Showing posts with label Chaldean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chaldean. Show all posts

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Children Are Crucified to Force Christians to Leave Iraq

Edit: found a decent translation on google with some minor corrections.

The ultimate source for this story is Pointe de Bascule. It was picked up from a Royalist website from France.

Muslim militants are crucifying children to terrorize their Christian parents and encourage them to flee Iraq, yesterday was told a parliamentary committee studying the persecution of religious minorities.

Since the beginning of the war in 2003, about 12 children, some as young as 10, were abducted and killed, then nailed to makeshift crosses near their homes to terrify and torment their parents.

The Committee was informed that a child has been snatched, decapitated, burned and left on the doorstep of his mother.

Filham Isaac, speaking on behalf of the Advocacy Committee Nineveh, told the committee of human rights as the Christian churches in Iraq were bombed, clergy murdered and unveiled women were raped or marked the acid.

This is part of a systemic campaign - and very effective it is- of the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in the region, he said. Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, known as the Assyro-Chaldeans, were once the largest Christian minority in Iraq. They are also the oldest, being the descendants of ancient Mesopotamians who adopted Christianity in the first century.

The Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Eastern Church are among the Christian churches in Iraq.

Today, about 300,000 Christians, or one out of three, fled, he said.

"It's a crisis point," said Zaya Oshana later, a colleague of Mr. Isaac. "Christians will be completely destroyed."

However, the Assyro-Chaldeans do not want to leave their country en masse.

Instead, they seek help to inhabit the plains of Nineveh in the north-western Iraq, where they can have some independence and form their own state. The land is rich, and could also be oil.

There is some support in the U.S. and Europe for the area independently, and international news show that over 700 police officers have begun training to protect Christians in Iraq, but another 4000 would be necessary to secure full region and establish checkpoints on all highways and roads in the villages.

Link to original...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Iraq: Hope and Fear Among Christians

First Communion in Baghdad -- Attacks on Church in Kirkuk

München-Baghdad ( Despite the dangerous security situation in Baghdad, the same as it was before, over 40 children have celebrated their First Holy Communion in the capital of Baghdad. For Christians it is life threatening, just as it was before, to be seen on the streets of the Iraqi capital. Therefore, the parish must rent a bus to take the children to their communion instruction at the Church.

A young seminarian from Baghdad, who must be anonymous for security reasons, instructed the children during their preparation and sent "Kirche in Not" photos of their instruction for the First Communion.

He says that the children are preparing with "great seriousness and full of joy" in expectation of their reception of the Body of Christ. About the difficult situation of the Christians in Baghdad he says: "This is our home and we will not be driven from it!" The First Communicants are "seedlings of peace" for Iraq. "Christ is our joy and our hope, his message can change our society," explained the Seminarian.

Since the intervention of the "Coalition of the Willing" into Iraq in 2003, Christians have been caught between two fronts in a bloody civil war between Sunnite and Shi'ite militias. Representatives of the Church have stated since, that they are neutral bystanders in this conflict and are working for a peaceful and democratic Iraq.

For that reason there are always more terror attacks on Christian institutions. In this month alone, there have been three attacks on Churches in the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Altogether there were at least 13 people wounded as well as Church and outlying buildings severely damaged. Last monday the Syrian-Catholic St. Ephraim Church in Kirkuk was the target of a car bomb attack. No one was injured, there the security personnel were quickly informed of a suspicious automobile and were able to save the priest and the parish.

Many Christians have left their homes out of fear. Archbishop Louis Sako from Kirkuk reports that in the last two weeks, five families have gone away. Actually the government takes the protection of Christians very seriously. It actually has promised to provide guards for the Churches, says Archbishop Sako, but no one can guarantee that there won't be more explosions.

"Kirche in Not" supports the peace work of the Iraqi Bishops and helps with additionally, to sustain Parishes of the Land and provide pastoral care.

The organization requests its supporters for their prayers for Christians in Iraq and donations for the Church there:

Receiver: Kirche in Not
Account Number [Konto]: 215 20 02
BLZ: 750 903 00
IBAN: DE63750903000002152002
LIGA Bank München

Password: Iraq

Kirche in Note Donation Site, here..

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pope Erects Eparchy for Catholics in Exile From Iraq

Editor: this community is growing because the one in Iraq is being brutally destroyed.

Pope erects Chaldean eparchy in Toronto; Archbishop Zora to lead it

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has erected a new Chaldean Catholic eparchy in Toronto and named Archbishop Hanna Zora, who has worked with Catholics in Toronto for nearly 20 years, as its head. The new eparchy, or diocese, will be known as the Eparchy of Mar Addai. In making the announcement, the Vatican said there are 38,000 Chaldean Catholics in Canada. Archbishop Zora, 74, and four priests have been involved in the pastoral care of Toronto-area Catholics, the largest community. On May 28, Chaldean Catholic officials consecrated Good Shepherd Chaldean Church in Toronto. Led by Archbishop Zora, the growing Toronto Chaldean community rented out churches and parish halls to celebrate Mass before the construction of the church in 2001. Masses were held in the parish hall, however, until 2009, when the church was partially consecrated, meaning that Mass could be celebrated in the parish but that an official consecration was still required. Archbishop Zora was born in Batnaia, Iraq, March 15, 1939. He was ordained in 1962 and worked in various Iraqi parishes before being transferred to Iran in 1969.

Link to CNS.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Iraq: Catholic Family Man Murdered

Editor: Catholics were in Iraq long before the Muslims. Don't forget that, at least.

Kirkuk ( idea) In Northern Iraq a 29 year old Christian was murdered.  The body of the family father with three children Ashur Issa Yaqub was found on May 16th by Police in Kirkuk.  As the aid organization Open Doors (Kelkheim bei Frankfurt am Main) reported, his body revealed signs of torture and bite wounds. Hands and arms were tied and the head had been completely removed.

According to reports of a local pastor, members of the terror network Al Kheda pressured his employer to dismiss the construction worker \because he was Christian.  Yaqub, who belongs to the Chaldean Catholic Community, was abducted.  Al Kaida fighters demanded a ransom of about 70.000 Euro for his release.  According to estimate by Open Doors, which cares for Christians persecuted and oppressed world wide, the situation in Iraq has significantly worsened.

Christians have lived almost 2.000 years in Iraq.  In the mean time their numbers have been decimated because many of the attacks of Islamic "extremists" happen to them.  1990 figures show that around 29 million inhabitants and 1,4 million Christians were present, now there are about 200.000.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mosul Bishop Warns that Patterns of Attacks Against Christians are Changing

Mosul (AsiaNews) - After the church attack in Baghdad that killed 55 people, and the statement of Al Qaeda that Christians are "legitimate targets", there has been no end to the violence against the Christian minority in Iraq. On November 15, in Mosul, two other men were killed in their homes. According to the statements of police, some unknown persons broke into homes and gunned them down with automatic weapons before fleeing. The victims were Nabil Ghanem and Nashwan Khoder, both 36 years old.

The first, Syrian Catholic, worked for the provincial unit of the organization to combat corruption, the second, a carpenter of Armenian origin. This latest attack - a real execution- seems to indicate a different strategy in the attacks against Christians. Mgr. George Basile Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, is convinced of this and spoke to AsiaNews about the dramatic situation of the Christian community in Iraq:

Read further...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Persecuted Chaldean Iraqis Find home in East Tennessee

Chaldean Catholics, native to Iraq, are fleeing their home country to avoid persecution. WBIR News reports that many Chaldeans are tortured and murdered for their beliefs.

An estimated 100,000 Chaldeans are in the United States, and about 100 are in East Tennessee. More are on their way.

Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim of the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Chaldean Diocese and the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville are hopeful about establishing a mission for the Chaldean immigrants.

Tennessee Diocesan Paper, here

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Christian Kidnapped and Murdered in Northern Iraq After Ransom Paid

A glazier (by profession?) Christian was kidnapped and killed in northern Iraq, despite the payment of a ransom of 15,000 dollars per family, police said Friday.

The badly decomposed body of Louaï Barham al-Malik, an Assyrian glazier 35, was found in a vacant lot at Nimrud, 330 km north of Baghdad, said police Lt. Col. Mohammad al-Omar Joubouri.

He had recently been working in Hamdaniya, a predominantly Christian village, following threats and killings against this community in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province.

Link to French article... at Le Point Fr...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A priest speaks on the situation of Christians in Iraq

The following is an interview by Katholische Nachrichten Agentur about the situation in Iraq.

Translation by staff translator: MD

"Europeans do not know who we are"

Saturday, 22. Mai 2010 um 08:19

There are few Christians in Baghdad. Saad Sirop Hanna (45) is one of the last priests in the Iraqi capital. He heads the Chaldean Catholic community of St. Joseph. Hanna, who himself comes from Baghdad, has decided after studying aeronautical engineering to theology and the priesthood. In the interview, the Catholic News Agency (KNA) Hanna reports on the life of the last Christians in Baghdad.(Image: Flag of the Chaldean Catholic Church)

KNA: What is the situation in your community here in Baghdad?

Hanna: We are Chaldeans, our church was built in 1959 and is the largest church in Baghdad. Because of emigration are now living in our community still about 400 to 500 families. Previously we had up to 1,500 families. As you saw, our churches are under police protection. The officials in front of the church are Christians in the police service.

KNA: When you decided in 1995 to become a priest, it was a very difficult time for Iraq.

Hanna: Yes, yes, we lived under a ban. But in terms of safety, it was better then than now. Since 2003, there is unfortunately no security in Baghdad, nor in most other cities of Iraq. There was bad and even worse years since then. 2004 and 2005, it was not as bad as 2006 and 2007, for example. 2008 there was again a bit better because the government campaigned for reconciliation. But it is still difficult. There are so many fanatical Muslims who now live completely different from our Muslim brothers and friends from the past. They think differently and they behave differently towards us Christians.

KNA: Why this change? What happened?

Hanna: After 2003 there is a misconception among the Muslims about the identity of Christian community here in Iraq. Many Muslims consider us as people from the West because we are Christians. It will bring us to the Americans and British in connection, because this way we are Christians. But we are different, and we constantly try to make that clear. Yes, we Christians like the Americans and Brits are, but we are Iraqis. Christianity in Iraq dates back to the first Century back, it is 1900 years old. The other issue is the political conflict between the Iraqi parties. A reconciliation between the Sunnis and Shiites is hard and we are in between.

KNA: Does the lack of knowledge about the Christians in Iraq to do with lack of education?

Hanna: I can only agree to a lack of education, humanitarian education. How to evaluate a person as a person and not whether he's Christian or Muslim. In general, the educational situation is very bad in Iraq. There is a lack of good schools, good teachers and good textbooks. In this respect things must necessarily change.

KNA: Many Christians have been threatened, kidnapped, killed. Have you had bad personal experience?

Hanna: Yes, I was on 15 August 2006 kidnapped. I was the first priest in Baghdad who was abducted. 28 days I was in the hands of a fanatical Muslim group. In that time I have learned a lot about myself and about the relationship between the religions. 2008 I came back to Baghdad, because I love Baghdad. , I love Iraq and I love my people, so I wanted to continue working here as a priest. I also have a lot of Muslim friends here.

KNA: Do you feel sometimes forgotten by the Christians in Europe?

Hanna: Sometimes yes, even if we have a few priests and organizations, especially from Germany really good relationship. For example "the Church in Need helps many people here in Iraq and has also helped me. But sometimes I get the impression that in Europe does not understand the history of Christians in Iraq. The Europeans do not know who we are, how we live here, what we do here, they know our church does not, they do not know how to pray. It is so important to exchange ideas in order to understand how faith has been implemented in different societies. (By Karin Leukefeld - CBA)

Interview from KNA cited on the Angelus Press German Site of the SSPX.

Similar article from the Tablet, UK, which claims that a younger priest of the same name was murdered last year. Father Hanna was kidnapped, but released by his captors, thank God.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fourth Christian killed in northern Iraq

By Mujahid Mohammed (AFP)

MOSUL, Iraq — A Christian student was found dead in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, the fourth in as many days, amid warnings of rising violence against the minority ahead of March 7 polls.

The bullet-riddled body of Wissam George, a 20-year-old Assyrian Christian, was recovered on a street in the south Mosul residential neighbourhood of Wadi al-Ain at around 1:00 pm (1000 GMT).

"George went missing this morning on his way to his institute, he was studying to be a teacher," said a police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

George is the fourth Christian since Sunday to be killed in the city, which has a Christian population of between 2,000 and 3,000.

"What can we say?" said Bishop Shlemon Warduni, the second-most-senior Chaldean bishop in Iraq.

"We are very sad. The government is looking at what is going on, it is speaking, but doing nothing," he told AFP.

On Tuesday, a gunman killed 21-year-old engineering student Zia Toma and wounded 22-year-old pharmacy student Ramsin Shmael, both Assyrian Christians.

Greengrocer Fatukhi Munir was gunned down inside his shop in a drive-by shooting late on Monday, and armed assailants killed Rayan Salem Elias, a Chaldean, outside his home on Sunday.

"We don't want elections, we don't want representatives, we don't want our rights, we just want to be alive," Baasil Abdul Noor, a priest at Mar Behnam church, said on Tuesday.

"It has become a nightmare. The security forces should not be standing by and watching. We hold them responsible, because they are supposed to be protecting us, and protecting all Iraqis."

Others have expressed concern that Christians could be targeted ahead of the elections, seen as a key test of reconciliation in Iraq, which has been wracked by sectarian violence since the US-led invasion of 2003.

"The Christian minority has become an issue in the elections, as it always is before elections," said Hazem Girgis, a deacon at a Syrian Orthodox church in the city centre.

"We are terrified... and the security forces are not able to offer us any security," said Girgis.

Attacks occur frequently in Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province.

Human Rights Watch warned in November that minorities in the north including Christians were the collateral victims of a conflict between Arabs and Kurds over who controls Iraq's disputed northern provinces.

In late 2008, a systematic campaign of killings and targeted violence killed 40 Christians and saw more than 12,000 flee Mosul.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Catholic Bishops in Paper: Iraq War Caused Extremism; Christians Are Victims

[Memri/Al Zaman, Iraq] According to a preparatory document for the Synod of the Catholic Bishops in the Middle East, to be held later this year, the relationship between Muslims and Christians in the entire regime are going through difficult times because of what it called the growth of "political Islam" and the mingling of religion and politics.

Read further...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mosul Welcomes New Archbishop, Mourns Murders

MOSUL, Iraq, JAN. 19, 2010 ( Sunday was bittersweet for Mosul Catholics, who celebrated the arrival of their new archbishop while also mourning the murder of one of the faithful.

Archbishop Emil Shimoun Nona, whose election as the archbishop of Mosul of the Chaldeans was confirmed Nov. 13 by Benedict XVI, was officially installed in the archeparchy Sunday.

AsiaNews reported that the same day, Saadallah Youssif Jorjis, a 52-year-old Syrian Catholic, a husband and father of two daughters, was shot dead.

The news source, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the "persecution continues in the midst of general indifference."

He asserted that this "ethnic cleansing" currently taking place in Mosul is "very similar to what happened in 2008."

"They want to push Christians to the plain of Nineveh, and the community has lost confidence in the future," the source added.

Jorjis owned a produce shop near his home, and was married to a woman who worked as a nurse.

A few days earlier, on Jan. 12, another grocer, Hikmat Sleiman, 75, was killed by an armed group.

Archbishop Rahho

The 2008 wave of violence claimed the life of the former archbishop of Mosul of the Chaldeans, Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho.

He was kidnapped in February of that year outside of a church where he had led the Way of the Cross on a Lenten Friday. During the kidnapping, his three companions were killed.

For days there was no news from the archbishop or his kidnappers. Finally, after a phone call from the assailants, the prelate's body was found March 13 in a shallow grave. He was 65.

The election of Archbishop Nona took place according to the tradition in the Eastern-rite Churches. The synod of bishops of the Chaldean Church made the decision, which was then approved by the Pope.

Sunday's ceremony for Archbishop Nona was attended by several political and Muslim leaders.

Link to original...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Persecution Against Christians Continues in Iraq

Mosul (AsiaNews) - Attacks continue against Christians to push them to flee from Iraq. Yesterday afternoon Zhaki Homo Bashir, a Christian deacon, was hit by gunfire from a group of unknown criminals. The man had just entered his shop located in the district of al Jadida. Seriously injured, he was transported to hospital. AsiaNews published the news yesterday of the kidnapping a college student from an Islamic group.

Asia News...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chaldean Church attacked and Election Candidate Killed in Bomb Attack

Church hit and election candidate killed in Iraq attacks
By Mujahid Mohammed (AFP) – 14 hours ago

MOSUL, Iraq — A pre-Christmas attack on a church killed two people in the Iraqi city of Mosul Wednesday while a Sunni Arab candidate died in a bombing in Fallujah, the first such murder ahead of March polls.

They were among 13 people killed in violence across the country, despite security forces ramping up their presence ahead of Christmas and the Shiite commemoration ceremonies of Ashura.

In Mosul, two people were killed and five others wounded Wednesday morning when "a handcart used to carry flour, left across the street from the Syrian Orthodox church of St Thomas, exploded," witness Hamis Paulos said.

A hospital official in the main northern city said the two people killed were Muslims, based on examination of their identity papers.

"Christians are being targeted during Christmas time -- the security forces, police and army must provide security, the police and army are responsible for this," said Father Abdul Massih Dalmay of the church.

"Is the number of security forces not enough? There is negligence on the part of the security forces."

The attack was the sixth on Christians in Mosul in less than a month, and came after the army said it put its forces on alert in areas with significant Christian populations because of intelligence they could be attacked.

In the former rebel bastion of Fallujah, a Sunni Arab candidate for parliamentary elections on March 7 was killed in a "sticky bomb" attack.

Saud al-Essawi of the Iraqi Unity Alliance (IUA) and his two bodyguards were killed when a magnetic bomb attached to his car exploded in the city, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

The IUA is a multi-confessional grouping led by Ahmed Abu Risha, a key Sunni leader who turned against Al-Qaeda to play a major role in reversing Iraq's insurgency, and current interior minister Jawad al-Bolani, an independent Shiite.

Iraqi political leaders and senior American generals have expressed concerns in recent months about violence linked to the election.

The security situation in Fallujah has improved dramatically in recent years.

Since 2006, Sunni tribesmen and former rebels, known as the Sahwa (Awakening) movement, have made common cause with the US military against Al-Qaeda, greatly reducing the jihadists' presence in the area.

In Baghdad, violence killed six people, including three men at a Shiite mourning ceremony as worshippers were participating in Ashura rituals.

Twenty-eight others were wounded, including four women and five children, in the bomb attack in the east Baghdad neighbourhood of Mashtal, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another person was killed and four wounded by a bomb at a Shiite mosque in the capital's central shopping district of Karrada, police said.

Security officials have said they will increase their presence during Ashura, which in the past has been used by Sunni extremists to target Shiites. In the holy shrine cities of Karbala and Najaf, for example, 46,000 policemen and soldiers will be out in force.

Also in Baghdad, Brigadier General Riad Abdel Majid, an inspector for the defence ministry, was killed by "unknown persons who opened fire on him while he was in front of his house," an official said a day after the attack.

A magnetic "sticky bomb" affixed to a minibus in the predominantly Shiite north Baghdad district of Kadhimiyah killed one person and wounded three at around midday (0900 GMT) on Wednesday, a police official said.

Outside of Baquba city, northeast of Baghdad, two Sahwa militiamen, including local Awakening leader Adnan Serhid, were killed by a roadside bomb, according to a policeman who did not want to be named.

The Sahwa, known as the "Sons of Iraq" by the US army, joined American and Iraqi forces to wage war in 2006 and 2007 against Al-Qaeda and its supporters, leading to a dramatic fall in violence.

Attacks still remain common however in Baghdad, Mosul and some other areas.

Link to original...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two More Bombs in Mosul Targeting Chaldeans

By John Pontifex

SHOCK and fear have gripped the Church in Iraq after two explosions on the same day with the threat of more to come.

The Al Beshara (Annunciation) Syrian Catholic Church in Mosul was the first to be targeted at 10.30am on he 15th of December when a bomb was placed against an outside wall of the building.

A minor explosion took place with damage to the wall. Nobody was hurt. Youngsters at a nearby kindergarten had a lucky escape.

Within a few hours, a second, much bigger bomb had gone off at the Al Gahera (Our Lady of Purity) Syrian Orthodox Church, also in Mosul.

A number of people were injured in the explosion which caused major damage to the church in the crowded Al Shefaa district in the city centre.

Speaking from northern Iraq in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, Fr Bashar Warda described the “fear and shock” of the people who looked forward to Christmas as a time to “lift our spirits”.

Meantime, the government in Baghdad has warned Church leaders of further attacks over the Christmas period, urging priests and religious Sisters to be especially vigilant.
Fr Warda said the Church would continue its Christmas preparations undeterred.
The Redemptorist priest based in Ankawa, outside the Kurdish capital, Erbil, added: “Normally Christmas is a time when we lift our spirits with a number of festivities so you can imagine what the atmosphere is like here now.
“The shock and the fear of the people is very strong.”

He described talking to Al Beshara parish priest Father Nazen Eshoa, who returned to Mosul to resume his ministry despite being kidnapped for a few days last year.
“Fr Nazen – like all of us – is shocked but he wants to continue preparing for Christmas as much as possible.”

The identity of the attackers is as yet unknown and Church leaders do not know if there is a link between the attacks in Mosul and the threats declared in Baghdad.
The attacks come less than three weeks after bomb attacks – again in Mosul – inflicting serious damage to St Ephrem’s Chaldean Church and a nearby convent.
Nobody was hurt in the attacks, on 26th November, although at least five Chaldean Sisters were in the convent when it came under fire.

Link to original...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Office of Chalden Patriarch Under Attack

Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad revealed yesterday that the offices of the Chaldean Patriarchate in the Iraqi capital were damaged by the terrorist attacks on Tuesday that left 127 dead and 500 wounded, reports Catholic News Agency.

According to the SIR news agency, the bishop noted that “fortunately only the buildings were damaged. The sisters and the Patriarch were not present at the time of the explosion. They had left to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“Doors, windows, window panes were all blown out, and the walls were also damaged,” he added.

Bishop Warduni said Baghdad residents are convinced that those behind the attacks are linked to political groups. “What is left now is the great desperation, pain and suffering of death that haunts our people,” the prelate concluded.

Link to original...

Priest of Assyrian Church Threatened in Turkey

Armenian Weekly 10 December 2009
By Ramazan Yavuz & Serdar Sunar

Following a referendum banning mosque minarets in Switzerland, three unidentified persons visited the 1,750-year-old Assyrian/Syriac Church of Virgin Mary in Diyarbakir, Turkey, and allegedly threatened the priest, Yusuf Akbulut, by saying, "Switzerland is banning minarets and we will ban bell towers to you. You will demolish the bell tower by next Friday.”

Akbulut informed the police of the threat to demolish the bell towers. He is now receiving protection by the police, and made the following statement:

"Last Friday, i.e. on the 4th of this month [December], my church and I were threatened. Three persons in their forties visited the church at 14:00 hours last Friday. They knocked on the door of my house inside the church and asked me to come outside. In the courtyard of the church, these three persons that I do not know asked me if the church had a bell tower. When I told them that it did, they said, "You will demolish this bell tower. Switzerland is banning minarets and we will ban bell towers to you. You will demolish this bell tower by next Friday.” When I told them that this was a historic church with an ancient bell tower and that the foundations (directorate) and the state would react, they said for the second time, "Go and complain to whoever you want. This bell tower will not remain here. We will take the necessary action,” and left. Then I filed a complaint to the police. Now the police are seeking the three persons who threatened me by checking the camera records.”

Noting that he would not destroy the 600-year-old church bell in any way, Akbulut stated that the minaret ban in Switzerland had nothing to do with him, and added: "We, the Syriacs, have been living in these territories for 6-7,000 years. We have a deep-rooted history. Who can dare demolish this bell tower by asserting the minaret ban in Switzerland as a pretext? We do not approve of the minaret ban. Switzerland should let them construct minarets in mosques. Everyone has the right to worship freely. We all pray to God.”

Noting that five families resided in the church, and around 10 other Christian families were in the city center of Diyarbakir, Akbulut said, "As the Syriac community, for centuries we led a peaceful life with the other people residing on these territories. We never did any harm to anyone. It is very wrong to hold us accountable for the minaret ban in Switzerland.” (...)

Link to original...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two Chaldean Catholics Shot in Mosul

Mosul, Iraq - Two brothers, both Iraqi Christians, were found shot dead in a suburb of the troubled northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police told the German Press Agency dpa on Thursday. Police found the two businessmen dead from multiple gunshot wounds north of the city late on Wednesday night, they said.

The pair were among Christians who fled the city amid violence and threats against the Christian community two years ago, but subsequently returned home. Mosul and its environs are among the most ethnically and religiously diverse areas of Iraq, and among the most dangerous.

Despite successive security pushes that police say have netted hundreds of suspected insurgents, armed groups continue to launch near-daily attacks.

Meanwhile, some 200 kilometres to the south a man who had been abducted from the village of Tuz was found dead, police there said.

Link to original...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Syrian Archbishop Al-Jamil addresses Christian Persecution in Iraq

In a talk sponsored by "Save the Monasteries" foundation, Archbishop Archbishop Al-Jamil, procurator of the Syrian-Catholic Patriarchate in Rome has given a talk about the perils and plights facing Catholics in Iraq who, despite having made significant contributions to Iraqi society in the past are now in danger of disappearing from the country entirely if the situation of current Muslim hostility is not addressed. Before the war, Christians were highly respected and considered an integral part of Iraq, but things have changed.

Link to article in Zenit...

Earlier discussion where Archbishop Al-Jamil addresses the question in 2007, link...

An independent Kurdistan...article.