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.”
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.”
Syrian Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of Mosul led over 1,000 Iraqi Catholics in a silent protest on February 28 to demand that the government act to put a stop to violence against Christians there.
The United Nations estimated that 683 Christians fled Mosul between February 20 and February 27. Chaldean Catholic Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona of Mosul estimated that "about 400 families" had left the city’s community of 4,000 Christians.
“The daily massacre suffered by the Christian community … is met with indifference from the authorities,” said Archbishop Casmoussa on the eve of the march. “We will be fasting and praying for peace and for the survival of Christians.”
“Security is not guaranteed,” he added. “There are soldiers in front of the church, and this helps to prevent terrorist attacks. But today’s Christian families are being killed on the streets or in their homes. More protection is needed. We ask authorities that the culprits be arrested and prosecuted according to law. We want justice to be done.”
Archbishop Casmoussa added that the Christians of Mosul were consoled by a visit on February from 82-year-old Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church. Eleven of the nation’s 15 dioceses and eparchies are Chaldean Catholic; two are Syrian Catholic, one is Armenian Catholic, and one is Latin Rite.
I’m not very optimistic. MSM are silencing Christian [*] persecution in Iraq and Christians (and Human Right activists) are not particularly interested in knowing about the plight of Christians in Iraq.
[*] Whatever the denomination they belong to, Christians are being subjected to attacks and harrassment to oblige them to emigrate from Iraq.
(U) Three relatives of Father Mzen Ishoa, a Syro-Catholic priest who was abducted and later released in 2007 (click here for more information), were shot and killed by unknown assailants on February 23. The gunmen forcibly entered the believers’ home and opened fire on Aishwa Maroki (59) and his two sons, Mokhlas (31) and Bassim (25). Aishwa’s wife and daughter were also in the home but were not harmed. (Sources: Middle East Concern, Catholic News Agency, AFP).(via).