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    » 11/08/2010, 00.00

    IRAQ

    More attacks on Christians in Baghdad a week after massacre

    Layla Yousif Rahema

    Two faithful shot dead in Baghdad. Muslim Imams in Kirkuk condemn the violence against the Church and ask "Iraq's mosaic" be preserved. Agreement on a new government after eight months of political deadlock. Yesterday, the first Mass in the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation after 31 October massacre.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Another attack against Christians in Iraq, a week after the massacre in the Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad. Two worshipers were killed yesterday, November 7: Louay Daniel Yacoub, 49, was in front of his apartment when strangers shot him dead. Another Christian was killed the same day, but his identity is not yet known. The shootings were referred by local AsiaNews sources, anonymous for security reasons.

    The Muslim community has expressed its solidarity and closeness to Christians under attack in Iraq. On 5 November, during Friday prayers, all the mosques in Kirkuk condemned the "barbaric attack" against the church in the capital. The mayor and the sheikh of the Arab, Kurds and Turkmen tribes, have expressed condolences and solidarity with the Chaldean archbishop of the city. The next day, the Sunni and Shiite imams of the northern Iraqi city also strongly condemned, alongside Archbishop Louis Sako, the carnage that killed over 50 people in Baghdad on Oct. 31. The Muslim religious leaders have been clamouring for the preservation of "the Iraqi mosaic" of ethnic groups and religions.

    The same imam called for Muslims to protect Christians, who are a model of loyalty, "and launched an appeal for all the Iraqis do not succumb to fear and do not leave their country.

    The violence in Iraq has accelerated the formation of a new Iraqi government, stalled eight months after the elections. According to government spokesman Ali al Dabbagh, an agreement for an executive of national unity is pending. It seems the Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been reconfirmed, after gaining the support of the Sunni-Shiite secular Iraqiya Party led by rival former prime minister Iyad Allawi, and winner at the polls in March. The latter will "lead Parliament", as Speaker, while Jalal Talabani, of the Kurdish Alliance, will remain head of state. The U.S. has not yet confirmed the news, but is urging the Iraqi authorities to form a "inclusive" government.

    Christians in Baghdad yesterday held the first mass in the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation after the massacre of 31 October. The interior was without any pews, down the length of the aisle hundreds of candles were laid on the ground, forming a large cross in the middle of which were placed the names of 46 victims of the massacre of the faithful on Sunday. ''Today we pray for those who have attacked, who attacked our church and killed our priests fathers Wassim and Thaher,'' said Father Mukhlas Habash in his homily, citing the names of two priests of 32 and 27 years of age killed seven days ago. Their smiling faces are displayed in posters on the blackened and bullet riddled walls of the cathedral.

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    See also

    17/11/2010 IRAQ
    Archbishop of Mosul warns of change in strategy in attacks on Christians
    The United Nations should "put pressure on the Iraqi government," therefore investigate attacks and killings "in depth", says Mgr. George Basile Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul. With the murder of two Christians, in their own homes, we are witnessing an escalation of attacks against the Christian minority in Iraq. Families are leaving the country.

    06/12/2010 IRAQ
    Two more Christians murdered overnight in Baghdad
    The killings prompt exodus. Some 500 families fleeing from Baghdad and Mosul to the north. That might not hold up to the influx of refugees. Meanwhile, the government promises 400 dollars in aid to every family that leaves.

    07/08/2009 IRAQ
    Shia pilgrims slaughtered, 27 die and many more are wounded in Mosul and Baghdad
    In Mosul a bomb explodes as worshippers leave a mosque after traditional Friday’s prayers; 21 are killed and 70 wounded. In Baghdad minibuses carrying pilgrims returning from Karbala are hit. A million Shiites celebrate the birth of the last imam in the holy city.

    10/10/2009 IRAQ
    Bomb attack on Sunni Imam: killed because he criticized Al-Qaeda
    Jamal Humdai was known for his sermons against extremism and sectarian violence. Bomb detonated while he was driving his car, he had just finished leading the Friday prayers. It is the second deadly attack against an Islamic cleric in a few days.

    10/11/2010 IRAQ
    Three Christians killed and 26 wounded. Appeal of Al Maliki
    A series of attacks this morning with mortars and homemade bombs. The prime minister pays a visit to the Syrian Catholic Church attacked by al-Qaeda and calls on Christians not to leave the country. Meanwhile the first survivors arrive in France, for receive special treatment.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    CHINA - VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


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