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Christian churches and monasteries bombed this week as Iraqi Christians are threatened with extinction

Posted by Job on January 13, 2008

Original link. Nine
Iraqi Christian churches and monasteries bombed this week as Iraqi
Christians face persecution and are threatened with extinction


By Michael Ireland Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA
(ANS) Religious persecution continues in Iraq as nine Christian houses of worship were bombed this week.

According to
Christian Solidarity International (CSI), the attackers used both car
bombs and explosive charges in an effort to wipe out churches and
monasteries in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk. At least six people were
wounded.

Concerned
not only about saving lives and securing the country for Christian
refugees to return home, CSI foresees the possible “extinction” of the
Christian community in Iraq. Working to turn the tide, CSI is launching
“Save Iraqi Christians,” a movement calling for greater action against
the crisis facing Christians in Iraq.

CSI
is providing emergency humanitarian aid, including food and basic
items, to help these peaceful victims survive but they also need
physical protection. The organization is working to prevent the
extinction of Christians in Iraq — either through death or forced
emigration.

“I
received in Iraq accounts of a devastating wave of bombings,
beheadings, kidnappings, death threats, vandalism and discrimination
against Christians in Iraq who are persecuted by their own countrymen
— Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish extremists,” said Dr. John Eibner, CEO of
Christian Solidarity International (USA).

As
a result of this persecution, approximately half of Iraqi Christians —
400,000 — have fled the country since 2003. Many of those who remain
in Iraq are internally displaced. Prior to the fall of Saddam Hussein,
Christians made up approximately three percent of the country’s
population.

“Now
is the time for America’s Christian leaders to intensify efforts to
protect Christians in Iraq and urge the U.S. government to help Iraqis
practice their faith freely and openly,” said Eibner. “We’re urging all
people to join the effort to ‘Save Iraqi Christians.'”

For
more than 30 years Christian Solidarity International has been a voice
for victims of religious repression. The organization stands in
solidarity with persecuted Christian communities and works to ensure
every human being has the God-given right to choose and practice his or
her faith.

CSI
advocacy and humanitarian campaigns have contributed substantially to
the liberation of thousands of slaves and other Christian captives in
Sudan and throughout the world.

Based in Zürich, Switzerland, CSI has its U.S. headquarters in Westlake Village, California. 

CONTACT: Amy Anderson or Kelly Wells
(770) 813-0000 or (404) 545-1191 cell
www.csi-int.org 

** Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ANS, is an international
British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London
newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British
Christian radio station. Michael’s involvement with ASSIST News Service
is a sponsored ministry department — Michael Ireland Media Missionary
(MIMM) — of ACT International at: Artists in Christian Testimony (ACT) International. His weblog appears at: Michael Ireland Media Missionary.

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