31 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/12/2010
IRAQ
Mosul: Christian merchant killed as "ethnic cleansing" continues
A 75-year-old greengrocer is shot dead in front of his house. The abduction of a Christian female student is still shrouded in mystery. A wave of violence that includes attacks against churches, abductions and targeted killings of Christians is trying to force them into a mass exodus.

Mosul (AsiaNews) – Mosul's Christian community has been the victim of another targeted killing. Hikmat Sleiman, a 75-year-old greengrocer, was killed yesterday. His death follows a wave of violence against Iraqi Christians that included a number of attacks over the past few weeks against churches and convents as well as abductions and execution-style murders. Local bishops have slammed the trend, calling it a plan of "ethnic cleansing" at Christians' expense.

The store owner "was assassinated in front of his house," sources in Mosul told AsiaNews. “Hikmat Sleiman, 75, owned a small greengrocery across from the Dominican convent in Sa'a neighbourhood, said the source who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons.

"After closing his store, he went home. A group of criminals was waiting for him and opened fire," he added. The victim died instantly.

Yesterday's murder is further evidence that Iraqi Christians are the victims of a plan of "ethnic cleansing" designed to force them to leave the country. The central government and the local governatorate are powerless against such attacks as the various ethnic groups, Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen as well as extremist cells, blame each other.

On 23 December of last year, the Church of Saint George of the Chaldeans and the Syro-Orthodox Church of Saint Thomas were hit in separate attacks. Three people were killed in the first attack. On Christmas Eve, a man was killed in front of his house, whilst on 31 December an Islamic group abducted a Christian female student whose fate is still unknown. Two days later, on 2 January, a local Christian man was also abducted.

Back in December, four churches and the convent of the Dominican nuns were attacked in Mosul. The explosions caused by car bombs and other explosive devices caused major damage to the surrounding buildings and homes. Many homes belonging to Christians as well as Muslims were destroyed.

After the attacks, a Christian source in the city sounded the alarm, saying "the community is destined to day". Indeed in Mosul, many believe that the attacks are mafia-style "warnings" designed to provoke a mass exodus of the community.

"Families fled north, in Kurdistan, where they have no work or life prospects. The Christian community is destined to die," the source said.

Since 2003, the year when Saddam Hussein fell, at least 1,960 Christians have been killed in Iraq. The community has been cut by half as Christians fled for safer areas inside the country (Kurdistan) or abroad. (DS)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/02/2011 IRAQ
Christians “sad and in shock,” Mgr Sako says after car bomb explodes at Kirkuk church, wounding 15
12/02/2006 IRAQ
Theology courses for lay people in Mosul resume despite violence
10/06/2006 IRAQ
Terror campaign targets Chaldean church in Iraq
08/07/2006 IRAQ
First communion in Mosul, where shots became "fireworks"
09/07/2009 IRAQ
Mosul: more kidnappings and murders of Christians, to force them to the plain of Nineveh

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.