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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

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