» 12/02/2010, 00.00
Christian murdered in Mosul: bishops protest to Government
A young engineer was abducted from his shop and killed in a place nearby. Christian delegation withdraws in protest from a government conference on coexistence and tolerance. Mgr Sako: "It 's our democratic right to demand the authorities defend Christians."
Mosul (AsiaNews) - Bishops and Christian representatives have withdrawn from a conference on "Social Coexistence and Tolerance" organized in Erbil by the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights. The gesture was intended as a protest against yet another crime committed against Christians. The day before, in fact, there was another Christian victim in Mosul, Fadi Walid Gabriel, 26, a Syrian Orthodox, the victim of a cold-blooded murder committed by three men.
The killing of the young engineer took place two days ago, November 30, and the funeral was held yesterday. Fadi Walid was in his shop, in the Zuhoor neighborhood of Mosul, where he was also lived, when three armed men broke in and abducted him at gunpoint. They led him to an empty shop nearby and murdered him in cold blood. With the death of Fadi Walid the number of Syrian Christians murdered after the massacre of the church of Our Lady Salvation in Baghdad increases to eight.
In protest against what seems an unstoppable wave of violence against the Christian minority, the representatives of the Christian communities have withdrawn from the conference on Social Coexistence and Tolerance, organized by the Iraqi Ministry for Human Rights. Local sources say that the bishop Afak Assadorian, President of the Council of the Churches in Iraq gave the signal for withdrawal. Both Assadorian that other bishops have publicly expressed their outrage at this latest attack on Christians. The session was suspended, and there was an emergency meeting to convince the Christian delegation to return. They agreed only after being assured that their demands will be contained in the "Manifesto" to be published at the end of the conference. Following the resumption of discussions, in a brief speech, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Mgr. Louis Sako said: "It 's our democratic right to ask the Iraqi government and the defence minister to impose their control and protect Christians in Iraq, they should protect everyone, but right now, especially Iraqi Christians."
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The toll is one dead and 100 wounded. For over five years the University of Mosul has been in the sights of Islamic extremists who want to convert students and kill the girls who do not wear the veil.
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Cold-blooded execution of a 52-year-old Syrian Catholic, married and father of two daughters. Local sources complain: a new attack to push the Christians toward the plain of Nineveh. Yesterday, Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, the new archbishop of Mosul, made his entry into the diocese.
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New details emerge surrounding the assassination of the Chaldean priest and his three friends in Mosul. Sunni Islam’s highest authority in Iraq condemns the attacks against the Christians and lays “all blame at the door of the Government and occupying forces”. The Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the Nineveh Plain project “we work to build greater unity, not barriers”.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
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John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
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The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
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