Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas gets the axe in Iraq (this is progress?)

Alsumaria TV reports, "Iraqi Archbishop of Chaldeans in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniah Louis Sako announced, on Wednesday, that Christians in Kirkuk decided to mark the season of Christmas in church masses and cancel Christmas celebrations due to Iraq's crisis and the continuous targeting of Christians." Peter Wilson (The Australian) reports:

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 [Ra'ad] Emmanuel [head of the Iraqi Christian Endowment] 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.

Aid to the Church in Need quotes the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, stating, "Midnight Christmas Mass has been cancelled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians and the attack against Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral on 31st October, which killed 57 people." Yesterday's Baghdad bombings are also impacting the way people feel in terms of safety. Marwan Ibrahim (AFP) notes the claims that Iraq could take care of its internal security now ring hollow to some Iraqi Christians and quotes Slvan Youhanna Matti -- whose sons have already sought shelter in Belgium, Lebanon and Sweden -- stating, "I am only staying in Kirkuk temporarily -- I am waiting to leave at any second. 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."

Barack declared 'progress' and praised thug Nouri. This is progress?

Someone needs to ask Barack Obama exactly how Iraqi Christians not being able to publicly observe their faith's holiest day qualifies as progress?

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