martedì, novembre 03, 2015


Twice Attacked Church Reopens in Baghdad, But is it Too Late for Assyrians?


After enduring two attacks, St. George Assyrian church in Dora, a formerly Assyrian neighborhood south of Baghdad, was reopened yesterday by the newly consecrated Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. The event was attended by religious and secular leaders, including Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III, Armenian, Yazidi and Muslim leaders and government officials.Also attending was Iraq's Deputy Minister of construction, housing and public utilities, who said his agency intends to continue to work on a set of measures for the reconstruction of destroyed churches in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad.
St. George Church was firebombed on May 18, 2007. On April 14, 2007 an Islamic group forcefully removed the Cross from the church.
Dora was a predominantly Assyrian neighborhood, with a population of 20,000 Assyrians. In 2004 Islamists began a terror campaign against the Assyrians. Dozens of Assyrians were killed in bombings, 500 Assyrian shops were burned in one night, churches were bombed. Muslims demanded jizya (poll tax) from the Assyrians. Muslims also demanded that Assyrian maidens be surrendered to them to be married off to Muslims.
The attacks caused nearly all of the 20,000 Assyrians who lived there to flee and never return. Only a few hundred Assyrians remain there.

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