12/16/2010, 00.00
IRAQ

New attack against Christians in Iraq. Girl kidnapped from her home in Mosul

Gunmen broke into the house on the evening of December 15 in Mosul and forcibly abducted the student. Patriarch Ignatius III Younan denounces cover-up of the terror targeting Iraqi Christians.

Mosul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A new attack on the Christian community in Iraq. On the evening of December 15 armed militants abducted a young Christian female student from her home in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul. The gunmen burst into her home in Mosul’s Karaj neighbourhood overnight and drove her away to an undisclosed location, according to the Ankawa Christian news website. The girl is a student of a local technical institute.

It is the latest in a string of attacks against the country's Christian community, once 100 thousand Christians lived in Mosul, but now only five thousand live in the area, due to growing wave of religious fundamentalism, and attacks against them. The Iraqi government decided only days ago to protect Christian churches with three meter high concrete walls, to avoid tragic incidents like the attack on the Syrian-Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad Oct. 31.

In his homily of 10 December the Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan asked the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of all Iraqi citizens, and particularly Christians, "people who are honest, peaceful and helpless." The patriarch in the mass in memory of the "46 new martyrs" of the church of Our Lady of Salavation, which took place in the presence of members of the government denounced that “the cover-up of the terror targeting Iraqi Christians is still going on after such a period of time. E it is the responsibility of the Iraqi government to carry out proper and thorough investigations to uncover the terrorist groups who did plan and finance the carnage, of whatever religious or political allegiance they may be, and to bring them publically to justice".His words were echoed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on December 15 when Mgr. Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka, archbishop of Baghdad, told the assembly; ''Iraq's Christians live in fear of the future”.

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