Violence against Christians grows in Iraq
Christian agencies in in Iraq have reported increased violence against Christians in the country with the beginning of Ramadan and statements from Pope Benedict 'igniting an explosive atmosphere'.
Several Christians have been murdered, abused and kidnapped, and a hand grenade was thrown at a priestís car.
In Baghdad and Mosul, several churches have been attacked. On Wednesday morning, a group of men reportedly fired rockets on the Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul and detonated an explosive device outside the church's door. AsiaNews reported that no one was hurt during the attacks.
On the morning of Sunday 24 September, the Church of the Holy Spirit was fired upon by Muslims who wanted the local bishop to issue a condemnation of the popeís speech.
A young man wrote on the church doors, ìIf the Pope does not apologise, we will bomb all churches, kill more Christians and steal their property and money,î an Open Doorsí contact reported.
Some churches have now reportedly made statements that they will not support the Popeís comments.
Also on Sunday, a hand grenade was thrown at a priestís car parked outside St Maryís Ancient Church of the East Cathedral in Baghdad. After police and church members arrived at the scene minutes later, a car bomb went off nearby, killing a child and the churchís guard.
Open Doorsí sources in Baghdad report that at least two people have been killed and many more have been injured by bombs in front and behind the cathedral and Patriarchate of the Ancient Church of the East.
Earlier this month, a car bomb went off 250 meters from Open Doorsí property in Baghdad. No one was injured, but visitors were very frightened and co-workers remain anxious.