Christians of Iraq
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Updated list of Opression and Murders of the Assyrians in Iraq Not reported by the International PressTranslation From English
Beheading of Iraqi priest latest attack on minorities
October 13, 2006
TARGETING THE WEAK: An Iraqi Christian youth clears the debris in the Syrian Orthodox church in Baghdad after a bomb attack in 2004. Hundreds of members of minority communities have fled Iraq in the last two years, reports say. (REUTERS)
NICOSIA -- The beheading of Syrian Orthodox priest Boulos Iskander Wednesday is among the latest in a spate of attacks on religious minorities in Iraq, according to a human rights group.
The priest was found dismembered late Wednesday in the remote Tahrir City district of Mosul. His family had been in negotiations with the kidnappers for his release, the group said.
Father Iskander, 59, was abducted from a Mosul street Monday afternoon. His kidnappers contacted his eldest son shortly afterwards, demanding $350,000 in ransom money. After negotiations it was agreed that the amount would be reduced to $40,000 if the priest's church publicly repudiated Pope Benedict XVI's remarks about Islam made in his lecture in Germany in August.
The church subsequently put up 30 large billboards all around Mosul stating their disagreement with the Pope's statements and the family managed to raise the ransom money. However, all contact abruptly ceased Tuesday night, Christian rights group Middle East Concern (MEC) said.
Iskander was discovered the following day with his arms and legs severed and arranged around his head, which rested on his chest. His remains were brought to a local hospital, which then contacted his church, MEC said.
The Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mosul, Mor Greogorius Saliba Shamoun, returned immediately from the Holy Synod meetings in Syria to conduct the funeral service, held on Thursday.
Father Iskander was highly respected in the community and recognized as being unprejudiced in his conduct, MEC said. He is survived by his wife, Azhar, sons Fadi and Yohanna, a married daughter, Fadiyeh, and a daughter, Miriam, 13.
Many Christian families are continuing to migrate out of Baghdad and the region around Mosul following attacks on their places of worship in September and October, according to the group.
The UN Assistance Mission to Iraq concluded in their most recent Human Rights Report that religious minorities in Iraq continue to be victim of violent and extremist groups; with many feeling that their identity and even physical existence is threatened.
Among these groups are the Sabeans, a monotheistic religious group whose leader, Sheikh Raad Mutar Saleh, was assassinated Wednesday. Many members of his community have been killed since 2003. The leader of the Yazidi community, Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji Ismail, said on Wednesday that "the Islamic groups are a major threat to us, especially extremists like Al Qaeda and the other terrorists." Hundreds of Yazidi families have fled Mosul in the past two years, MEC said in a press release.
The Shabak community has also reported violence and intimidation, citing that over 100 of them have been killed since the beginning of June 2006.
Tishrin 1 = October
Beheading of Iraqi priest latest attack on minorities Oct. 14, 06
Iraq priest 'killed over pope's speech' Oct. 13, 06
Prominent Assyrian Priest Beheaded Oct. 12, 06
Who Will Remember the Assyrian Genocide? Oct. 11, 06
Traditional Assyrian Costumes Oct. 9, 06
Organisation and Substitutionism Oct. 8, 06
A Nation Without a Country Oct. 8, 06
Terror campaign targets Christians of Iraq Oct. 6, 06
\FIRST-PERSON: Assyrian haircut Oct. 5, 06
Two Iranian Christians arrested in Mashad. Oct. 4, 06
Ealool = September
Violence Against Christians Grows in Iraq Sept. 29, 06
Nenveh Essa, 21, studied accounting, Dies in Car Accident Sept. 27, 06
Kurds and Arabs Vie for Control of Mosul Sept. 26, 06
Iraq ensnared in quest to escape Arab politics Sept. 25, 06
Two Assyrian churches attacked in Mosul and Baghdad Sept. 25, 06
Tense Time for Christians in Iraq Sep. 24, 06
Assyrian Police Officer Murdered in Mosul Sept. 24, 06
Muslims react to the speech of Pope Benedict XVI Sept. 20, 06
Iraq: International Religious Freedom Report 2006 Sept. 19, 06
Fear Strikes Iraq's Christians Over Pope Words Sept. 19, 06
Assyrian Cultural Day Sept. 19, 06
When Iraqi Christians Vanish, Locals Pay the Price Sept. 18, 06
Dozens Dead in Kirkuk Bombings Sept. 17, 06
Book Exhibit in Baghdeda Iraq Sept. 17, 06
'I Felt God Was With Me,' Says Released Assyrian Priest' Sept. 15, 06
Two Assyrians Killed in Separate Terrorist Attacks Sept. 15, 06
Two Assyrians Killed in Separate Terrorist Attacks Sept. 14, 06
Kirkuk: The potential spark for civil war Sept. 14, 06
Sabri Atman in Sweden Sept. 14, 06
Assyrian Candidate Gains Republican Endorsement Sept. 13, 06
Priest Kidnapped in Baghdad Released Sept. 12, 06
Rosie Malek - Younan; The Assyrian Woman of the Year Sept. 10, 06
A Feast Awaits At Annual Assyrian Festival Sept. 6, 06
Turkey's terror against Christians in Midyat Sept. 4, 06
Syria; Sanctuary for Iraq's Displaced Christians Sept. 3, 06
August = Tubbakh
Assyrians: from Bebar Khan to Saddam Hussein (a new book) August 28, 06
A New Film by Lina Yakubova August 27, 06
PM Maliki urges tribal unity in Iraq August 27, 06
Iraqi Christians Caught in the Crossfire August 23, 06
Iraqi Christians on Edge After Priest's Kidnapping August 23, 06
The Secrets Of Mustafa Barzani In KGB Archives August 23, 06
Pope urges release of priest in Iraq August 20, 06
Heading Toward an (Inevitable) War in Kirkuk August 20, 06
TWO CHALDEAN PRIESTS KIDNAPPED IN BAGHDAD August 18, 06
Confiscation of the Assyrian villages by the Kurds August 18, 06
The Kurdish Democratic Experiment: an Assyrian Tragedy August 17, 06
Lebanese Bishops Call for Single National Leadership August 16, 06
Lebanese Cardinal Concerned About Christian Exodus August 16, 06
In Turkey non Muslims are listed as Foreigners August 14, 06
Murdered Assyrians in Iraq in August August 14, 06
Why Can't A Christian Be More Like A Muslim? Revisited August 13, 06
Peter W. Galbraith's 'The End of Iraq' August 12, 06
Babylon the Great lives August 12, 06
We Don't Want a Proxy War in Lebanon:' Cardinal Sfeir August 10, 06
Go-ahead for dam that will drown history August 9, 06
750,000 Christians Caught in Middle East Crossfire August 8, 06
Arabist Indoctrination At Middlebury College August 8, 06
Middle-Eastern conference: from worship to ‘reunion’ August 8, 06
Family Pays Ransom in Iraqi Kidnapping August 7, 06
June, July 06