mercoledì, marzo 30, 2016


Christians now fearing extintion after years of religious persecution and terror attacks

By Express (UK)
Tom Batchelor
After a weekend of religious ceremonies to mark Easter, a senior Christian leader has issued a fresh warning about the threat his faith is now facing in a volatile Middle East.
On Sunday, more than 70 people - including dozens of children - were murdered in a suicide bombing on a park in the city of Lahore which was aimed at Christians.In Iraq, Christians have suffered under the barbaric rule of Islamic State militants who have forced them to flee their homes or face severe punishments or even death for refusing to ascribe to the Muslim faith.
Father Muyessir al-Mukhalisi, a priest at Saint George's Chaldean Church in east Baghdad, said his people were now "threatened with extinction".
He added: "This is a harsh word but every day we are being depleted. Our people are travelling, migrating."Millions of Iraqis have been forced to leave their homes after the jihadist group seized a third of the country.
Members of the Christian minority have moved from northern towns and villages to the capital or other cities, and many have joined the masses fleeing to Europe.Their numbers fell to a few hundred thousand from about 1.5 million before the US-led invasion in 2003.
In Mosul, which fell to ISIS in 2014, Christians faced an ultimatum: pay a tax, convert to Islam, or die by the sword.
The jihadists then stripped hundreds of Christian families of their possessions as they fled.Huda Meti Saeed, who left the city with her husband and three young children two years ago, told Reuters: "We cannot return. Our neighbours came and took our house. They wanted to take us hostage and take all our valuables."
Christianity in Iraq dates back to the first century and the country is traditionally home to many different churches, both Catholic and Orthodox.
But now Christians say they are often denied freedom of expression in the predominantly Muslim country, and like many Iraqis, lack security, basic services and economic opportunity.

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