12/23/2015, 00.00
IRAQ
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Islamic State brand Christmas festivities "heretical". In Kirkuk two Christian cemeteries desecrated

by Joseph Mahmoud
In Mosul, the jihadists posted signs that prohibit Muslims from celebrating Christmas, branding Christians as "heretics." In Kirkuk extremist groups desecrate two cemeteries. But the Christian community claims the right and the desire to celebrate the holiday. Christian lawmaker denounces decimation of the community.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - New attacks have been launched against Christians and Christmas celebrations in northern Iraq by Daesh [Arabic acronym of the Islamic State, IS] and other extremist groups. AsiaNews sources in the north of the country report that Isis militants in Mosul have posted signs in the city ordering Muslims "not to celebrate" Christmas in any way with the Christians, because "they are heretics." While in Kirkuk, groups of Islamic extremists stormed two Christian cemeteries, desecrating and destroying several graves.

Iraqi Christians have denounced these most recent attacks, threats and intimidation and say they will not stop them from celebrating the feast.

The Chaldean Patriarchate also condemns the violence and intimidation of the Iraqi Christian community, and does so using the Koran and which states that Christians are not heretics and the Trinity is a theological expression of the revelation of the One God.

The Muslim holy book, say the leaders of the Chaldean Church, describes Christ as the "carrier of the word of God." Christians are not polytheists or infidels and this is why the Koran says that "they are the closest to those who believe."

Some residents in the Iraqi capital, interviewed by AsiaNews, invite Muslims to "follow  their faith" and "to leave us free to live and celebrate ours" as the Koran itself states, when it  prohibits "constructions" on the subject of faith and says: "I have my religion and you yours. "

Meanwhile, the Christian MP Yonadam Kanna, president of the Rafeedain group, present the Parliamentary  Assembly a document that shows that over 700 thousand Christians have left the country because of the conflict and violence in the last 30 years. This migration already started in the last years of the regime of Saddam Hussein and have significantly increased in recent years.

The emergence of the Islamic State and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain in the summer of 2014 are the latest in a series of attacks, with the desecration of churches and places of worship, violence to individuals and groups, uprooting and dispossession of assets and property. From a population of more than 1.5 million in 2003 today, the community counts less than 500 thousand.

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