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» 09/07/2009
IRAQ
Mosul: more kidnappings and murders of Christians, to force them to the plain of Nineveh
A 60 year-old businessman killed, his kidnappers had demanded an enormous ransom. Another faithful of Mosul kidnapped; the fate of the doctor who was kidnapped in Kirkuk remains shrouded in mystery, AsiaNews sources: the violence disguises a political project to drive Christians out the city and force them to the plain of Nineveh.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - New episodes of violence against the Christian community in Mosul, the victim of a "campaign of intimidation" that disguises "a political project aimed: the creation of the plain of Nineveh." A 60 year-old businessman, Salem Barjjo kidnapped in early August, was killed by his captors in Mosul last week.  In the same city Hikmat Sayid was abducted and nothing is yet known of the fate of Samir Jarjis, the Christian doctor kidnapped in Kirkuk, for whose release Muslim and Christian religious leaders had appealed in recent days.

On September 3 - although the news was first reported yesterday - the corpse of Barjjo Salem, a Christian businessman, closely tied to the local church, kidnapped in Mosul in early August was found. For his release, the criminals had demanded a huge ransom, which the family was not able to pay.   Last week in Mosul, 370 km north of Baghdad, a gang of criminals kidnapped Hikmat Sayid, a Christian. In this case too, the kidnappers have demanded an enormous sum of money that the family will hardly be able to pay. In Kirkuk, the fate of Samir Jarjis, a Christian physician well known in the town, kidnapped on 18 August and still in the hands of kidnappers, remains shrouded in mystery. Muslim leaders - Shiites and Sunnis - and Christians launched an appeal for his release at the dinner in archbishopric in Kirkuk on 29 August, sponsored by Msgr. Louis Sako to celebrate the start of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims.  

Sources for AsiaNews in Mosul denounce the climate of "fear, loneliness and concern" that dominates the Christian minority there. The growing danger of a "mass exodus" of the Christian community looms once again, especially if the situation "does not improve in view of the opening of schools." According to AsiaNews sources this new campaign of intimidation against the Christian community "has hidden political implications: it wants to create a climate of violence ahead of elections in January 2010. The project is to create an enclave in the plain of Nineveh and compel - even by force, such as bombings and targeted assassinations - the Christians to move there”.

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See also
06/08/2007 IRAQ
Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
by Saad Hanna Sirop*
08/16/2007 IRAQ
Ethnic cleansing first against Yazidis, soon against Christians
07/11/2007 IRAQ
Church and Sheiks secure release of four Chaldeans kidnapped in north
11/20/2006 IRAQ
Baghdad: priest missing, feared kidnapped
05/15/2008 IRAQ
Pressures to annex northern Christian villages to Kurdistan

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

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