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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
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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