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.
Yesterday, Prime Minister al-Maliki visited the church of Our Lady of Salvation and urged his fellow Christians not to leave the country. Praising the “noble” gesture of France, al-Maliki said that “it must not be an incentive to emigrate.” He recalled that in his meeting with Benedict XVI, in 2008, had asked the Pope “not to allow the East be emptied of Christians, nor the West of Muslims“.
“We ask – he said – for an end to the emigration of Christians, that the phenomenon does not return, and we will do everything possible so that the array of flowers of Iraq’s communities remain complete and united“.
Al-Maliki also offered his condolences to the families of the victims: “The equality of Christians and other Iraqis – he said – is a sacred duty.” (with Sharia Law in the Constitution???)
Eric Besson, the French Minister of Immigration has made it clear that Christians survivors of the attack in Baghdad will benefit political asylum. “This message of support – he added – does not mean that France and Europe, are inviting the Christians of the East and Iraq to leave their countries. Rather it is our responsibility and desire to help them live in security in their countries of origin. “
I thank France for this gesture. It honours the country and its Government, although the measure should be extended to other Christians facing persecution. Of course, it would be desirable that they could actually live in their countries of origin, but since Sharia Law is enacted to condemn people who commit blasphemy, who convert to other religion or who simply own a Bible, a rosary or go to Mass, they don’t have freedom or security to live there.
UN has (at last) condemned the attacks on Christians in Iraq.
The Security Council statement condemned “all incitement to and acts of violence, particularly those motivated by religious hatred” and urged countries to work together to “bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.”
Will UN busybodies also condemn Islamic countries’ treatment of non-Muslims? Will they condemn the “blasphemy” laws? Will they condemn the project of the UN resolution on the defamation of religions? Till they don’t, these “condemnations” are just words that are gone with the wind.
Related: Radical Islam is synod’s elephant in the room @ Father Raymond de Souza: “Radical Islam is the elephant in the sacristy at the synod. Arab Christians are reluctant to speak critically of their fellow Arabs, and there is intense pressure in the Islamic world to put the blame on Israel, Jews and the Christian West. Christians in that milieu fear being considered traitors should they too loudly insist upon their rights“.
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”, AQ says.
Salim Mansur: “We have a deadly silence from the Muslim leadership”.
Incipient genocide: the ethnic cleansing of Assyrians in Iraq.