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» 12/03/2010
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
05/07/2010 IRAQ
Christian university students demand justice and security from Iraqi religious leaders
01/15/2007 IRAQ
Chaldean Seminary and Theological University inaugurated in Kurdistan
12/31/2009 IRAQ
Nouri al-Maliki and the conundrum of Kirkuk
by Layla Yousif Rahema
06/16/2008 IRAQ
"Ecumenical graduation" at Babel College in Ankawa
07/13/2009 IRAQ
Car bomb against Mosul church as Mgr Warduni calls attacks in Baghdad premeditated

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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