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» 01/07/2013
IRAQ
Christian teacher has throat cut in Mosul, plunging city in fear again
Shdha Elias, 54, was a Chaldean teacher. Her body was found by police. Church source tells AsiaNews that she joins a long list of Christian martyrs in the city. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias are on the rise as no real solution for peace and national reconciliation appears possible.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - Police in Mosul found the body of a Christian woman with her throat cut. The gruesome discovery was made today in an area where attacks have been perpetrated in the past against members of the city's Christian minority, some, like abducted Bishop Faraj Rahho and Fr Ragheed Ganni, murdered.

Sources told AsiaNews that the victim is Shdha Elias, a 54-year-old Chaldean, who worked as a teacher "in a school in the al Bath neighbourhood." She "lived however in Bar Nirgal, near the university". With her death, she joins "the long list of Christian martyrs in Mosul."

For the source, "Tensions between Sunnis and Shias are running high across Iraq, not only in the North. And peace and national reconciliation appear far off."

Mosul is a stronghold of Sunni Wahhabism, which is closely tied to Saudi Arabia. For experts on Iraqi politics, the aim is "to set up a state based on Sharia," with the Qur'an and the Sunnah as the basis of legislation and "Islam as the only state religion". In such a system, members of other religions can choose between conversion, flight or paying taxes for non-Muslims.

In northern Iraq, Christians have been targeted for murder and kidnapping for the purpose of extortion. They have also been caught in the crossfire between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds vying for power and control of the area's rich oil resources.

In ten years of conflict, the Christian community has lost more than half of its members in an exodus of 'Biblical' proportions following a series of murders.

A Christian official in Mosul Governatorate, anonymous for security reasons, acknowledged that "many Christian families" have fled. "They have lost confidence in everything," he said. "The government is incapable of doing anything to protect them. What future do non-Muslims have in countries where violence reins!"


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See also
01/09/2013 IRAQ
Mosul archbishop on anti-Christian violence and the miracle of Christmas
01/19/2010 IRAQ
Mosul: targeted execution of Christians continues in media and government silence
12/31/2009 IRAQ
More attacks against Christians in Mosul
12/02/2010 IRAQ
Christian murdered in Mosul: bishops protest to Government
01/18/2010 IRAQ
Mosul, a Christian businessman killed as the faithful celebrate their new archbishop

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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".

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