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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
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
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