Sunday, March 7, 2010

Christians terrorised in Iraq and Egypt

From the Church Times-

CHURCH leaders world wide have expressed concern for Christians in Iraq and Egypt during the lead-up to parliamentary elections in both countries later this year.

Iraqi and Egyptian Christians fear for their safety after a number of sectarian killings over the past two months. Many believe they are being deliberately targeted.

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his “deep sorrow” over the recent deaths of Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, and emphasised his solidarity through “prayer and affection” with “those suffering the con sequence of violence”.

The Pope’s words were described by the Bishop in Cyprus & the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, as a “timely” response to the “tragic re ports of the murderous actions of anti-Christian elements”.

Eight Christians have been killed in Mosul over recent weeks. In one incident, armed militiamen broke into the home of a 59-year-old man and shot him and his two adult sons. In another incident, an engineering student at Mosul University was shot dead, and his friend was wounded.

In a separate attack on a house in the city, the charity Open Doors says that five people were killed when gunmen “forced themselves into the house and gunned down an entire family. They even threw two bodies outside the house as a cruel warning for others.”

So many frightened Christians are now leaving Mosul that the Chaldean Archbishop, Mar Emil Shimoun Nona, has warned of a “humanitarian emergency” in the region. “The situation is dramatic,” he said, and his Church was giving emergency aid, because “the people fled without taking any thing with them.” The Archbishop ex pressed fears that soon Mosul would be “emptied completely of Chris­tians”.

More here-

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