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» 10/03/2011
IRAQ
Double targeted killings against the Christian community in Kirkuk
Yesterday in the district of Muthana, an armed group assassinated the 30 year old Catholic Bassam Isho. October 1, Emmanuel Polos Hanna, was found at the edge of the road to Baghdad shot to death. Christian sources in Kirkuk: "The attacks continue, in the total silence of the world."

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – A double murder has marked the Christian community in Kirkuk this weekend. In the northern Iraqi city, considered strategic for the huge oil fields in the center of a bitter political and economic dispute between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds, Christians continue to die in the complete indifference of the authorities. Kidnappings for extortion, assassinations and attacks on churches and Christians are now episodes of daily life, and the local and national government seem incapable of defending them. AsiaNews sources in Kirkuk, anonymous for security reasons, denounced that "the attacks on Christians continue and the world remains totally silent. It’s as if – he continues- we’ve been swallowed up by the night. "

Yesterday afternoon, Bassam Isho a 30 year old Catholic restaurant employee in the district of Muthana, was shot dead by a group of strangers. After the murder, the band scattered covering their tracks and, so far, there is no further information. The young man will be buried in Telkef. On October 1, on the outskirts of Kirkuk, the corpse of a second Christian was found, also shot to death. The body of Hanna Polos Emmanuel, born in 1951, lay sprawled on the edge of the road that leads from the city to Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.

The weekend killings are only the latest in a long trail of blood and violence: on August 15 last a few bombs exploded against the church of St. Ephrem in Kirkuk. The Syriac Orthodox Church is a few hundred meters from the Chaldean cathedral in the center of the city. Again, August 2 a car bomb exploded in front of the Syrian Catholic Church of the Holy Family, injuring 15 people. On the same day, another car bomb, parked next to a Presbyterian church, was defused before it exploded.

Christians in Iraq have increasingly become the target of Islamic fundamentalism which is still active. At the same time, they are also targeted in local feuds. Kirkuk, with its 900 thousand inhabitants, and most important deposits of oil in Iraq, has long been the center of a political-ethnic conflict between Arabs, Turkmens and Kurds. The latter want it annexed to the Kurdistan region, while both Arabs and Turkmen want to maintain links with the Iraqi central government. (DS)



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See also
07/15/2014 IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch overjoyed at release of nuns and children, “they are well"
06/30/2014 IRAQ - SYRIA
In the conquered territories of Syria and Iraq, ISIS crucifies its enemies, proclaims Caliphate
10/12/2008 VATICAN - INDIA - IRAQ
Pope: I pray every day for the Christians in Iraq and India
10/27/2008 IRAQ - VATICAN
Chaldean bishop: appeal for Mosul, emptied of Christians
by Rabban Al-Qas
10/23/2008 IRAQ
More violence in Mosul: father and son killed because they were Christian

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

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