2 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/12/2014
IRAQ
Archbishop of Mosul: anarchy in the city; Muslims defend churches from assaults and raids
Armed gangs patrol the streets and squares. Some citizens have prevented the devastation to the parish of the Holy Spirit and Christian homes. It always makes more dramatic the situation of refugees. The rise of Islamists shows the failure of a Christian enclave on the Nineveh Plain.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - The situation in Mosul, "is calming," but "you cannot say that it is returning to normal," because the city is in a state of "anarchy"; the largest block of the assailants who recently broke into the city "has moved on elsewhere," to "fight and conquer other parts of the country."

Today, "there are armed people who patrol the streets and squares", the majority "are Iraqis, but it is possible that there may be even foreigners ... we have no confirmation of this". This is what, Msgr. Shimoun Emil Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, in northern Iraq tells AsiaNews. About 500 thousand people, Muslims and Christians have fled the city, creating a humanitarian as well as economic and political crisis.

"Some families have remained - adds the bishop - but they are holed up in the house and prevails an atmosphere of fear and waiting for what will happen next."

Archbishop Nona has found refuge in the village of Tilkif, three kilometers from the center of Mosul, and is closely following - and deeply concerned about - the evolution of the situation in the city and throughout his diocese. A reality that has previously mourned the violent death of faithful and pastors, including the former Archbishop Msgr. Faraj Rahho (who was kidnapped) and Fr. Ragheed Ganni.

And the parish of Fr. Ragheed is the scene of an event that " is a source of hope" and "bears witness to the goodness of the people of Iraq," amid a dramatic backdrop of violence and terror: "Yesterday - says the prelate - some people broke into the Church of the Holy Spirit to steal and wreak havoc. Nevertheless, neighbors, belonging to Muslim families, took to the streets to defend the place of Christian worship. Eventually they managed to chase the attackers away. Many people who have remained in the city, including Muslims, are trying to defend as much as possible Christian houses and places of worship. "

However, the climate remains tense and difficult, especially for refugees who have left Mosul in an attempt to escape militia violence. "Right now the situation is under control - says Msgr. Nona - because there are people of good will who help them, together with small groups and organizations active in the area, but unless something changes in the next few days, the crisis is likely to worsen and the solidarity of the Christian community, which has opened the doors of their homes and villages to accommodate those who fled, won't be enough. We will need help. "

The archbishop is still amazed at the ease with which militants took Mosul: "For us - he says - it is still unclear what happened, suddenly everything collapsed. The city was controlled by the army and police, there were no signals that could have predicted what happened in the next few hours". The military abandoned their weapons and posts "and these people entered without any problems or opposition". Another thing that needs to be clarified is the ease with which they are advancing towards the capital as village after village along the 400 km separating Mosul from Baghdad capitulate.

The fall of Mosul and the violence of recent days are a further confirmation of the inadequacy of the proposal to form a Christian enclave in the plain of Nineveh, now in the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS ). "After the fall of Saddam in 2003 - Msgr. Nona - several solutions were put forward to try to ensure peace and security in the country. Nineveh, was an idea like many others, but time and effort is needed to find an effective and long-lasting solution. The key point is and remains the need for an overall comprehensive plan for the country, which sadly lacking". (DS)

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/18/2010 IRAQ
Mosul, a Christian businessman killed as the faithful celebrate their new archbishop
08/15/2014 IRAQ
For Mosul Archbishop, Islamist violence has led to new "unity" among Christians and the Church of Iraq
05/13/2008 IRAQ
Archbishop Sako: the U.S. and Baghdad should be pressured to help Iraqi Christians to stay
by + Louis Sako
06/11/2014 IRAQ
Chaldean Archbishop: Christians and Muslims fleeing Mosul, occupied by Islamists
02/25/2010 IRAQ
Bishop of Mosul: humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of Christian families fleeing violence

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
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.