2003.06.12 Jesus Journal:
Jesus & His World: Christian News
Christians, Jews Persecuted In Iraq
By: Stefan J. Bos
Jun 12, 2003
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - A human rights group has urged United States-led
forces to ensure security of Iraq's Christians and other minority
religious groups amid reports of killings and other attacks by
Islamists, ASSIST News Service (ANS) monitored Friday, June 13.
"At least two Christian shop owners were shot dead by Shari'ah
vigilantes" last month "and there are unconfirmed reports of another
owner and a Christian bystander also being killed," said Christian
Forum in Support of Persecuted Religious Minorities Worldwide......
It said Sheikh Mohammed al-Fartousi and Hojatolislam Moqtada as-Sadr,
two of the most influential Shia leaders in Iraq, have called for the
Shari'ah to be applied to the country's up to one million christians
In addition Christians in Basra say looters "deliberately raided
Christian homes" and threatened that next time they will kill the
occupants because of their faith, human rights watch-dogs reported.
Christian Forum said "Christian girls in some parts of the city are
now afraid to go to school in case they are kidnapped" and that "
some Christian families have already begun to leave Basra to the
country's Christian heartland around Mosul" for fear of persecution.
Sources within the Syrian Orthodox Church have been quoted as saying
that at least one Christian family in Baghdad has been threatened
with death unless it converts to Islam.
Christian Forum claimed some Iraqi Christians fear that tensions may
be exacerbated by the impending arrival of western evangelical and
particularly American aid agencies intending to engage in missionary
as well as humanitarian work.
ANS has learned however from persecuted Christians in the Turkish
-Iraq border area that international support and especially prayers
The big problem, said Christian Forum, is that "coalition forces are
too few to effectively police the country, restore order or protect
religious minorities and other vulnerable targets from violence," an
opinion shared by international organizations which have asked for
more police units.
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