01/18/2010, 00.00
IRAQ
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Mosul, a Christian businessman killed as the faithful celebrate their new archbishop

Cold-blooded execution of a 52-year-old Syrian Catholic, married and father of two daughters. Local sources complain: a new attack to push the Christians toward the plain of Nineveh. Yesterday, Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, the new archbishop of Mosul, made his entry into the diocese.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - Another attack against the Christian community in Mosul, while the faithful celebrated the new archbishop of the diocese. Yesterday morning a Christian 52 years, married and father of two daughters was killed in cold blood. The murder coincided with the arrival of Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona in the city, the ceremony was attended by personalities from the local government and leaders of the Muslim community.    

Sources for AsiaNews in Mosul, asking for anonymity for security reasons, said the "persecution continues in the midst of general indifference." Yesterday morning Saadallah Youssif Jorjis, a 52-year-old Syrian Catholic, was shot dead. The man, married and father of two daughters, was the owner of a shop selling fruit and vegetables in the neighborhood of Taqafa, near the university. "His wife is a nurse - the sources report - while Saadallah Youssif Jorjis owned a business near his home."  

Yesterday's murder follows another "targeted execution" a few days ago. On 12 January, an armed group killed Hikmat Sleiman, 75, who also owned a small grocery store. The "ethnic cleansing" taking place today in Mosul, the sources told AsiaNews, is "very similar to what happened in 2008," when many faithful, priests, and last diocesan Archbishop, Msgr. Paul Faraj Rahho died. "They want to push Christians to the plain of Nineveh - he explains - and the community has lost confidence in the future."    

Yesterday morning, meanwhile, Mgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, whose appointment of the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church was approved on 13 November by Pope Benedict XVI, took possession of the diocese. The ceremony was attended by local political leaders and representatives of the Muslim community. Since March 13 2008 the faithful of the archdiocese of Mosul were without a shepherd, following the death of Msgr. Rahho while he was in the hands of kidnappers. The Christian community was waiting the arrival of the new pastor with "anxiety and joy", but "yet another murder has tainted celebration." (DS)

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