Extremists are behind a “religion-cide” in Iraq, said a ministry leader Wednesday after receiving news that five more people were killed in Iraq’s Christian neighborhoods.
Less than two weeks after the deadliest attack against Christians, when 56 believers were killed, local police reported that at least 11 roadside bombs exploded within an hour in three Christian neighborhoods in Baghdad Wednesday. Five people, who have not been identified yet but are thought to be Christians, were killed in the coordinated attacks.
“Baghdad right now is just gripped by terrorism against the Christian community and there is no other way to put it,” exclaimed Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA. “I’m using the word religion-cide to explain to people what is really taking place in Iraq right now.” more >>
A Muslim leader is calling on the Iraqi government and US-led forces to step up their efforts to protect the Christian minority in Iraq from extinction.
Navaid Hamid, Secretary of the South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM) and a Muslim, said the deadly attack last weekend on a church in Baghdad was a heinous crime that should be strongly condemned by the international community.
“With the murderous attack, the safety of Iraq’s Christian minority has become critical and it is the prime responsibility not only of the regime in Baghdad but also that of the allied forces led by [the] US to restore confidence and provide safety because never in the history of Iraq, minorities were so vulnerable [sic],” he said. more >>
High-level Christian and Muslim leaders meeting in Geneva to build a “common future” together issued a joint statement Wednesday condemning the deadly attack against the Catholic church in downtown Baghdad.
The leaders attending the consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslim Building a Common Future” said they “condemn this inhumane act that contradicts all religious teachings, and Middle Eastern culture that enabled people to coexist peacefully for many centuries.”
While the World Council of Churches, which is hosting the consultation, Pope Benedict XVI, and Muslims in Egypt have separately denounced the attack, the joint statement represents the collective voice of all participants at the consultation, including: His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan; Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society; the World Council of Churches; and representatives of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions. more >>
Iraqi Christians are frustrated with the Iraqi government’s inability to protect them, said the head of a ministry that supports persecuted Christians.
The Iraqi Christians feel that “it’s just words from the government that 'we are going to protect you,'” said Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, to The Christian Post Wednesday.
One Iraqi Christian leader complained to Compass Direct News on Tuesday about the government’s promises of security. more >>
Church leaders have expressed their sorrow over the attack on a church in Iraq that left around 58 people dead.
Pope Benedict XVI denounced the attack on the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad as "absurd … ferocious violence."
Gunmen linked to al-Qaeda entered the church on Sunday and took the congregation hostage as they were gathered for evening Mass. more >>
The death toll from Sunday’s church hostage crisis in Iraq shot up to 52 on Monday while the number of people wounded rose to 67.
Deputy Interior Minister Lt. General Hussein Kamal reported the latest figures, which nearly doubled initial figures, on Monday, saying that the toll only included hostages and police officers, not the militants behind siege of Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad.
Initial reports put the number of gunmen at around a dozen – at least five of which were killed along with the others when some of the explosives they were carrying went off. more >>