Baghdad (AsiaNews) - With "deep regret" the leaders of the Iraqi Chaldean Church denounce a worsening situation in terms of security in the country, in which "groups and individuals" target "innocent people" killing them or extorting money. Even the Christian community is now being targeted, which in two weeks has seen four people kidnapped and two of them killed, despite the payment of ransom.
In an official statement the leaders of the Chaldean Patriarchate remember the death of Qais Abd Shaya and Saher Hann Sony, two members of the Christian community in Baghdad kidnapped and murdered despite the attempt of the families to release them on payment of a sum of money. Instead, the kidnapping of Bashar Ghanem Al Akrawi and Saad Galyana Shaba, ended with their return home.
Christians are "fully fledged citizens of the state," recalls the Patriarchate, and "hundreds and hundreds of years they have contributed to its civilization and its culture." This is why "we appeal to government authorities and security forces in Baghdad, to protect the lives and property of our people." Below the official press release of the Chaldean Patriarchate Department of Communication sent to AsiaNews:
It is unfortunate that the security situation continues to deteriorate, and that some individuals and groups exploit it to carry out the kidnapping of innocent people in order to gain sums of money and to terrorize civilians. In less than two weeks, they kidnapped four Christians: among them, Dr. Bashar Ghanem Al Akrawi, who was later liberated by the local police, and Saad Galyana Shaba. And the other two Christians kidnapped were killed: Qais Abd Shaya and Saher Hanna Sony, despite the fact that their families had paid ransom for their lives.
This is not the first time that Christians have been kidnapped since the fall of the regime.
There are also incidents where evil people are falsifying the documents of Christian homes and seizing them and their household goods. They also send them threatening messages through their mobile phones ordering them to leave their jobs. This outrageous behavior causes anguish and destroys the national mosaic of Iraqi society, weakening the prestige and authority of the state.
Christians are indigenous citizens, and everyone praises their morality, their patriotism, and their roots in this country. For hundreds and hundreds of years they have contributed to its civilization and culture.
These frightening methods lead to their emigration, and this is a great loss to the strength of the national components. We call upon the governmental authorities and the security forces in Baghdad to protect the lives and the property of our people, and to issue a decision to ban the sale of Christian homes, except by a recommendation of the Church. We also call upon the aggressors to remember that such forbidden behavior cannot continue.