Monday, April 25, 2011

Iraqi Christians

Prashant Rao (AFP) reports, "A roadside bomb explosion wounded four people, including two policemen, near a small church in the Iraqi capital on Easter Sunday, medical and security officials said. The bomb went off near the entrance of the Sacred Heart church, which is surrounded by concrete blast walls, near Tahriart Square in central Baghdad." BBC News reminds, "There were once about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, but more than two-thirds are believed to have fled since the US-led invasion in 2003. Hundreds of families have also moved to the northern Kurdish region." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) adds that two police officers and two bystanders were injured in the bombing. A number of Iraqi Christians remain in Baghdad though waves of targeting has caused many to leave. The most recent wave was kicked off October 31st with the assault on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad.

Sally Jawdat (Al Mada) reports from Erbil on Easter in Kurdistan noting KRG President Masoud Barzani, KRG Parliament President Kamal Kirkuki and KRG Prime Minister Barham Salih offered their "congratulations and blessings." Al Mada also reports Basra and speaks with Saher Ezzat who states that things are better in the KRG but are not what they were and that Christians ("especially women") cannot dress as they normally would. Another offers that Christians suffer the same problems in terms of security and freedom as other Iraqis. Linda Jalil states that Iraqi Christians have left the country in large number due to the lack of safety but that Basra is one of the safest provinces for Christians.

We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "'MODERN TIMES' REALLY AKIN TO THE 'DARK AGES'" (URUKNET):

Humans may believe we live in enlightened times but future historians, (if there are any) will look back at our era as “dirty, crowded, superstitious, dangerous, and primitive” as the Dark Ages, ecologist Carl Safina, president of Blue Ocean Institute, says.
To avert imminent catastrophe, he calls for replacing “the no-accounting, throwaway, boomeranging, soot-powered economy with a clean, renewable, no-waste, recycling economy.”
In accounting terms,” he points out in an article published in the May-June Utne Reader, “we're running a deficit, eating into our principal, running down and liquidating our natural capital assets. Something's getting ready to break.”
Safina---a marine conservationist and recipient of Pew, MacArthur, and Guggenheim fellowships---says, “I hope humanity survives” yet warns that “Since 1970 populations of fishes, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, and birds have declined about 30 percent worldwide.” He notes, “Species are going extinct about a thousand times faster than the geologically 'recent' average; the last extinction wave this severe snuffed the dinosaurs.”
Humans are devouring 40 percent of the life that Earth's land produces and “take a similar proportion of what the coastal seas produce. For one midsized creature that collectively weighs just half a percent of the animal mass on Earth, that is a staggering proportion. It redefines 'dominion.' We dominate.”
As the UN estimates Earth's human population will exceed 9 billion people by mid-century, Safina sees trouble ahead sustaining a growth equivalent to “two more Chinas.” He explains, “We'd still probably have to expand agriculture onto new land, and that means using more water” when water supplies are drying up. “Since all growth depends on what plants make using sunlight, continuous growth of the human enterprise for more than a few decades may not be possible.”

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