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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
05/15/2008 IRAQ
Pressures to annex northern Christian villages to Kurdistan
11/20/2006 IRAQ
Baghdad: priest missing, feared kidnapped

Editor's choices
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"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

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