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    » 01/07/2013, 00.00

    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

    09/01/2013 IRAQ
    Mosul archbishop on anti-Christian violence and the miracle of Christmas
    Mgr Emil Shimoun Nona acknowledged that tensions are running high in the city and that residents are fed up with politicians and officials. Basic services like water, electricity and fuel are inadequate. Christians are victims of the ongoing power struggle, which tends to intensify before elections. Hope remains however, nurtured by "beautiful and crowded Christmas celebrations".

    19/01/2010 IRAQ
    Mosul: targeted execution of Christians continues in media and government silence
    Yesterday an armed group killed a 45 year-old businessman. It is the second murder in less than 24 hours. Witnesses said security forces were at the scene but did not intervene. AsiaNews sources: they blame al Qaeda, but Christians are victims "of the power struggle" between Arabs and Kurds.

    31/12/2009 IRAQ
    More attacks against Christians in Mosul
    A deacon seriously hurt. A Christian killed before his house on Christmas Eve. The impotence of the government and avoidance of responsibilities. Nearly 2 thousand Christians killed in 6 years.

    02/12/2010 IRAQ
    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."

    18/01/2010 IRAQ
    Mosul, a Christian businessman killed as the faithful celebrate their new archbishop
    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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