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Bishops: Middle East may soon be empty of Christians

ICC Note

“The idea of emptying the East of Christians is a deadly sin.”

03/06/2009 Islam (The Catholic Herald)-Chaldean Catholic leaders have said that Iraq ‘s diminishing Christian population should be an “alarm bell” for the rest of the world and could foreshadow the transformation of the Middle East .

The bishop said “international religious authorities look at the Iraqi Christian situation as hopeless” and view Christians’ departure “as something imminent and unavoidable”.

Maronite Fr Walid Mousa, president of Notre Dame University , Louaize, which hosted the conference, told participants: “Christianity is not the one who invaded Iraq and led to the fall of Saddam Hussein. So why is it now a victim?”

The conference, under the patronage of Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, was organised by the Chaldean Catholic Church in Lebanon . About 400,000 Christians have fled Iraq since 2003 and about 300,000 remain. One bishop and three priests are among the 500 Christians who have been killed.

“They [Christians] have been associated with the occupier without having any relation to it, or to the crusaders from whom they suffered. And they have been accused_of_blasphemy_and polytheism and are innocent of such accusations.

“The idea of emptying the East of Christians is a deadly sin.”

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