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» 11/17/2010
IRAQ
Archbishop of Mosul warns of change in strategy in attacks on Christians
The United Nations should "put pressure on the Iraqi government," therefore investigate attacks and killings "in depth", says Mgr. George Basile Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul. With the murder of two Christians, in their own homes, we are witnessing an escalation of attacks against the Christian minority in Iraq. Families are leaving the country.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - After the church attack in Baghdad that killed 55 people, and the statement of Al Qaeda that Christians are "legitimate targets", there has been no end to the violence against the Christian minority in Iraq. On November 15, in Mosul, two other men were killed in their homes. According to the statements of police, some unknown persons broke into homes and gunned them down with automatic weapons before fleeing. The victims were Nabil Ghanem and Nashwan Khoder, both 36 years old. The first, Syrian Catholic, worked for the provincial unit of the organization to combat corruption, the second, a carpenter of Armenian origin.

This latest attack - a real execution- seems to indicate a different strategy in the attacks against Christians. Mgr. George Basile Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, is convinced of this and spoke to AsiaNews about the dramatic situation of the Christian community in Iraq:

Do you believe, we are seeing a surge in attacks against the Christian minority in Iraq?

Yes and a new, dangerous growth: the novelty is that the terrorists are attacking people directly in their homes. There is a change in strategy.

Are these latest attacks - including that of 31 October against the church in Baghdad, claimed by Al Qaeda - pushing the Christian community to flee Iraq? And in this case, to where?

Many Christian families are leaving or would like to leave the big cities, Baghdad and Mosul in particular. The first step is to leave their homes. But some of them try to go abroad.

Would you like to make an appeal for Christians in Iraq through AsiaNews?

We are asking the United Nations to seriously discuss the issue of Iraqi Christians. To send a real commission for an inquiry. To put pressure on the Iraqi government to ensure attention and the highest security to churches and Christian villages. And to pursue the murderers, to the very end.


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See also
12/06/2010 IRAQ
Two more Christians murdered overnight in Baghdad
11/29/2010 IRAQ
Terrorists behind attack on Baghdad church arrested
11/14/2009 IRAQ
Mosul armed group kills 16 year old Christian on doorstep of home
11/10/2010 IRAQ
Three Christians killed and 26 wounded. Appeal of Al Maliki
by Layla Yousif Rahema
05/19/2008 IRAQ
Iraqi bishops against death penalty for Archbishop Rahho's killer

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
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".

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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