» 11/29/2010, 00.00
Terrorists behind attack on Baghdad church arrested
In the operation conducted by Iraqi security forces, new plans to target four buildings discovered. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility. But the news of the capture is no comfort to the Christian community, which continues to leave Baghdad.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "Only lies, a superficial move" to make it appear to the public and the international community that the new Iraqi government is working to ensure the security of minority religious communities, while people are still forced to emigrate because of the lack security. From Baghdad to Mosul, this is the reaction of the Christian community to the arrest of a dozen terrorists responsible for the attack on the church of Our Lady of Salvation in the capital on October 31.
Last Nov. 27 it was announced that Iraqi security forces had captured an al-Qaeda leader and eleven of his men, involved in several attacks in the capital. He is Hudhaifa al-Battawi, military commander of al-Qaeda in Mansour, in western Baghdad. The news was reported by Iraqiya state television, quoting General Ahmed Abu Rgheif.
The operation, said the broadcaster, was conducted Nov. 24, although it was only made public three days later. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility for a series of attacks, including the hostage-taking in the Baghdad church which ended with the death of 57 people. Among other attacks attributed to the group there are those of the past month against the central bank, the offices of al-Arabiya satellite television and against some jewellery stores.
During the operation new plans were discovered to target four buildings with car bombs, landmines and explosive vests and six tons of explosives and some barrels of toxic substances were seized.
But news of the arrest has not reassured the Christian community, which has been seeking protection and justice from the central government. "It's a sham, they had said that the terrorists were all killed during the raid to free hostages in the church!" Commented some Christians who have emigrated from the capital, after the latest escalation of violence against the minority community.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of families are seeking refuge in the north after the explosions that targeted their homes in neighbourhoods inhabited by Christians, and the threat of al-Qaida to eliminate Christians from Iraq. 85 have arrived in Sulaimaniya from the capital, the figure has doubled in just one week.
I try to forget, but I will always see the blood stained church of Baghdad
One of the survivors of the 31 October attack on Our Lady of Salvation church, speaks. The events of that day are still very much alive and impossible to wipe from his memory, and in that of those who lived through that tragic day. The man is one of the 26 injured being treated at Gemelli Hospital in Rome from November 12, along with their families.
Three Christians killed and 26 wounded. Appeal of Al Maliki
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The martyrs of the massacre in Baghdad, a sign of unity for all Iraq’s Christians
At a special Mass celebrated in the Vatican today survivors hospitalized at Romes Gemelli hospital remember the 57 victims of the attack on the church of Our Lady of Salvatio in Baghdad. AsiaNews has collected the testimony of Fr Aysar Saaed a young Iraqi priest who will leave Italy tomorrow for Italy to be near to the families of the victims who remained in Iraq.
Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
Opposition to the “Assyrian” ghetto to save Iraq’s persecuted Christians today finds a qualified representative: Fr. Saad Hanna Sirop, one of the first Chaldean priests to have been kidnapped in Baghdad, and for whose release Benedict XVI intervened. A victim of Iraq’s violent anti Christian persecution, he too views the idea of an ethnic-religious enclave as diametrically opposed to Iraq’s history and the purpose of evangelization. Moreover, Fr. Saad maintains that the project’s real aim is not protection of the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, but to protect ambitious “personal and economic interests”.
Two more Christians murdered overnight in Baghdad
The killings prompt exodus. Some 500 families fleeing from Baghdad and Mosul to the north. That might not hold up to the influx of refugees. Meanwhile, the government promises 400 dollars in aid to every family that leaves.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
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The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
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