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ICC Note

The Christians of Iraq live under daily threat because of their faith, and as the recent bombings of churches show, the persecution against them is only increasing.

Bombs, but also hidden persecution to drive Christians out of Iraq

Asia News (01/31/06)

Bombs and Hidden Persecution of Christians in Iraq

Mosul (AsiaNews) – There is a “hidden reality of persecution” against Iraq ’s Christians, including daily threats, kidnappings, discrimination and at its worst bomb attacks, such as last Sunday’s series of car bombings against Christian places of worship in Kirkuk and Baghdad . The aim: to feed internal divisions and the ongoing political instability, but also to “drive the Christian community out of Iraq ”.

This is how the local Chaldean Church explains the January 29th attacks to AsiaNews which revoke “the nightmare of violence of 2004” for Iraq’s Christians, when explosions against 4 churches in Baghdad and 3 in Mosul left 12 people dead and dozens injured. Sunday’s death toll was 3 dead, one catholic and two Muslims, with 9 injured.

Responsibility for the blasts has yet to be claimed. Among the local population the theory is that the bombings were in answer to the deeply contested caricatures of Mohammad published by a Danish newspaper. But according to Msgr. Rabban Al Qas, Chaldean bishop of Amadiyah and Erbil ( Kurdistan ), there are very different motives behind the violence. “It was a well studied plan e – he declares – perhaps from weeks before, car bombs are not built in a matter of days”. The prelate hypothesizes that behind this most recent violence there are “forces intent on destabilising the and dividing the country”. “Moreover – he adds – the continuing attempt by Arab fanatic’s to push the Christians out of Iraq ”. The bishop relays that in a meeting held on January 28th last between prelates from the Orthodox, Syrian rite Catholic and Chaldean churches in the northern diocese, the urgency of “the general situation for danger facing the community” was highlighted.

To read the full story, click here: Bombs and Hidden Persecution to Drive Out Christians