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Rev. Fr. Boulos Iskander (SOC priest in Iraq killed )

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Rev. Fr. Boulos Iskander (SOC priest in Iraq killed ) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope this email finds you in peace and health. I am writing you
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 11, 2006
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      Rev. Fr. Boulos Iskander (SOC priest in Iraq killed )

      Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

      I hope this email finds you in peace and health.

      I am writing you from Damascus , where I am attending the Holy Synod
      meetings. This evening, we were shocked with very sad news from
      Mousel , Iraq . Our priest Father Boulos Iskander was killed by
      shooting. Three days ago he was kidnapped by a fanatic group as
      consequences of H.H. Pope Benedict's recent speech. They forced the
      community in Mousel to write 30 large posters denying what His
      Holiness had cited in respect with Mohammad, the prophet of Islam.
      Although their request was done, the fanatics killed the priest. The
      Bishop of Mousel H.G. Mor Gregorios Saliba Chamoun received the
      tragedy news during the evening session of the Holy Synod. He
      immediately left the meetings returning to Mousel to be with the
      faithful at this very difficult time.

      I wanted to share this news with you in order to covey to you the
      image of the hard time Christians are facing in the region.

      I kindly ask you to mention the martyr Father Boulos Iskander in
      your prayers.

      Please include all our churches, especially in Iraq , in your
      prayers.

      Sincerely yours,

      Eustathius Matta Roham,
      Archbishop of Jazirah & Euphrates
      Syriac Orthodox Archbishopric
      Hassakeh, Syria
    • sandalow1
      ... Over 35,000 Christians have fled Iraq Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 12, 2006 - More than 35,000 Iraqi Christians have fled to Syria to escape
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 12, 2006
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        The Jerusalem Post just carried this Ap article:
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Over 35,000 Christians have fled Iraq
        Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 12, 2006

        -

        More than 35,000 Iraqi Christians have fled to Syria to escape the
        violence in their country, the leader of an Iraqi Christian group
        said Thursday.

        Christians, who make up three percent of Iraq's 26 million people,
        are leaving because of individual threats from Muslim extremists and
        the general deterioration of security in Iraq, said Emmanuel
        Khoshaba, the Syrian head of the Assyrian and Democratic Movement.

        His figure indicates an increase of 75% from the 20,000 Iraqi
        Christians who were said to have moved to Syria in 2004, the year
        after US-led forces invaded Iraq and began the conflict.

        One Iraqi Christian refugee, Bassam Najjari, 29, said he arrived in
        Syria last month; 40 days after gunmen shot and injured him in
        Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, as police looked on.

        "I decided to leave Baghdad with my family," said Najjari, who is
        staying in a camp near the Syrian capital, Damascus, with his
        parents and brothers.
        His brother, Wissam, said he plans to start his own business in
        Syria.

        "There is no hope of going back home as the security situation is
        very bad and there is no indication that it would get better soon,"
        Wissam said.

        "We want to live in safety. We don't want to be killed. We love
        life," said another Christian refugee, Saddallah Mardini, 43.

        Mardini said US forces should leave Iraq now.

        "The occupation has brought destruction to Iraq," he said.

        His wife, Wissam, 25, complained of shortages of electricity and
        water in Iraq.

        "My kids go to school now (in Syria), which is something they were
        deprived of in Iraq," she said.

        Syria's relaxed visa rules for Arabs, as well as its border and
        cultural proximity to Iraq, have attracted thousands of Iraqi
        refugees, Muslims as well as Christians. But a disproportionate
        number of the refugees are Christian.

        The violence in Iraq has hit Christians as it has targeted Sunni and
        Shi'ite Muslims.

        Seven Christians were killed in 2004 when suspected Islamic
        militants set off bombs in five churches in Baghdad and the northern
        city of Mosul. It was the first major assault on Iraq's Christians
        since Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in April 2003.

        More recently, the Rev. Hanna Saad Sirop, the director of the
        Theology Department at Babel University, central Iraq, was abducted
        Aug. 15 as he left a Baghdad church after a mass celebrating the
        Assumption.
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