From this Sunni stronghold, AsiaNews has received accounts of the list of abductions, intimidation and murders that have occurred in the past two weeks. The last two incidents are just a few days old.
Last Tuesday a young woman employed as a secretary in a
The next day a man from
Local sources, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that in the last 15 days tens of Christian families, who hunkered down resisting the temptation to emigrate, have received threatening phone calls demanding money for the Sunni resistance; otherwise they would forfeit their lives.
In addition, Christians are faced with physical threats and abductions for ransom, forcing the community as a whole to raise large sums of money. The result is that many Christians have reached their economic breaking point without any certainty that they will see their loved ones again.
Churches have also become targets. Local parish priests have survived the Christmas season under constant threat.
Making matters worse, they have had to put up with dangerous roads, power outages, fuel shortage and the cold, the great equaliser. “The situation is such that no government can help us,” they said.
Before the war began in 2003, there were anywhere between 80 to 90,000 Christians in