-Orthodox church of Mar-Ephrem. The explosions - described by the prelate as a “political message to Christians”- caused material damage and left “one or two people slightly injured”.

“We do not know who are behind the attacks – the prelate explains – but one thing is certain: these actions aim to send a clear message to Iraq’s Christians”.  “They are co-ordinated – continues Msgr. Sako – they target Christian places of worship, they do not want to provoke deaths, but at the same time they do not leave us in peace”.  On January 6th, 7 Christian targets in Mosul and Baghdad were attacked using exactly the same formula, (co-ordinated car bombs planned so as not to cause massacres).  The Iraqi government had condemned the acts of terrorism and guaranteed protection for Christians.

Words and gestures of solidarity were immediately expressed towards the Christian community of Kirkuk, by political and religious figures of note.  “The ordinary people were the first to show their solidarity – the archbishop says –local leaders followed, political parties, Sunni and Shiite religious”.  The ecclesial authorities also telephoned Msgr. Sako: the Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Dally; the Assyrian Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV from the United States; as well as “bishops and friends from across the world”.  Msgr. Sako is not discouraged and guarantees: “One thing remains absolute and unshakable for our community here in Kirkuk, we will persevere with dialogue to build and strengthen peaceful coexistence”. And from the faithful gathered around their bishop an appeal: “The witness of Iraq’s faithful is strong in a time of great difficulty, keep praying for us”. (MA)

 


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See also
03/01/2010 IRAQ
Iraqi Christians demonstrate, fast against killings and the Nineveh “ghetto”
06/06/2007 IRAQ
Chaldean synod: the names of two new bishops leaked
01/11/2008 IRAQ
Imam of Kirkuk: attacks against Christians are “against Islam”
06/06/2007 IRAQ
Chaldean priest kidnapped in Baghdad
11/23/2007 IRAQ
The fears and hopes of Iraqi Christians
by Louis Sako*

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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