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    » 12/03/2010, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Churches organise day of fasting on 9 December to remember the martyrs of Baghdad’s cathedral



    Meeting in Erbil, Christian religious leaders decide to meet Christian lawmakers to figure out why fellow Christians are under attack. They also call on the Kurdish government to provide some 520 Christian refugee families with jobs and education.

    Erbil (AsiaNews) – The Council of Christian Religious Leaders in Iraq has called on the faithful from all Churches to commemorate the martyrs of Baghdad’s Syriac-Orthodox Cathedral on 9 December.

    On 31 October, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists stormed Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral in the Iraqi capital, as the liturgy was underway. Because of the attack and the subsequent gun battle between hostage takers and Iraqi security forces, 58 people were killed and more than 70 were wounded. Forty-six Christians, including women, children and two priests, were among the dead.

    Christian religious leader met yesterday in Erbil, northern Iraq, to evaluate the situation and vet the problems their respective communities face in the wake of the violent attack in Baghdad, such a renewed flood of refugees towards the north.

    In addition to the day of fasting, the religious leaders have decided to meet the leaders of political parties that have elected Christian members to discuss the motives behind these attacks and work out some solution. According to the religious leaders, the government has failed to provide the Christian community adequate protection.

    Another issue tackled was the arrival in Kurdistan (northern Iraq) of more than 500 Christian families who are without housing, work or school for their children. Religious leaders want the Kurdish government to provide these families with jobs and an education.

    On Wednesday, Christian leaders turned down an invitation to participate in a meeting in Erbil on “Coexistence and social tolerance” organised by the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights. By refusing to take part in the event, they wanted to tell the government that it has shown inadequate concern for the security of Christians.

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    See also

    07/05/2010 IRAQ
    Christian university students demand justice and security from Iraqi religious leaders
    In Karakosh, a Council meeting of religious leaders, which brought together bishops and Christian leaders in Iraq. The meeting brought together hundreds of students, including a group escaped the attack on May 2. One of the wounded hospitalized in Turkey, thanks to a special flight from Mosul to Ankara.

    15/01/2007 IRAQ
    Chaldean Seminary and Theological University inaugurated in Kurdistan
    After being forced to leave Baghdad, the Chaldean Church’s two educational institutions have reopened. Meanwhile the capital is being emptied of its Christians whose historic neighbourhood is presently in the hands of Sunni militias.

    31/12/2009 IRAQ
    Nouri al-Maliki and the conundrum of Kirkuk
    The forthcoming visit of Prime Minister to Kurdistan is hope for a reconciliation with Baghdad. But Kirkuk, which owns 25% of Iraqi oil, is in the sights of Arabs and Turkmen. Iran fears a Kurdish state power, the U.S. fear a conflagration that could delay their departure from Iraq in 2011.

    16/06/2008 IRAQ
    "Ecumenical graduation" at Babel College in Ankawa
    The academic year concludes for the only theology faculty in Iraq: the five graduates come from the Chaldean, Armenian Orthodox, Assyrian, and Syro-Catholic communities. Patriarch Delly and many bishops attend the ceremony. Three sisters wounded today by a suicide bomber in Telkef.

    13/07/2009 IRAQ
    Car bomb against Mosul church as Mgr Warduni calls attacks in Baghdad premeditated
    In northern Iraq Our Lady of Fatima Church is hit; nearby Shia mosque is also damaged. Local sources warn of new attacks “against churches and monasteries”. A new Christian exodus is feared. For auxiliary bishop of Baghdad attacks were “organised”; he appeals for peace.



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