"La situazione sta peggiorando. Gridate con noi che i diritti umani sono calpestati da persone che parlano in nome di Dio ma che non sanno nulla di Lui che è Amore, mentre loro agiscono spinti dal rancore e dall'odio.
Gridate: Oh! Signore, abbi misericordia dell'Uomo."

Mons. Shleimun Warduni
Baghdad, 19 luglio 2014

25 dicembre 2011

Iraqi Christians call for peace

By The Courier Mail

The commemoration came days after attacks across Baghdad killed dozens and a political row raised sectarian tensions, and a week after US forces completed their withdrawal from the country, with a senior bishop noting little was being done to prevent a continuing Christian emigration from Iraq.
At the Church of Our Lady of Sacred Heart in east Baghdad, hundreds of worshippers gathered for a 90-minute Sunday morning mass, the second of three such celebrations planned by the church.
Outside, half a dozen armoured security vehicles and an Iraqi army humvee stood guard, with several heavily-armed soldiers and policemen patrolling the street opposite the church. A handful of soldiers with machineguns were also perched atop the building.
"Our faithful are like everyone in Iraq - they have fear," Bishop Shlemon Warduni, the second most senior Chaldean in Iraq, told AFP.
"They feel there is no peace, no security, so they go where they can live in peace. We don't agree, we don't want them (to go), but they say, 'If we don't go, can you ensure my life, can you ensure my job, can you ensure the future?'"We cannot ensure our lives, how can we ensure their lives? The government cannot ensure their lives, how can we ensure their lives? This is our dilemma."He added: "Emigration is a very bad sickness, and it is contagious."
Mr Warduni said he wanted his congregation to "pray for all of Iraq to become more quiet, more peaceful, to have more togetherness and dialogue with one another - Shiite, Sunni and Christian."
The bishop cancelled a midnight mass due to security concerns following attacks on Thursday across Baghdad that left 60 people dead, the worst to strike Iraq in more than four months.
And unlike in previous years, the Shiite mosque across the street did not blast Koranic recitations over loudspeakers during the mass.
"We came in fear, but this is a duty, we have to do it," said Nibras Naama, a 30-year-old pharmacist among Warduni's congregation.
"We don't want churches to be empty because of fear."
Ms Naama said she did not wish to leave Iraq, "but the continuous violence and bad security may force us to."
Churches in Kirkuk, where a significant chunk of Iraq's Christian population remain, also cancelled midnight mass, and Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop for Kirkuk told AFP that he was "worried about the security situation."
Kirkuk provincial police chief Major General Jamal Taher Bakr said his forces had put "tight security" in place for Christmas, with streets closed off and multiple security perimeters formed around churches.
Mr Warduni estimated that Iraq's Christian population, put at between 800,000 to 1.2 million before the 2003 US-led invasion that overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein, had halved since then.
Their plight was highlighted by an October 31, 2010, assault on a Baghdad church by Al-Qaeda that left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force members dead.
Mr Warduni's church was itself hit by a suicide car bomb on July 12, 2009, that killed four and wounded 21.
According to Sako, 57 churches and houses of worship in Iraq have been attacked since the invasion, with more than 900 Christians killed and more than 6,000 wounded.
US troops completed their withdrawal on Sunday, leaving security in the hands of an Iraqi force more than 900,000-strong.
Officials insist it is able to maintain internal security, although they openly acknowledge it still lacks the means to defend Iraq's borders, airspace and territorial waters. That claim was dealt a blow by Thursday's violence.
The attacks only served to raise sectarian tensions amid a worsening political dispute that has seen Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister seek to sack his Sunni Arab deputy, and authorities issue an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president on charges he ran a death squad, accusations he denies.

Christians in Iraq find reasons to celebrate

by Michael Holmes

Christmas approaches and Iraqi Christians pray for peace, goodwill - and that they'll make it till next Christmas alive.
Outside, police and church security on high alert… being a Christian in Iraq is enough to cost you your life. "I was kidnapped in 2006 from my church… "
Father Saad Sirop Hanna was held by Muslim extremists for 28 days.
"(Did you think you would die?) Yes, yes. Sometimes, actually, that's right."
Hundreds of other Christians have died. Throughout the war, dozens of churches have been bombed, priests and parishioners abducted, the homes of the faithful attacked.
Last year, in October, the worst attack so far was when gunman stormed a Baghdad church, taking the congregation hostage and detonating bombs. More than 50 worshipers died.
Back at St Joseph's, Father Sirop Hanna says there will be a Christmas tree inside this year, no decorations outside. It would be inviting trouble to a church that received it's most recent threat this month.
Today, the faithful came regardless, defiantly celebrating their religion, while acknowledging it could come with a heavy price.
"The whole way to church I pray for our safety and now going home in the dark is scary, but I feel that God is with us."
"We don't go to church very much now, out of fear of terrorism bombings. All our family left to America, Sweden, Canada - there is no one left," said Luma Ihsan, an Iraqi Christian.
Ihsan's relatives aren't the only ones. Once, Iraq had nearly a million Christians, and since the war began in 2003, it's estimated half have fled, fearing for their lives.
"(Can you see a time when there won't be any Christians left in Iraq) Right, yes, that's our fear. We fear that moment." "We don't know how to hold them or make them stay here," said Father Sirop Hanna.
But Father Sirop Hanna says he'll keep trying to hold his flock together, despite the risks.
"Do you fear for yourself sometimes?) Yes, but it's ok. Some fear is ok," said Sirop Hanna.

Natale difficile per i cristiani iracheni

By Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana

24 dicembre 2011

Buon Natale e Buon Anno Nuovo

Edo Bri'cho o Rish d'Shato Brich'to

عيد ميلاد سعيد وسنة ميلادية مباركة

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo

Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année

Fröhliche Weihnachten und Gutes Neues Jahr

God Jul och Gott Nytt År

By Baghdadhope*

Natale in Iraq senza Messe di Mezzanotte per motivi di sicurezza. Warduni: la speranza è più forte della violenza

In Iraq la situazione resta tesa dopo gli attentati che, due giorni fa, hanno provocato decine di morti, nel pieno anche di una crisi politica che coinvolge i principali partiti sciiti e sunniti. Una particolare preoccupazione attraversa la comunità cristiana, oggetto di diversi attacchi nelle scorse settimane. Per ragioni di sicurezza, dunque, in alcune delle principali città del Paese non avrà luogo la Messa di Mezzanotte.
Per parlare della situazione, Davide Maggiore ha raggiunto telefonicamente mons. Shlemon Warduni, vicario patriarcale caldeo di Baghdad:
Certamente, abbiamo difficoltà a celebrare come desidereremmo, ma parlando spiritualmente noi cercheremo con tutte le nostre forze di celebrare con tutta la fiducia nel Signore, come figli della speranza, per mostrare che veramente noi vogliamo essere con Gesù Bambino per dire al mondo, con gli angeli: “Pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà!”. L’importante è predicare a tutto il mondo che l’amore che salva l’uomo: non il rancore, non la guerra, ma la pace.
 L’Iraq sta attraversando una situazione molto difficile: c’è stata una grave serie di attentati e sono ripresi gli scontri tra le varie fazioni. Come vede la Chiesa questa situazione?
 Questa pace avrebbe dovuto essere assicurata, nel nostro Paese, prima che ne uscissero gli occupanti. E questo sarebbe stato dovere degli occupanti, per lasciare la pace: non per lasciarci nel disordine! Comunque, noi preghiamo il Signore di portare la pace, di portare la sicurezza, di illuminare il cuore di tutti, l’intelligenza di tutti per cercare il bene di tutti. E questo non viene con la guerra o con gli attentati, ma viene dall’amore vero di Gesù, che ha dato la sua vita per tutti.
Lei pensa che ci sia la possibilità di una riconciliazione tra le fazioni che oggi sono in lotta
Umanamente parlando, le cose sembrano molto difficili. Ma con la forza del Signore, tutto potrebbe essere più facile, e questo è quello che noi speriamo. Con l’amore tutto si può risolvere, ma con l’odio, con il rancore, con l’egoismo tutto può vacillare. Noi chiediamo questa forza dal Signore.
Tuttavia, in questi numerosi anni di guerra, molti cristiani hanno dovuto lasciare l’Iraq, l’Iraq che è la terra di Abramo ...
Noi abbiamo questa grande malattia contagiosa, pericolosa: la malattia dell’emigrazione. Non possiamo fare niente se non pregare, se non mettere tutto nelle mani del Signore. E dire: “Sia fatta la tua volontà, Signore. Però devi darci la forza per poter resistere e non fuggire”. Questo lo chiediamo anche alla Grotta di Betlemme. (gf)

23 dicembre 2011

Iraqi Christians fearful post-US pullout

by Marwan Ibrahim

Iraq's Christians, markedly fewer in number following attacks on their minority community, are increasingly fearful in the face of a rise in sectarian tensions after the withdrawal of US troops.
Estimated to number more than one million before the US-led invasion of 2003, living primarily in Baghdad, the main northern city of Mosul, and the disputed oil hub of Kirkuk, some two-thirds of the population are estimated to have fled since, with more continuing to leave the violence-wracked country.
Their plight was highlighted by an October 31, 2010, assault on a Baghdad church by Al-Qaeda that left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force members dead. According to some accounts, the attack only accelerated the exodus.
"We have concerns about the US withdrawal, despite the security forces saying it will be safe," said Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah, the latter of which lies in the autonomous Kurdish region.
"There has been a failure to ensure the safety of Christians -- the security forces are not sufficiently prepared to ensure the protection of Christians. Even though we have repeatedly asked to raise the level of security, the results are not encouraging."
US troops completed their withdrawal on Sunday, leaving security in the hands of an Iraqi force more than 900,000-strong.
Officials insist it is able to maintain internal security, although they openly acknowledge it still lacks the means to defend Iraq's borders, airspace and territorial waters.
That claim was dealt a blow on Thursday when more than a dozen bombings in Baghdad killed 60 people, with violence elsewhere in the country claiming another seven lives.
The attacks only served to raise sectarian tensions amid a worsening political dispute that has seen Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister seek to sack his Sunni Arab deputy, and authorities issue an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president on charges he ran a death squad, accusations he denies.
"I am only staying in Kirkuk temporarily -- I am waiting to leave at any second," said Salvan Youhanna Matti, a 59-year-old retiree whose three sons have left Iraq for Belgium, Sweden and Lebanon respectively."
"Christians who are leaving Baghdad for Kirkuk or Kurdistan consider those places just temporary stops before they leave for good. The future is unknown, and sectarian and religious conflict hurts our confidence in the situation, especially after the US departure."
Despite assurances of security from local leaders, and proclamations from top officials that protecting Iraq's Christians is a priority, violence targeting the minority still occurs.
Although the October 2010 attack was the deadliest against the country's Christian population since 2003, targeted assassinations and kidnappings still occur, albeit less frequently.
"While Iraqis from all ethnic communities and religious denominations suffered from violence in the years that followed the US-led occupation, smaller minority communities, especially non-Muslims, have been particularly vulnerable," Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted in a February 2011 report.
It noted that "the government... has not taken sufficient measures to bolster security in areas where minorities are particularly vulnerable to attacks."
According to Sako, 57 churches and houses of worship in Iraq have been attacked since the invasion, with more than 900 Christians killed and more than 6,000 wounded.
While those figures pale in comparison to the nationwide violence -- British NGO Iraq Body Count says more than 100,000 civilians have been killed in all -- HRW noted that because minority communities in Iraq lack "militias and tribal structures to defend themselves, a disproportionate number have fled."
One Christian leader in Baghdad said that, along with tensions in Iraq, the minority group was also watching developments elsewhere in the Middle East with unease.
"The coming years will be very difficult for Christian groups in the Middle East and the Arab world, there will be challenges for how to secure them, and protect their rights, privacy of religion and traditions," said Saad Serup Hanna of Baghdad's Mar Yusuf Church.
"I don't know how mature the political leaders and politicians of the Arab Spring are to understand this challenge," he added, referring to fears among Christians that a rise to power of Islamists in countries with deposed dictators such as Egypt and Libya could imperil minority communities.
Voicing concerns about tensions between the region's Sunni and Shiite communities -- Shiite-majority Iraq is home to a Sunni minority that dominated Saddam Hussein's regime -- in the wake of the Arab Spring, Hanna noted: "The situation is moving towards a conflict between the two blocs of Islam.
"Christians are caught in between."

Terror kills Christmas in Baghdad as Muslim fanatics force Christians underground

by Peter Wilson

Christmas has gone underground in Baghdad this year with the leaders of one of the world's oldest Christian communities taking the extraordinary step of warning followers that it is too dangerous to openly celebrate Christ's birthday.
"We have told everyone that there should be no public parties or large gatherings and people should do their own celebrations in their homes," said Ra'ad Emmanuel, the head of the government-backed Iraqi Christian Endowment.
Interviewed in the endowment's offices in Baghdad, Mr Emmanuel said the departure of American troops last Sunday had left Iraq's embattled Christians fearing more than ever for their safety and their future.
In the six days since US forces ended their eight years and eight months in Iraq, the country's power-sharing government has rapidly unravelled and a renewed wave of terrorist bombings has been unleashed.
US President Barack Obama said one of his goals in withdrawing US troops two weeks ahead of their December 31 exit deadline was to allow American soldiers to celebrate Christmas with their families, but they have left little seasonal joy behind them"
"After Saddam fell, Christians were targeted and attacked because everyone thought we were somehow attached to the Americans but the truth is that the US did not do anything for the Christians," Mr Emmanuel said.
"A lot of Christians worked for the Americans as translators or in other roles but the Americans have actually left us in a much worse state than we were under Saddam.
"Saddam did not persecute Christians as much as he did the Shia (Muslims) and Kurds but we were still happy to see him go and we thought life would be better after the (2003) war."
"That is not how it has worked out for us."
Iraq's Christians, who were among the first to follow Jesus, say they have suffered as much harassment and violence since the first Gulf War in 1991 as at any stage in their 2000-year history.
Iraqi Christians believe their conversion in the first decades after Christ's death was led by the apostles Thomas and Thaddaeus, and some members of the local Chaldean and Syriac Christian churches still speak Aramaic, the language Jesus would have spoken.
Islamic "newcomers" who conquered the region six centuries later hounded the Christians between the 13th and 16th centuries, and as late as in the 1930s the army of newly independent Iraq killed thousands of Christians for having co-operated with Britain, the former colonial power.
But with no armed militia or political parties, today's Christians have been more vulnerable than most to sectarian killers who often saw the US occupation forces as Christian "crusaders" and infidels.
Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 70 per cent of Iraq's Christians have fled their homes since the 2003 invasion.
Statistics are unreliable but the Christian population is believed to have crashed from about 1.4 million to less than 500,000, with many of those who are still in the country having sought refuge in Christian-heavy parts of Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
Mr Emmanuel said the southern city of Basra had been virtually abandoned by Christians and there had been repeated church bombings, kidnaps and assassinations in Baghdad.
Early this week, several Christian teenagers wandered quietly inside the gutted church of Our Lady of Salvation in central Baghdad, shaking their heads at the hundreds of bullet holes left by a massacre in November last year.
"Incredible, it is just incredible," said one young woman who did not want to be named. "They did this to complete strangers just because of our religion."
Five killers linked to al-Qa'ida burst into the church during an evening mass and used automatic weapons, grenades and suicide vests to kill 58 people, including two priests. A group linked to al-Qa'ida declared after the attack that all Christians were now "legitimate targets for the mujaheddin (holy warriors)."
Since then the number of armed guards permanently protecting the country's 237 churches has been tripled to 3000, and no religious service takes place without the protection of concrete bomb screens and automatic weapons.
The exodus of Christians has left bishops and groups such as the Endowment, which supports all Christian denominations, worried that their church may suffer the fate of Baghdad's Jews, who made up a third of the city's population in the 1920s but have since seen their numbers dwindle from 130,000 to just seven. Many of the fleeing Christian refugees have sought protection in neighbouring countries but the Arab Spring has brought fear to Christians across the Middle East because of the rise of new Islamic governments in place of secular regimes.
Christmas has traditionally been a high-profile festival in Baghdad, with many Muslim families sharing presents and other trappings of the season, but not any more.
"Before, we would celebrate in the streets and in clubs and there would be decorations everywhere but now people will go to church and then go home to celebrate privately," Mr Emmanuel said.
This year's caution has been heightened by the fact that Christmas overlaps with the Muslim festival of Muharram, which includes a period of grief over the death of the holy figure Imam Hussein.
"If we were seen to be disrespectful of Muharram, a lot of terrorists would use that against us, so it is better to keep a low profile and protect the Christian population," he said.

How can we remain silent while Christians are being persecuted?

by Fraser Nelson
Father Immanuel Dabaghian, one of Baghdad’s last surviving priests, is expecting a quiet Christmas. To join him in the Church of the Virgin Mary means two hours of security checks and a body search at the door, and even then there’s no guarantee of survival. Islamist gunmen massacred 58 people in a nearby church last year, and fresh graffiti warns remaining worshippers that they could be next.
The Americans have gone now, and Iraq’s Christian communities – some of the world’s oldest – are undergoing an exodus on a biblical scale.
Of the country’s 1.4 million Christians, about two thirds have now fled. Although the British Government is reluctant to recognise it, a new evil is sweeping the Middle East: religious cleansing. The attacks, which peak at Christmas, have already spread to Egypt, where Coptic Christians have seen their churches firebombed by Islamic fundamentalists. In Tunisia, priests are being murdered. Maronite Christians in Lebanon have, for the first time, become targets of bombing campaigns. Christians in Syria, who have suffered as much as anyone from the Assad regime, now pray for its survival. If it falls, and the Islamists triumph, persecution may begin in earnest.
The idea of Christianity as a kind of contagion that is foreign to the Arab world is bizarre: it is, of course, a Middle Eastern religion successfully exported to the pagan West. Those feet, in ancient times, came nowhere near England’s mountains green. The Nativity is a Middle Eastern story about a child born to a Jewish mother, whose first visitors were three wise Iranians and who was then swept off to Egypt to escape Roman persecution.
His Apostles later scattered to Libya, Turkey and Iraq, to establish the Christian communities that are now under threat. For most of history, they have coexisted happily with Muslims: dressing the same way, even celebrating each other’s festivals. The rise of the veil, and other cultural dividing lines, is a relatively modern phenomenon.
These dividing lines are now being made into battle lines by hardline Salafists, who are emerging as victors of the Arab Spring. They belong to the same mutant strain of Sunni Islam which inspired al-Qaeda. Their agenda is sectarian warfare, and they loathe Shia Islam as much as they do Christians and Jews. Their enemy lies not over a border, but in a church, synagogue or Shia mosque. The Salafists may be detested by the Muslim mainstream. But as they are finding out, you don’t need to be popular to seize power in a post-dictatorship Arab world – you just need to be the best organised. The West is so obsessed with government structure that it doesn’t notice when power lies elsewhere, and Islamist death squads are executing barbers and unveiled women in places like Basra.
Two years ago, the idea of such bloody sectarianism would have sounded like a macabre fantasy in a country as civilised as Egypt. After al-Qaeda bombed a church on New Year’s Day, Muslim elders sat in the front pews forming a human shield and defying the terrorists. But moderate Egyptians are now losing this power struggle. The killing has started, with another 25 Copts murdered in October. Tens of thousands of Egypt’s Christians have already joined their Iraqi counterparts in exile: as Iraq proved, one death can lead to a thousand emigrations. The Salafists are finding it staggeringly easy to realise their fantasy of a “purer” Egypt.
The Arab Spring was always going to mean danger for religious minorities, unleashing the Islamic extremists who previously were kept at bay. For all their evil, the old secular tyrants abused their victims equally, whether they wore the cross, hijab or skullcap. This year’s revolutions are marked by the utter absence of any leaders-in-waiting. History has repeatedly shown how, under such circumstances, regime change can be followed by a descent into sectarian chaos. Extremists can easily start fights along religious or ethnic lines by assassinating a leader, or blowing up a shrine. The result can be civil war (as with Bosnia and Rwanda), even leading to partition (as with India and Cyprus).
The Foreign Office has been typically slow to recognise the gathering threat, despite repeated warnings. The biggest one of all came a fortnight ago, when the Archbishop of Canterbury opened a gripping debate in the Lords about the widening persecutions, and what the Government ought to do. Lord Patten, the former education secretary, revealed that he spent a year failing to persuade the Foreign Office to help a group of Anglicans in the Anatolian peninsula, who are banned from worshipping in any public place.

“'The answer was no,’ he said. 'They would not approach the Turkish government to ask, 'Please can you ease up a bit?’” But when German Catholics were having trouble in the same place, Angela Merkel’s government intervened immediately, working with the Turks to send a Catholic priest to hold public worship.
So why the British reticence? It might be that the Foreign Office sees this as part of a soppy equalities agenda, unworthy of diplomatic attention. Those who have raised the issue directly with William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, say he is unenthusiastic. When Mr Hague visited Algeria recently, he did not raise its ban on any Christian activity outside state-licensed buildings.
When challenged, ministers deplore persecution in general – but, seemingly, not so much that they’d do something like pick up the phone to Ankara. Yet there is plenty Britain can do. Countries could be denied aid until Christians (or Jews, or Sunnis) are allowed to worship freely. British diplomats could be empowered, even instructed, to advocate freedom of religion. When a peer of the realm alerts the Foreign Office to some persecuted Anglicans, a red alert ought to sound. Mr Hague might even publish an annual audit of religious freedom in various countries, making clear its importance to Britain. It might make its own estimate about the scale of the flood of refugees.
The Foreign Office did not realise the full evil of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans until it was too late: it did not take civil tensions seriously enough. It can do better now, making clear that it regards religious cleansing as an emerging evil that ought to be confronted wherever it is being incubated. Article 18 of the UN Charter of Human Rights guarantees freedom of religion – and yet outright religious oppression is quietly ignored, from Saudi Arabia to the Maldives. For ages, Iran has been able to persecute Baha’is with a minimum of fuss kicked up in the West. The ayatollahs are now turning the screw on Christians, with 300 arrested in the past year.
Speaking in that House of Lords debate were men to whom the idea of religious cleansing is anything but abstract. Lord (Dolar) Popat fled Uganda when Idi Amin turned on the Indians in 1971. Hindus, he said, are taught that it is a sin to be prejudiced against anyone. But it is “an even greater sin to witness persecution, then sit back and do nothing to stop it”. Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, said his parents were once victims of the same evil that now confronts Christians. He quoted Martin Luther King: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
Our friends in the Middle East are all waiting to hear from HM Government. Perhaps, in the new year, it might have something to say.

Iraq: cancellata la messa della vigilia in molte città

By  Zenit

Monsignor Louis Sako, arcivescovo cattolico-caldeo di Kirkuk, nel Nord dell’Iraq, ha dichiarato ad Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre che i cristiani sono spaventati dai recenti attacchi.
Il presule ha detto che non sarà possibile celebrare la Messa di mezzanotte a causa dell’alto rischio per l’incolumità dei fedeli (tutte le liturgie del tempo natalizio saranno celebrate nelle ore diurne) e che i cristiani non mostreranno decorazioni di Natale fuori delle loro case.
“La Messa di mezzanotte per la Vigilia di Natale – ha affermato monsignor Sako - è stata cancellata a Baghdad, a Mosul e a Kirkuk, a causa dei continui attentati omicidi contri i cristiani e dell’attacco contro la chiesa di Nostra Signora del Perpetuo Soccorso, avvenuto il 31 ottobre, in cui sono rimaste uccise 57 persone”.Secondo l’arcivescovo di Kirkuk la sicurezza nel paese sta diventando sempre più precaria a seguito del ritiro delle truppe USA avvenuto all’inizio di questo mese.
Monsignor Sako ha sostenuto, tuttavia, che la situazione è drammaticamente segnata dai contrasti per il potere politico tra sunniti e sciiti.
Le dichiarazioni dell’arcivescovo sono state precedute da un gran numero di incidenti nel Nord della provincia del Kurdistan, precedentemente considerata “sicura”, avendo attirato numerosi cristiani dal Sud.
Ad Erbil, la capitale del Kurdistan, un cristiano di 29 anni, Sermat Patros, è stato rapito nel pomeriggio del 12 dicembre scorso.
La settimana precedente, tra il 2 e il 5 dicembre, non meno di 30 negozi di proprietà dei cristiani sono stati dati alle fiamme a Zakho nella provincia curda di Dohuk, nei pressi del confine con la Turchia.
Molti dei negozi assaltati vendono alcool ed è stato riferito che gli agguati sono conseguenza della condanna contro le rivendite di liquori, proclamata durante le preghiere del venerdì.
Oltre a questi incidenti si segnala l’uccisione di due coniugi cristiani, Adnan Elia Jakmakji e Raghad al Tawil, avvenuta in un sparatoria a bordo della loro automobile, a Mosul, nel Nord dell’Iraq, lo scorso 13 dicembre. Secondo quanto riferito, la coppia è stata deliberatamente presa di mira ed assassinata.
Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre ha esortato i cristiani di tutto il mondo a pregare per i loro correligionari iracheni, durante tutto il tempo natalizio, in segno di solidarietà.

Iraque: cancelada a missa da vigília em muitas cidades

By Zenit

Monsenhor Louis Sako
, Arcebispo católico-caldeu de Kirkuk, norte do Iraque, declarou à Ajuda à Igreja que Sofre que os cristãos estão assustados com os recentes ataques.
O bispo disse que não será possível celebrar a Missa da meia-noite por causa do alto risco para a segurança dos fiéis (todas as liturgias do tempo do Natal serão celebradas durante o dia) e que os cristãos não mostrarão decorações de Natal fora das suas casas.
"A Missa do Galo para a véspera de Natal - disse o arcebispo Sako – foi cancelada em Bagdá, Mosul e Kirkuk, devido aos contínuos ataques terroristas contra os cristãos e do ataque contra a igreja de Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro, ocorrido dia 31 de outubro, em que 57 pessoas foram mortas".De acordo com o arcebispo de Kirkuk, a segurança no país está se tornando cada vez mais precária, como resultado da retirada das tropas dos EUA no início deste mês.Monsenhor Sako argumentou, no entanto, que a situação está dramaticamente marcada por contrastes de poder político entre sunitas e xiitas.
As declarações do arcebispo foram precedidas por um grande número de incidentes no norte da província do Curdistão, antes considerada "segura", tendo atraído muitos cristãos do Sul.
Em Erbil, a capital do Curdistão, um cristão de 29 anos, Sermat Patros, foi seqüestrado na tarde do passado 12 de dezembro.
Na semana anterior, entre 2 e 5 de Dezembro, mais ou menos 30 lojas de propriedade dos cristãos foram queimadas em Zakho, na província curda de Dohuk, perto da fronteira com a Turquia. Muitas das lojas assaltadas vendem álcool e foi relatado que as violências são consequência da condenação contra as vendas de licores, proclamada durante as orações da sexta-feira.
Além destes incidentes, destacamos o assassinato de dois esposos cristãos, Adnan Elia Jakmakji e Raghad al Tawil, ocorridas num tiroteio a bordo de seu carro em Mossul, norte do Iraque, no passado 13 de dezembro. Segundo o que foi relatado, o casal foi deliberadamente observado e assassinado.Ajuda à Igreja que Sofre tem exortado os cristãos de todo o mundo para orarem pelos seus irmãos iraquianos, durante todo o tempo do Natal, um sinal de solidariedade.

22 dicembre 2011

Fête de Noêl aux enfants Irakiens Chaldéens réfugiés au Liban 2011.

Par Épiscopat chaldéenne au Liban

Fête de Noêl aux enfants Irakiens Chaldéens réfugiés au Liban 2011.
Chathédrale St. Raphaêl.