Iraq: Targeted attacks against seven churches

Source: FSSPX News

 

On Sunday January 29, seven Christian churches – Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican – in Baghdad and Kirkuk, in Northern Iraq, were attacked by coordinated attempts which killed three persons and wounded tens of others. The apostolic nunciature in Baghdad was also under attack.

Bishop Emmanuel Karim Delly, patriarch of the Chaldeans, declared: "We are afraid, but we believe that prayer will give us comfort!". These have been the first attacks against Christian churches since the election last December, they aim at forcing their faithful into exile so as to eradicate any Christian vestige in Iraq, said all the various communities established there.

The Sant’Egidio community, which organizes large meetings in the spirit of Assisi, addressed the following communiqué to the persecuted Christians: "For the conviviality between the various ethnical and religious elements in Iraq, Christian communities are a precious resource of religious pluralism, and absolutely indispensable to build up a democratic and pacific Iraq" (sic).

Before the American war in March 2003, Iraqi Christians settled between the Tigris and the Euphrates since the first centuries of the Christian era, long before Islam, were about 800,000 (3% of the population). Since March 2003, the exodus has been increasing: over 150,000 Iraqi Christians are now living in the United States, 50,000 in Canada and 30,000 in Australia, plus those who took refuge in France or New Zealand.