Countries involved in the Arab Spring have not changed, according to Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako I.
"Where are democracy and freedom?" Sako asked. "Change does not come suddenly or by force."
The patriarch stressed that it was unfortunate to lose the citizenship program in which all citizens are involved in the formation of their nations. This phenomenon began in the beginning of the last century and resulted in the growth of political Islam. more >>
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako I denounced a recent series of car bombings and shootings in Iraq that left scores dead and many more injured.
The "morale of Christians in the area is down" Sako said, adding that "it seems a step aimed at the division of Iraq."
In recent months, violent attacks have increased across Iraqi cities with the worst occurring on May 20 in Baghdad. Nine explosions were detonated in mainly Shiite areas, leaving at least eight dead in one attack. more >>
Iraqi pastor Abdi Ali Hamzah, also known as Pastor Jamal, has finally been released from prison after 21 months and will get the medical attention that he needs following what one ministry leader is calling an unprecedented move.
"It is by God's grace that this has been done," said Dr. Terry Law, founder and president of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries, who had campaigned for the pastor's release. "I don't think there is precedent for a former Muslim, converted to Christianity and proselytizing other Muslims, now convicted of a crime in an Iraqi court, to be released by 'private amnesty.' The odds against it were huge!"
Hamzah was arrested in July 2011 and initially sentenced to five years in Iraqi prison, with authorities trying to portray him as a spy for Iran. World Compassion has argued, however, that the charges were false, and that his capture had more to do with his evangelism – the pastor has helped Dr. Law distribute $100,000-worth of food to people in Iraq, risking his life as he went undercover to refugee villages. more >>
Archaeologists from Manchester University in England have made an exciting discovery near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham, unearthing a large complex that could have been used for religious gatherings.
"This is a breathtaking find," said Professor Stuart Campbell, the leader of the university's Archaeology Department. What is remarkable about the sprawling complex, the team said in a statement, is that it extends 260 feet on each side, which is roughly the size of a football field.
"We provisionally date the site to around 2,000 B.C., the time of the sack of the city and the fall of the last Sumerian royal dynasty," Campbell told The Associated Press. "The surrounding countryside, now arid and desolate, was the birthplace of cities and of civilization about 5,000 years ago and home to the Sumerians and the later Babylonians." more >>
Secretary of State John Kerry confronted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace, warning that Baghdad's behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner.
"I made it very clear that for those of us who are engaged in an effort to see [Syria's embattled] President Assad step down and to see a democratic process take hold … anything that supports President Assad is problematic," The Associated Press quoted Kerry as saying at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad after meeting with Maliki at his office.
"And I made it very clear to the Prime Minister that the overflights from Iran are, in fact, helping to sustain President Assad and his regime," Kerry said, adding he and Maliki had "a very spirited discussion" on the Iranian flights, which Washington believe is ferrying weapons and fighters intended for the Syrian government. more >>
Iraq had 300 churches and 1.4 million Christians in 2003, but now only 57 churches and about half a million Christians remain with members of the minority fleeing Islamist attacks, according to local reports.
Patriarch Louis Sako of the Chaldean Church told Mideast Christian News the remaining 57 churches also continue to be targeted. The number of Christians has fallen from about 1,400,000 in 2003 to nearly half a million now, added William Warda, the head of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, a registered local non-governmental organization.
This means more than two-thirds have emigrated, Warda said. "The last ten years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq." more >>