FaithWorld

Another dark Christmas for Iraq Christians, bombs kill at least 34

By Reuters Staff
December 26, 2013

(People stand among debris at the site of a bomb attack at a marketplace in Baghdad’s mostly Christian Doura District December 25, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Malik )

It’s Christmas in Baghdad, and once again Iraq’s Christians are celebrating behind blast walls and barbed wire.

At least 34 people died in bomb attacks in Christian areas on Wednesday, some by a car bomb near a church after a Christmas service. A church attack in 2010 killed dozens.

As prayers are offered and gifts handed out, many are wondering what a surge in violence to its worst levels in half a decade and politicking ahead of April elections means for a community whittled down by years of carnage and migration.

On Christmas Eve, the Mar Yousif Syriac Catholic church in western Baghdad looked like a walled fortress. Soldiers and police ran bomb detectors across cars, searched trunks and bags and patted down visitors before the evening ceremony.

Inside, the red confetti-strewn Christmas tree, bright blue-and-white tile mosaic, and strings of Santa Claus-themed bunting contrasted with drab streets strewn with concrete blocks and barbed wire outside.

But pews which would have overflowed with worshippers a few years ago were barely two-thirds full – a reflection of the fact that the Christian community has fallen from about 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion to about half that.

“The future is very critical because of immigration,” said human rights activist William Warda before Tuesday night’s service, estimating 10 to 20 Christians were still leaving the country each day.

“Many Christians … are fleeing from the country because of this issue, because there is no sign of a bright future.”

(Iraqi Christians attend a Christmas Eve mass at St. Joseph Chaldean Church in Baghdad December 24, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)

Read the full story by Alexander Dziadosz here.

See also Christmas bombings kill 34 in Iraq

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One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

Yet another unforeseen consequence of the Neocon plan to spread democracy at sword-point.

BHO is not much better than Bush, he’s trying to negotiate an agreement that would keep US troops in Afghanistan for another ten years, or more….what we have now is Neocon-Lite.

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