A car bomb exploded outside a Catholic church in central Kirkuk, Iraq, early Tuesday, wounding at least 20 people, authorities said.
The attack took place in Kirkuk’s Shatterlo neighborhood around 5:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. Monday ET), according to a police official who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Anti-Christian violence in Iraq left 92 dead and 47 wounded in 2010, making the year the worst to date for the Christian minority, according to the human-rights group Hammurabi.
Hammurabi reports that all of Iraq’s Christian churches have been badly hurt by violence and by the emigration of families leaving the country to find security elsewhere. More than 800 Christians have been killed in the years since the start of the US-lead military intervention.
Nevertheless the group found that the Christians remaining in Iraq who a strong sense of commitment. On July 4 the Chaldean Catholic Partiarch Emmanuel III paid a courtesy call on Ali al Sistani, Iraqi’s leading Shi’ite cleric, to demonstrate ‘the unity of Iraq and of Iraqis, Muslims and Christians.”
His body was mutilated. His head was nearly severed off. He was tortured before he was executed, according to the Kirkuk police. His eyes were gouged out, his ears were cut off and his faced was skinned. There also were signs of dog bites on the body.
Mr. Jacob is survived by his wife and three children.
He was an Assyrian construction worker.
His body was found like this:
I have no words. How someone can be so cruel against another human being escapes my understanding. But that the reason is just that he believes in other religion is horrible. Plainly horrible.
The world remains silent before the abyss…
Photo: found at AINA.org.
- Iraq: Christian beheaded by his kidnappers (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)
The decapitated body of a Christian man has been discovered in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, a few days after he was kidnapped. Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was abducted late Friday night or early Saturday morning (13 or 14 May) and his mutilated body was discovered last Monday morning (16 May).
His family had been asked for a ransom but was not able to pay the sum of more than £61,500 the kidnappers demanded.
Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk condemned the killing, and went on to pay tribute to the strength and faith of his community despite the continuing threat of violence.
Archbishop Sako said: “In all these years, I have never heard of a single Christian converting to Islam, despite the many threats.”
A MIDLAND IT graduate posted messages on an extremist website which called on Muslims to attack British MPs who voted in favour of the war in Iraq.
Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, of Dunstall Hill, Dunstall, Wolverhampton, is expected to receive a lengthy prison sentence when he comes before a High Court judge at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.
The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to soliciting murder, inciting religious hatred and three counts under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act – which covers distributing information about members of the armed forces – on May 13.
A police source said that Ahmad listed the pro-war politicians on the website and urged other would-be fanatics to “raise the knife of jihad” against them.
The source said that he even offered advice on finding out details of politicians’ constituency surgeries to help anyone who wanted to target them.
An Iraqi refugee living in the U.S. told an FBI informant he used improvised explosive devices in insurgent attacks on American troops in Iraq and is accused of trying to send sniper rifles and Stinger missiles to his home country, according to a sworn statement.
The refugee, along with one of his recruits, was arrested and is accused of trying to send the weapons and money to al-Qaida operatives in Iraq.
Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, was well-schooled in sniper rifles and improvised explosive devices, according to an FBI affidavit released Tuesday.
“If I can get to Iraq, can you send me a sniper rifle?” Alwan asked the informant. “I want one so I can shoot from far away.”
Pope Benedict XVI has established a Chaldean Catholic eparchy in Canada, and appointed Archbishop Hanna Zora as its first bishop.
The establishment of a new ecclesiastical jurisdiction reflects the continued emigration of Chaldean Catholics from Iraq and Iran. There are now nearly 40,000 Chaldeans living in Canada, many of them having fled Iraq in the past decade. Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Iraq, told Vatican Radio that while Chaldeans there welcomed the news of the new eparchy, “we are a little saddened by the continuing exodus from our land, where the Church has been present since the 5th century.”
A leaked file says that Jawad Jabber Sadkhan, an Iraqi intelligence officer who moved to Afghanistan in 1998, “admittedly forged official documents and reportedly provided liaison between the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.” The government of Afghanistan at that time was the Taliban, which employed him as a vicious interrogator for its intelligence service. His driver said he was also close to Osama Bin Laden, who paid him before and after the 9/11 attacks. Another detainee revealed that Sadkhan would travel to Iraq through Iran to retrieve supplies for the Taliban. Sadkhan was not universally popular, as his superior, Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi, warned Saif al-Adel in November 1998 that he was part of a group of Iraqis “involved in un-Islamic activities.” This accusation did not end the relationship.
According to another detainee named Abbas Habid Rumi al-Naely, Sadkhan was a member of one of Saddam Hussein’s top units tasked with assassinating political opponents. The U.S. government also identified al-Naely as a liaison between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Al-Qaeda. He joined the Taliban in 1994 while living in Baghdad. One U.S. government memo shows he was accused of preparing attacks on the U.S. and British embassies in Pakistan in August 1998 with an Iraqi intelligence officer on the orders of Osama Bin Laden. Later memos did not include the charge.
Another suicide terrorist in Iraq. While the former was against government buildings, this was against Shiite pilgrims.
An Iraqi official says a suicide bomber has killed two Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad during an important religious ritual for the Muslim sect.Mohammed Maarouf, the mayor of Balad Ruz town in the northern Diyala province, says the bomber detonated an explosives belt during a body check and killed the policeman searching him and a woman standing nearby. Thirteen people were injured, Maarouf said.
More information here.
A suicide car-bomber attacked a checkpoint near the government administrative building in Iraq’s Anbar province capital of Ramadi, killing and wounding dozens. Iraqi security forces are also on alert for threats before the Shi’ite Ashoura celebration this week in the south of the country.
Eyewitnesses say a suicide car-bomber detonated his vehicle at a checkpoint leading to government administrative buildings in Ramadi, causing numerous casualties.
A top Anbar province official, Jassem Mohammed al Hamed indicated the bomber was probably hoping to hit the government complex, but did not quite make it that far.
He says the bomber hit a checkpoint on the road leading up to the provincial government offices and the provincial council, but he was not able to get beyond it to reach the government buildings.
Police reports say at least six security force members manning the checkpoint were killed at the Ziyout round-about in central Ramadi.
Again and again and again. How much hate some people have as to die killing others…
Of course, you’re not going to read this in any major MSM.
Iraqi police are reporting a new attack on Christians in Baghdad by gunmen who broke into the home of an elderly couple and killed them.It was the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s Christian minority, which has been fleeing the country in droves since an Oct. 31 assault on a Catholic church that killed 68.
Police said four gunmen raided the home in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood Sunday evening and repeatedly shot the couple with silenced pistols before escaping. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
AINA Update: the daughter of the elderly couple was also killed in the same attack.
But this hasn’t been the only attack against Christians in Iraq in recent weeks:
Anti-Christian violence and persecution continue in Iraq. Two days after a Christian home was attacked in Mosul (northern Iraq), two Iraqi Christians were killed in the city’s Sina’a neighbourhood.
Sources told AsiaNews that unknown thugs entered a store owned by two Christian brothers, Saad and Waad (Raad) Hanna, 43 and 40 respectively, and shot them in cold blood. Waad died instantly, Saad, two hours later.
On Monday evening, police found an elderly Christian woman strangled in her home in central Mosul.
The attacks on Christians started October 31 in Baghdad have extended to the northern parts of the country, such as Mosul.
Last week, a bomb attached to the vehicle of a Christian man detonated in eastern Mosul, killing him and his 6-year-old daughter, local police told CNN.
The November 16 attack came one day after two Christian men in adjacent homes were killed after gunmen stormed their houses.
Also on November 15, a bomb detonated outside a Christian home. It caused damages but no injuries.
“Only lies, a superficial move” to make it appear to the public and the international community that the new Iraqi government is working to ensure the security of minority religious communities, while people are still forced to emigrate because of the lack security. From Baghdad to Mosul, this is the reaction of the Christian community to the arrest of a dozen terrorists responsible for the attack on the church of Our Lady of Salvation in the capital on October 31.
Last Nov. 27 it was announced that Iraqi security forces had captured an al-Qaeda leader and eleven of his men, involved in several attacks in the capital. He is Hudhaifa al-Battawi, military commander of al-Qaeda in Mansour, in western Baghdad. The news was reported by Iraqiya state television, quoting General Ahmed Abu Rgheif.
The operation, said the broadcaster, was conducted Nov. 24, although it was only made public three days later. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility for a series of attacks, including the hostage-taking in the Baghdad church which ended with the death of 57 people. Among other attacks attributed to the group there are those of the past month against the central bank, the offices of al-Arabiya satellite television and against some jewellery stores.
During the operation new plans were discovered to target four buildings with car bombs, landmines and explosive vests and six tons of explosives and some barrels of toxic substances were seized.
But news of the arrest has not reassured the Christian community, which has been seeking protection and justice from the central government. “It’s a sham, they had said that the terrorists were all killed during the raid to free hostages in the church!” Commented some Christians who have emigrated from the capital, after the latest escalation of violence against the minority community.
- Iraq: Gunmen take church-goers hostage after killing 2 at stock exchange.
- Iraq: 10 Catholics killed, 30 wounded after security forces stormed Baghdad church (UPD).
- Iraq: Pope Sends Message to Syriac Archbishop of Baghdad.
- Iraq: All Christians are targets, Al Qaeda says.
- Salim Mansur: “We have a deadly silence of the Muslim leadership”.
- Incipient genocide: the ethnic cleasing of the Assyrians of Iraq.
- Iraq: Five Christians killed and 20 wounded.
- Iraq’s Christians unimportant in global politics.
- Why hasn’t Obama addressed the Christian persecution in Muslim countries?
- Religious freedom: the ACN Report is released.
The 2010 Report on Religious Freedom in the World by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was released yesterday in Rome. It shows that the situation is serious in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia. In the Near East, Iraq represents an especially bad case where anti-Christian violence is taking on the form of systematic persecution, as the latest episodes indicate. In Egypt, despite the fact that it is a major tourist destination, there have been many acts of violence against the Christian minority in 2009-2010. Lebanon shows how difficult it is for foreign religious staff to enter the country. The situation of Christians in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is getting worse with episodes of explicit persecution.
In India, ethnic and religious violence is rising as well. The year 2009 clearly illustrated the problem. However, China is certainly among those nations where religious freedom is denied in all its facets. However, information about what happens in that nation remains limited and hard to obtain. The state is officially atheist and suppresses all form of religion through arrests and detention in concentration camps. The case of Mgr Julius Jia Zhiguo is one of the better known. The underground bishop of Zhengding (Hebei) was arrested by five police officers on 30 March 2009; he was eventually released 15 months later.
In Pakistan, the blasphemy law is used as weapon against religious minorities, especially Christians who are the victims of Muslim fundamentalism. In Afghanistan, the government is not able to ensure effective religious freedom. In Bangladesh, where Islam is also the state religion, several cases of discrimination and attacks against minorities have been recorded with security forces showing little interest in protecting them.
When I find the report in English I will post the link here. It’s necessary that these facts are reported and really known outside those countries.
Final death toll here. “On Oct. 31, Thomas’ brother-in-law bled to death on the church floor after militants stormed the building, shot congregants in the first row, held others hostage and then set off bombs when Iraqi forces came to the rescue. Then Wednesday morning, two bombs went off in quick succession outside his home. “We are terrified,” Thomas said, who sought refuge with his family Wednesday at the church. “I cannot go back to my house. They will attack again. They want to kill us.“
Three dead and 26 injuries is the provisional death toll from a series of attacks against Christian homes this morning in different districts of Baghdad. Between 6 and 8 this morning, two mortar shells and dozens of homemade bombs exploded in front of the homes of the faithful.Last night in the capital three other Christian houses were hit by bombs, without causing any victims. Despite this, the Prime Minister al Maliki is urging Christians not to abandon the country.
The latest attacks come only 10 days after the October 31 attack on the Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, and after threats from Al Qaeda to eliminate Christians from the Middle East. The attack on the parish killed 44 faithful, two priests and seven security guards. About 90 people were injured. Of these, the first group (37, to be followed by those remaining) arrived in France on Nov. 8 to receive treatment offered by the European nation, the only one to propose such support. Continue reading
Assyrians are the only autochthonous people of Iraq, having lived in their ancestral lands in north Iraq since 5000 B.C. Assyrians are Christians, belonging to three main denominations: The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chaldean Church of Babylon. The native language of Assyrians is neo-Syriac (neo-Aramaic). This distinct identity of Assyrians, especially their Christian faith, sets them apart from the rest of the population.
Assyrians comprised 8% (1.5 million) of the Iraqi population in April of 2003. Since then 50% have fled the country. Of the 750,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan up to 150,000 are Assyrians. Of the 1.2 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, 70,000 to 500,000 are Assyrians.
From 1995 to 2010 385 Assyrians were killed. For the years 1995-2002 there were 19 murders, averaging 2.37 per year. After the liberation of Iraq in 2003, the average number of murders for the years 2003-2010 was 55, 2316% higher than for the years 1995-2002. The geographic distribution of the murders was 39.85% in north Iraq, 58.17% in central Iraq and 1.98% in south Iraq. Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites and al-Qaeda engaged in murdering Assyrians. Examples included: Continue reading
All Christians in the Middle East are now “legitimate targets,” al Qaeda in Iraq announced Wednesday, as the group’s deadline for Egypt’s Coptic church to release alleged Muslim female prisoners expired.
An audio message released Monday gave the church 48 hours to disclose the status of Muslim women it said are imprisoned in Coptic churches in Egypt.
The message purportedly came from the Islamic State of Iraq, which claimed responsibility for an attack on a Baghdad church Sunday that killed 58 people and wounded 75. The umbrella group includes a number of Sunni extremist organizations and has ties to al Qaeda in Iraq. Continue reading
Well, I am a really Angry Catholic Infidel after reading what you’re about to read and it’s probable than you finish the post, you are angry too. The post is a bit long, so I apologize in advance.
Deeply moved by the violent deaths of so many faithful and of the reverend priests Tha’ir Saad and Boutros Wasim, I wish, on the occasion of the Sacred Rite of funerals, to participate spiritually, while praying that these brothers and sisters be accepted into the mercy of Christ in the House of the Father.
For years this beloved country has suffered untold hardships and even Christians have become the subject of brutal attacks that, in total disregard of life, an inviolable gift from God, want to undermine trust and peaceful coexistence. Continue reading
Iraqi security forces have sealed off the area surrounding the Sayidat al-Nejat church, the officials said. They do not know how many people are inside. At least 13 hostages, including two children, managed to escape, police said.
The gunmen are demanding that the Iraqi government release a number of detainees and prisoners inside Iraqi prisons, saying the Christian hostages will be freed in return, according to the police officials. Continue reading
Those who visit the Arabic countries of the Persian Gulf can easily recognize the elevation of sectarian tension between the Muslims of Sunni tradition and the Muslims of Shiaa tradition. It is the era of strife among Shiaa and Sunni. The Sunnis are the majority in the Gulf, and other Arab countries as well, while the Shiaas are the second largest denomination of Islam in the region; they are even the majority in some Arab countries such as Iraq and Bahrain.
The Sunnis are backed by their religious head, Saudi Arabia lead by the Wahhabist conservative regime (Wahhabism is a particular orientation within Salafism). The Shiaas are influenced by their Shiaa-Iconic regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Mullahs regime that launched “The Shiaa Revival” with its Iranian Revolution three decades ago. Iran is now accused of imposing its political and religious agenda on non-Iranian Shiaas, causing conflict in their own countries, and also influencing Sunnis as well.
Throughout the Arabian Gulf countries, one phenomenon is found: Imams are loudly swearing to – both inside and outside their mosques – the fundamental basics of the Shiaa tradition. At the same time, many books have recently been released that are against the Shiaa tradition.Those books are freely available to the public. An analyst from the region told me in confidence that this phenomenon is a “Wahabist invasion of the Gulf countries”. The Sunnis have started to call the Shiaas as rawafid (Rejectionists and perhaps dissidents) The Shiaa have started to call the Sunni as Nawasib (Have intentional hostility against Imam Ali).These words are derogatory, stereotypical, and highly provocative.