Following the news yesterday, I heard a story that President Bush had a meeting with the Pope in Rome and one of the topic of their discussions was the plight of Iraqi Christians. It was really the first time this issue captured my attention. The primary focus has been the civil conflict between the Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites, and there has been little to no media coverage, that I can remember, on what Iraqi Christians were experiencing.
A little internet research provided me with some information that the situation for Iraqi Christians is not good in the least. They are victims of daily targeted attacks by Muslims in general and not just the militant Islamists. Some of this is because they are associated with the “Christian West”, who are seen as invaders and “crusaders” by the Muslim population of Iraq. Christians have been threatened, kidnapped, tortured and killed; churches have been vandalized and bombed; Christian women have been forced to wear the veil; priests murdered and nuns raped and killed. On Sunday June 3rd, a priest Father Ragheed and 3 of his deacons were executed after performing mass in Mosul, northern Iraq. The car in which they were driving was rigged with a bomb after they were murdered so that their bodies would remain in full view for a time, to send the message that Christianity was no longer being tolerated.
Here are a couple of sources of information:
Let’s keep them in our prayers, as well as all the innocent people of Iraq who are suffering due to this conflict.