Iraqi Christians disappearing fast

world | Apr 23, 2007 | By Spero News

AsiaNews reported on an appeal made by Monsignor Sako, on behalf of the Christian communities, on the unsustainable situation of Christians in the country: “We cannot remain silent any longer, people must be made aware that an Iraq without Christians is of no benefit to the nation, we need unity between people, otherwise there will be no escape”. Attacks on the Nineveh plain show that nowhere is safe.


“In Iraq Christians are dying, the Church is disappearing under continued persecution, threats and violence carried out by extremists who are leaving us no choice: conversion or exile”.  This is the urgent appeal sent to AsiaNews by Monsignor Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, while reports arrive of car bombs and the death of Christians in the Kurdish area, until now untouched by the religious violence. 


The bishop who is president of Iraq’s Council of Catholic Churches’ Committee for inter religious dialogue , signed a declaration regarding the “tragic situation of Baghdadis Christians”, denouncing militant groups which under the threat of armed violence ask Christians to convert immediately to Islam or to consign their property and leave the country.  The same thing happens in Mosul, but with a different “choice”: pay a monetary tribute to the Jihad if they want to avoid their death. 


The Iraqi Christian community, at home and abroad, has long urged the local Church to take a stand against the forced evacuation, rape, kidnap, paying a ransom, blackmail, scarring and killing they suffer and the complete lack of protection from the local government and coalition forces.  And in the last two days, as the controversial plan to install a secure zone for Christians in the Nineveh plain begins to take shape, the terrorists have begun targeting the zoned area.  “It’s almost a political gesture – observes Monsignor Sako – as if to say: “we can hit anywhere, nowhere is safe”.


The religion-based attacks are


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