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» 11/08/2010
IRAQ
More attacks on Christians in Baghdad a week after massacre
by 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
11/17/2010 IRAQ
Archbishop of Mosul warns of change in strategy in attacks on Christians
12/06/2010 IRAQ
Two more Christians murdered overnight in Baghdad
08/07/2009 IRAQ
Shia pilgrims slaughtered, 27 die and many more are wounded in Mosul and Baghdad
10/10/2009 IRAQ
Bomb attack on Sunni Imam: killed because he criticized Al-Qaeda
11/10/2010 IRAQ
Three Christians killed and 26 wounded. Appeal of Al Maliki
by Layla Yousif Rahema

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

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