» 12/31/2009, 00.00
More attacks against Christians in Mosul
A deacon seriously hurt. A Christian killed before his house on Christmas Eve. The impotence of the government and avoidance of responsibilities. Nearly 2 thousand Christians killed in 6 years.
Mosul (AsiaNews) - Attacks continue against Christians to push them to flee from Iraq. Yesterday afternoon Zhaki Homo Bashir, a Christian deacon, was hit by gunfire from a group of unknown criminals. The man had just entered his shop located in the district of al Jadida. Seriously injured, he was transported to hospital.
AsiaNews published the news yesterday of the kidnapping a college student from an Islamic group. News has also reached the agency in recent days that another Christian was killed on Christmas Eve; Basil Isho Youhanna was hit by gunfire in front of his house in the neighbourhood of Tahrir, in northern Mosul.
In recent weeks there has been an increase of killings of Christians and attacks on churches and convents. All the violence is part of a project of "ethnic cleansing" against the Iraqi Christians, reported to AsiaNews by Msgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk. The national government and the local governorate are powerless before these attacks, while the different ethnic groups Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen - with the possible infiltration of extremist cells – are all blaming each other.
According to local sources, since 2003, the year of the fall of Saddam Hussein, at least 1960 Christians have been killed in Iraq. Their presence has been reduced by at least half because of the exodus to other quieter areas of the country (Kurdistan) or abroad.
Five Christians killed as Kirkuk archbishop questions US withdrawal
Monsignor Sako warns that US troop pullout is likely to plunge the country in a “civil war.” Between 31 March and 4 April five Christians are murdered in Kirkuk, Baghdad and Mosul. The prelate calls on the faithful to pray during Holy Week so “that the blood of our martyrs may restore peace.”
Kurds and Arabs exchange accusations over attacks on Christians in Mosul
The government says it does not believe that al Qaeda is behind the killings. Condemnation of the attacks has also come from the the highest Shiite authority, grand ayatollah Ali Sistani.
Mosul archbishop on anti-Christian violence and the miracle of Christmas
Mgr Emil Shimoun Nona acknowledged that tensions are running high in the city and that residents are fed up with politicians and officials. Basic services like water, electricity and fuel are inadequate. Christians are victims of the ongoing power struggle, which tends to intensify before elections. Hope remains however, nurtured by "beautiful and crowded Christmas celebrations".
Mosul: targeted execution of Christians continues in media and government silence
Yesterday an armed group killed a 45 year-old businessman. It is the second murder in less than 24 hours. Witnesses said security forces were at the scene but did not intervene. AsiaNews sources: they blame al Qaeda, but Christians are victims "of the power struggle" between Arabs and Kurds.
8 Christian students and teachers are kidnapped in the Nineveh Plain
The group were travelling by minibus towards the village of Qaraqosh, in the North. Numerous cars stopped and surrounded them on the road; still no contact with the kidnappers. Yesterday in Mosul two Christians were assassinated in the quarter where Fr. Ragheed Ganni and his three sub deacons were murdered earlier this month.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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