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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
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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