User-agent: *

Bookmark This Site

Christians Of Iraq
Plight of the Iraq's Christians

US refugee info

Popular articles
Assyrian poetry
Historical articles

Traditional Assyrian Costumes

  Bombed Churches
 Home  Only this link has access to all News articles


Youtube Assyrian Videos2
Assyrian youtube videos 3

Youtube Assyrian Videos (youtube2-b)
new songs Dec. 28, 2010

Translation Translation from English


Were Iraqi Security Forces Involved in Baghdad Church Massacre?

March 2, 2010

By Ken Timmerman

Hana Sayeid, 55, will never forget the last conversation she had with her 27-year old son, who had gone down to Baghdad to see relatives. She was at home in Karakosh, capital of the predominantly Christian Nineveh Plain in northern Iraq. He was huddled in a side chapel behind a steel door in Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic church in Baghdad on Oct. 31, 2010, waiting for Muslim terrorists to murder him. "Ayoub was telling us what was going on," she said. "He said he had been wounded, and was begging us to get someone to open the outside door to the chapel so they could be evacuated." For several hours, Hana says, she spoke to her son on his cell phone. Then, finally, at around 7:30 pm, he stopped answering the phone.

Later, police told Hana that the terrorists had lobbed a hand grenade over the top of the door into the side chapel, kiling her son and the two. In all, 58 worshippers died while attending church that day, and another 98 were wounded. Four months later, Hana and her husband continue to mourn Ayoub in their home in Karakosh, where they fled from Mosul a year earlier after jihadi Muslims murdered her husband's brother.

A portrait of the 27-year old Ayoub sits on a chair in their living room. He had just gone down to Baghdad to visit family. But the story of what happened to Ayoub Adnan Ayoub is much more than just a sad testimony to the persecution Iraqi Christians are enduring on a daily basis at the hands of jihadi Muslim groups. It is also prima facie evidence of criminal malfeasance on the part of the Iraqi government.

"There was an outside door to the side chapel where those people were hiding," said Yohanna Josef, who made an unsuccessful campaign last year for the Iraqi parliament as an independent. "They could have gone in through that door and rescued many people," he told Newsmax in an interview at the Ayoub home in northern Iraq. "Instead, they burst in through the front doors and shot everyone in sight."

Iraqi bloggers and even some politicians have openly accused the Iraqi government for its handling of the Oct. 31 attack. They point out that the terrorists brought explosives and weapons to the church in cars with dark-tinted windows and no license plates that are only available to officials with high-level security clearance. This allowed them to get waved through checkpoints without being stopped. They also point to the slow reaction of the security forces, and the botched handling of the rescue attempt itself. It still remains unclear how many of the victims were killed or wounded by the Iraqi rescue team, who opened fire wildly once they burst into the church.

A senior officer in the Iraqi police, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, said that for the 10 days prior to the attack that the Interior Ministry security forces gradually moved barriers closer to the church, until the terrorists could drive right up in front. Dr. Duraid Tobiya, who heads the Mosul section of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, the largest Christian political party in Iraq, told Newsmax, "I can't accuse the government directly because I haven't seen the evidence. But this is what we have heard from survivors and from eyewitnesses who talked to people who were inside."

Duraid and other secular Christian leaders interviewed in northern Iraq recently believe that the Shiite Dawa party of Prime Minister Nour al-Malaki, which controls the Interior Ministry forces, was complicit in the attack, and that the Iraqi police has become the instrument of the ruling party, not the state. He pointed out that right after the church massacre, the Baghdad city council, which is also controlled by the Dawa party, passed new laws banning liquor stores, night clubs, and educational associations run by Christians.

"Even the universities in Baghdad imposed new dress codes on students and separated classes by sex, like the Taliban." The Iraqi police helped produce a four-hour documentary about their investigation into the attack that aired on state-run Iraqiya TV in late January, but it hasn't made a dent in the suspicions of Christian leaders. The program features Gen. Ahmed Abu Ragheef, the director of internal affairs and security in the Iraqi Interior ministry, narrating a series of dramatic reconstructions that have all the allure of a reality TV show.

As Abu Ragheef tells it, the police made their first arrests by accident when the passengers of a sedan aroused their suspicions at a checkpoint. Inside the car, they found CDs that contained videos of the attack. The suspects eventually led the police to a Baghdad safe house where they arrested the 27-year old "wali," or "prince" of al-Qaida in Iraq, an Iraqi named Huthaifa Sattar al Battawi. Battawi eventually decided to cooperate with the investigation, Abu Ragheef said, and led them to 19 additional safe houses where the group had hidden large quantities of explosives, pistols fitted with silencers, car bombs, and suicide vests.

By the time the investigation was complete, the police had rounded up dozens of suspects in a series of dramatic raids involving shootouts with men wearing suicide vests, according to an account of the video that appeared in the McClatchy newspapers in the U.S. Battawi explained that the plotters recruited suicide bombers in Mosul among foreign jihadis, and drove them the 290 miles down to Baghdad using smugglers.

They avoided questions at security checkpoints by offering free rides to Iraqi military officers and soldiers who simply flashed their badges to get them waved through the barriers. Battawi said they had chosen Our Lady of Salvation Church because it was located in Baghdad's central Karrada neighborhood, close to the offices of international media organizations. "Most of what we need to accomplish our mission in such an operation is media attention," he said. The TV show ended in a dramatic confrontation between Battawi and one of the priests from the church.

If Muslims considered Christians "people of the book," the unnamed priest asked, why did they call Christians unbelievers?" "In all religions, the disagreeing are unbelievers," Battawi replied. "This is well-known." Duraid and other leaders in the north believe the terrorist attacks against Christians are not just carried out on religious grounds, but are also an attempt at driving Assyrians as an ethnic minority out of Iraq. "We are the indigenous Iraqis," Duraid said. "So the purpose of these attacks is to destroy the Christians and force us to leave the country. The orders for these terrorist attacks are coming from entities and political parties inside the government."

The Obama administration has praised the Iraqi government for its handling of the investigation. "Al-Qaida threatened to attack churches, there was a church attack, and then al-Qaida claimed responsibility," a senior administration official told Newsmax. "I simply do not believe Maliki or his forces, for all their ills, did this." "The US has seen no evidence that the government of Iraq was complicit in the attack on the church. To the contrary, the Iraqi government has universally condemned the attack on the church as well as attacks on Christians and members of all faiths," the State Department official said. For Nina Shea, who tracks the persecution of Iraqi Christians and other minorities as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), one thing is clear: "Terrorists have been able to wage ruthless attacks against Iraq's Christian communities with impunity."

Despite repeated calls to better protect houses of Christian worship and other community gathering places, "the Iraqi government has failed to protect this defenseless minority and has failed to provide them with the minimum of justice in the wake of horrific assaults that by now constitute a religious cleansing of historic significance," she told Newsmax. USCIRF first designated Iraq as a "country of particular concern" in 2008 because of the inability or refusal of the Malaki government to prevent wave after wave of attack against Iraqi Christians. Countries of Particular Concern are those that USCIRF finds "that commit systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom," according to the Commission's website. Only 12 countries in addition to Iraq met those criteria in 2010: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.










Designed by



3,700 articles and counting

church on fire







Adaar = March

Were Iraqi Security Forces Involved in Baghdad Church Massacre? March 2, 2011

Egyptian Armed Forces Shoot to Kill Christians at Monasteries, 19 Injured March 2, 2011

February = Eshvat

Film About Assyrian Genocide in Iraq to Debut in Michigan Feb 28, 2011

Christian town in north Iraq offers refuge
Feb 27, 2011

Iraq Abuse Worsening for Women and Minorities Feb 23, 2011

Iraq's Christian Leaders Unhappy With Lack of Action on Nineveh Plain Feb 23, 2011

Global Islamic upheaval takes toll on Christians Feb 23, 2011

Turkish Judicial System Does Not Meet EU Standards Feb 23, 2011

Anger over court’s decision to acquit suspects in Coptic killing case Feb 23, 2011

Reconciled By the St. Gabriel Assyrian Monastery in Turkey Feb 20, 2011

‘Religicide’ in Iraq Feb 16, 2011

Truth About Sharia Law and Women Feb. 16, 2011

Persecuted Iraqi Christians Reach Out to US.
Feb. 15, 2011

Australian MP Calls Attention to Persecution of Iraq's Assyrians Feb. 10, 2011

Campaign to separate the Syrian Orthodox Church from its Assyrian Heritage
Feb. 9, 2011

Iranians Crack Down on Christian Churches Feb. 9, 2011

Who will defend Mideast Christians? Feb. 8, 2011

Christians of Iraq are in danger Feb. 2, 2011

Failing Christians is damaging EU credibility, says Italy Frattini Feb. 1, 2011

January = Kanoon II

Church to build hospital and university in Iraq
Jan, 31, 2011

“Syria Opens the Gateway to Humanity for the Assyrian Medical Society, the Mission Continues.”
Jan, 28, 2011

Assyrians Without Borders Announces Scholarship Awards Program Jan, 28, 2011

Hearing in Washington about attacks against christians of Iraq and Egypt Jan. 27, 2011

Babylonian cuneiform tablets document Syria’s history Jan. 26, 2011

As the left sides with Muslims, Christians search for support Jan. 24, 2011

Congress to Press Obama on Religious Persecution
Jan. 21, 2011

Abrogation in Islam and The Persecution
of Christians

Jan. 21, 2011

Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq Jan. 20, 2011

Assyrian Youth Black March Movement Conference in Detroit Jan. 19, 2011

Who Are the Real Hijackers of Islam? Jan. 10, 2011

Why Christians and Jews are Being Massacred in the Middle East Jan. 10, 2011

Restricted Freedoms in the Iraqi Christian Green Zone
Jan. 8, 2011

France asks for coordinated European Union response to threats against Christians in Middle East Jan. 5. 2011

Violent attacks against Christians could return in Egypt
Jan. 4. 2011

Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast Jan. 2. 2011

We may be witnessing a new age of Christian persecution
Jan. 2. 2011

December = Kanoon I

Christians consider their future after more attacks in Iraq
Dec. 31. 2010

Ancient Tel Aviv Fortress has an Assyrian Origion Dec. 30. 2010

Rare Assyrian artifacts on display in Istanbul Dec. 30. 2010

Ancient Tablets Reveal Mathematical Achievements of Ancient Babylonian Culture Dec. 28. 2010

Christmas and New Year's Greetings 2010

Bipartisan Effort Pressures Obama to Help Iraq's Christians
Dec. 26, 2010

Around "1,100" Christian families have fled to to Kurdish north Dec. 21, 2010

U.N. cites 'a slow but steady exodus' of Iraqi Christians
Dec. 18, 2010

Genocide Film Stirs Emotions Dec, 18, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq face a stark choice: convert, die or leave Dec, 17, 2010

Iraqi Christians Want Their Own Province Dec, 17, 2010

The persecution of Christians in the ‘Muslim world’
Dec, 15, 2010

Is Obama serious about human rights? Dec, 15, 2010

Iraq’s war on Christians Dec, 15, 2010

Appeal for Iraq's Imperiled Religious Communities
Dec, 14, 2010

More Christians Flee Iraq After New Violence Dec, 12, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq's Mosul Living Under Constant Fear
Dec. 11, 2010

Iraq Assyrians Mark 40 Days Since Church Carnage Dec. 10, 2010

Christmas 2005 in Iran (Photos Included) Dec. 6, 2010

Demand For a Province in Kurdistan for Christians Dec. 6, 2010

Assyrian MP Calls on Iraqi Government to Safeguard Churches, Open Investigation Dec. 6, 2010

The Voice of Iraq’s Forgotten Minority crying for help
Dec. 6, 2010

Iraq: Gunmen kill elderly Christian couple inside their Baghdad home Dec. 5, 2010

Assyrian Group Briefs EU Parliament Delegation On Iraq
Dec. 3, 2010

Iraq: Deadly Reminders of Unfinished Business 
Dec. 3, 2010

Protecting Our Christian Neighbours in Iraq Dec. 3, 2010

Catholic Bishops Back House Resolution to Protect Iraq's Christians Dec. 1, 2010

November = Tishreen II

Egypt Security forces use live ammunition and kill unarmed Christian Coptic Protesters Nov. 30, 2010

Western Economic Aid to Muslim Nations Who Hate Non-Muslims Nov. 29, 2010

Formation of Committee to assist Iraqi Christians and other Minorities Nov. 29, 2010


The Baghdad Assyrian Church Massacre: Waiting for Godot! Nov. 27, 2010

Christians in the Middle East essential for the survival of the Arab world Nov. 27, 2010

Australian Conference Calls Attention to Assyrian Genocide in Iraq Nov. 22, 2010

Homes of Christians set on Fire in Egypt Nov. 17, 201

Group will not celebrate Muslim Holiday in solidarity with the victims of the Church Massacre Nov. 17, 201o

Thousands Protest Attacks Against Iraqi Christians Nov. 12, 2010

Memorial Service Held in London for Baghdad Church Massacre Victims Nov. 12, 2010

Fear of jihad driving Christians from Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan Nov. 10, 2010

Assyrians Demonstrate Around the World Against Baghdad Church Massacre Nov. 10, 2010

Iraq’s Christians: The Final Push to Drive them Out?
Nov. 10, 2010

3 bombs explode outside Christian homes in Baghdad
Nov. 10, 2010

How an Iraqi Christian school became 82 percent Muslim
Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Recent attack on church sheds light on Assyrians' plight
Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Global Demonstrations against the Persecution of Christians of Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Two Christians killed in Baghdad a week after massacre
Massacre Nov. 8, 2010

Worldwide Assyrian Demonstrations against Baghdad's Church Massacre Nov. 7, 2010

Al-Qaida is turning its focus on Iraq's vulnerable Christians
Nov. 7, 2010

Christians and Muslims issue joint statement condemning Iraqi church attack Nov. 6, 2010

Christian Massacre Spurs Assyrian-American Rally Nov. 6, 2010

Christians ‘on verge of extinction’ in Iraq, Muslim leader warns
Nov. 5, 2010

UNSC to discuss the security situation in Iraq Tuesday
Nov. 5, 2010

Islamic chauvinism drives Christians out Nov. 5, 2010

bloody, ruthless attack on landmark church in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Videos of the Attack on the Assyrian church on October 31-2010

Assyrians Should Be Granted Indigenous Group Status and Rights in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Operation Iraqi freedom and Christians in Iraq Nov. 1, 2010

Protest and demonstration in Ankawa against the murder of Christian worshipers in Baghdad Nov. 2, 2010

CNN update; include video- Death toll rises to 58 in Iraq church
Nov. 1. 2010

Death Toll Rises to 58 in Iraq Church Standoff Nov. 1. 2010

Baghdad attack a new low in Christian onslaught in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010

Pictures of surviving Christians ater the killing in Iraq Nov. 1. 2010

Deadly Baghdad church siege highlights threat to Iraqi Christians
Nov. 1. 2010

Priests among 46 Christians killed in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010 8:00 AM

Priests among 37 Christians killed in Iraq hostage drama
Nov. 1. 2010 1:00 AM

Iraqi worshipers, troops killed in church takeover
Nov. 1. 2010

October = Tishreen I

My Take on Tearing down the walls 30, 2010

swedishimmigration-policyon-iraqirefugees October 29, 2010

Ancient Winemaking Makes Resurgence in Southeast Turkey
October 29, 2010

Arabs and Turcomans Speak out Against Kurdish Demands in Kirkuk October 17, 2010

The Cost Of Moslem Intolerance October 6, 2010

2,700-year-old royal loyalty oath discovered in Turkey 15 October 2010

Muslim scholars address synod, say Middle East needs Christians Oct. 16, 2010

Christian Hymns of the church of the East in Assyrian aramaic by Reverend Genard Lazar
aug. 26, 2010

Eilul = September

The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia August 26, 2010

Assyrian Politician Attacked in Sweden Future 0f Democracy in the West 26, 2010

Vatican should prevent the exodus of Christians from the Middle East 26, 2010

Assyrian speech at the International Genocide Conference In Greece. Sept. 24, 2010

Egyptian Coptic Church Accused of Stockpiling Weapons
Sept. 22, 2010

Priceless Assyrian historic site Used as Kurdish resort Sept. 22, 2010

Poverty and unemployment among northern Christians sept. 21, 2010

Imam Khamenei: US and Zionism, Not Christianity, Responsible for Anti-Islamism Sep. 17, 2010

Iraq's top Shiite cleric urges tolerance towards Christians
Sep. 10, 2010

Assyrian Representative in the Iranian Parliament condemned the burning of the Koran in the U.S. Sep. 16, 2010

Christian Community of Iraq Halved in Seven Years 16, 2010

Why People worldwide lose Respect for Islam 16, 2010

The Assyrian Genocide and the Turkish Ambassador sept. 13, 2010

Dubakh = August

Religious Freedom and a Mosque August 30, 2010

Kidnapped Assyrian killed in Iraq despite ransom paid August 27, 2010

Why did the Golden Age of Islam come to an end? August 23, 2010

Iraqi asylum seekers struggle to survive in Sweden August 14, 2010

Monument in memory of massacred Assyrians is ready to be unvailed in Australia August 4, 2010

Speaking the language of Jesus August 3, 2010

U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq Does Not End Humanitarian Obligation

August 1. 2010

Tammuz = July

Baghdad Bishop Dies After Lifetime of Serving the Church July 28, 2010

Islam needs more tolerance, not more mosques July 27, 2010