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Christians Killed, Convent Attacked and Churches Looted in Iraq

ICC Note: Review of recent attacks on Christians in Iraq

6/10/07 Iraq (VOM) – The Voice of the Martyrs received several incidents of attacks on Christians in Iraq over the past week including the martyrdom of a priest and three church leaders in Mosul , Iraq .

At approximately 6:40 p.m. on June 3, Father Ragheed Ganni (35), Basman Yusef, Waheed Isho and Ghasan Bidawid were leaving the Church of the Holy Spirit when some armed men forced them out of their vehicle and shot them. Ganni was shot fifteen times before the assailants drove off with his car. Ganni’s church has been attacked several times in recent years and it was bombed on May 27. Isho, in his late thirties, is survived by a wife and four children. Both Yusef and Bidawid were in their mid-twenties and were unmarried.

There were three attacks on Christian buildings in the Dora district of Baghdad, where the Christian community has increasingly been under fire. On May 31, unidentified assailants that local Christians suspect were Shiite militants occupied a convent belonging to the Chaldean Sisters of the Sacred Heart, according to a June 1 report from Asia News. While the nuns who lived in the convent were away, the assailants broke into the building, robbed it of all its goods and set it up for military operations.

On June 4, three Christian guards were killed when the St. Jacob Church near the Asia Neighbourhood of Dora was looted. Local Muslims intend to turn the building into a mosque. That same day, the St. John the Baptist Church near the Assyrian quarter of the district was also looted.

Pray that attacks on Iraqi Christians will cease. Pray that those who mourn the loss of loved ones will find comfort in the fact that those who die in Christ with be raised with Him (1 Corinthians 15:50). Pray the Lord will strengthen Iraqi Christians to remain faithful to Him at all cost.