Skip to comments.Radical Muslims attack two churches Iraq: demand catholics post condemnation of pope's words
Posted on 09/25/2006 1:20:31 PM PDT by NYer
Muslim militias have forced Christians to pin up posters condemning the words of Benedict XVI in Regensburg. But religious leaders, including al Sistani, have expressed their friendship with the Apostolic Nunciature. And the representative of the Iraqi Shiite leader would like to meet the pope.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) The start of the month of Ramadan in Iraq was marked by violence but also by significant openness by al Sistani towards the Vatican. Yesterday, two churches, one in Baghdad and another in Mosul, were struck. Recently, the country has seen an escalation of attacks against Christians, thought by some to be the reaction of radical Muslims to the speech of the pope in Regensburg. However, religious leaders, among them al Sistani, have shown solidarity and understanding towards the Vatican. Moreover, the representative of the highest religious exponent of Iraqi Shiites has expressed the desire to be able to visit the Pope.
Yesterday morning at 11.15am local time, armed men attacked the Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul, firing at least 80 shots on the building. Thank God there was no Mass at the time, one member of the community told AsiaNews, so no one was killed or injured, there was just some damage done to the eastern part of the building and a few broken windows.
The atmosphere in the city is very tense. Recently, Muslim militias threatened the Catholic bishop and priests that unless they publicly condemned the address of the pope at the University of Regensburg within 72 hours, Christians would be killed and churches burned down. In recent years, some churches, shrines and even the bishops house were the target of terrorist attacks. For fear of further attacks, the bishop had posters put up to say that neither Iraqi Christians nor the pope want to destroy ties with Muslims.
Defying the prevailing atmosphere of terror, last night, Chaldean Catholics left their homes to participate in Vespers Mass in the very church that had been attacked. Our faith is a challenge to violence. The militias fear us because our faith is stronger than their bullets, a Christian told AsiaNews.
Yesterday morning in Baghdad, two bombs went off outside the Assyrian Orthodox Church of St Mary in the central neighbourhood of Karrada. The attackers put a bomb under the parish priests car. The blast, that took place at 9.30am, drew many people, including some from the parish. Immediately afterwards another bomb went off close by, injuring many people and killing a watchman of the church.
Some think these bombs targeted Christians in the wake of the controversy surrounding the popes speech in Regensburg. But in recent days, Orthodox communities distanced themselves from the words of the pope, putting up posters outside their churches expressing their disagreement with him. Some Catholic figures said the attack on St Marys Church was much more likely a vendetta based on ethnic-religious motives: the Assyrian Orthodox Patriarch recently visited communities in Kurdistan and probably the bombs were meant to be a threat by Sunni or Shiite militias against such ties with Kurds.
The lecture of Benedict XVI in Regensburg was misunderstood by the media as being an attack on Islam. Although the pope explained the true meaning of his words several times over, bitter and threatening criticisms continue to come from many sectors of Islam. In Iraq, it is fundamentalist and political Muslim splinter groups that are reacting violently to the popes address. Recently, the Secretary of the Nunciature in Baghdad, Mgr Thomas Halim Abib, met religious representatives of Islam and offered them an Arabic translation of the words of the pope, so Muslim leaders would be able to understand the true meaning of what was said. Muslim religious leaders undertake the task of informing their communities. Mgr Thomas told AsiaNews that in these days, the official representative of the Grand Ayatollah al Sistani, the undisputed leader of Shiite Islam in Iraq, visited the Vatican Nunciature twice to express friendship and solidarity. The representative of al Sistani accepted the explanations rendered by the Nunciature and spread them among all Iraqi Shiite communities, expressing respect for the Holy See that has always been close to the Iraqi people. The representative of the grand ayatollah also said he wished to go to Rome to visit Pope Benedict XVI.
Dhimmification marches on. There's nothing to disagree with, as I'm sure most Orthodox know full well. What these folks don't understand is that if we don't all hang together (as Ben Franklin said), we shall surely all hang separately.
Can this be true about al-Sistani? If so, the Holy Father's very risky gambit may be turning and splitting at least part of the Umma. I hardly know what to believe or to dare to hope for. I feel ashamed of myself for neglecting my Rosary. God bless Benedict XVI!
prayers for the Monsignor's safety. God bless him and the Iraqi Christians.
It's not like attacking churches in Iraq is anything new, with or without the Pope's speech.
Besides, they are Shia, not Sunni.
Don't mean a thing!
Why should Catholics condemn something anyone said that is true? The muslims are just proving it so. They should apologize for the truth?
SEND THEM SAMIR GEAGEA to TEACH THEM SOME "BASIC ELEMENTS OF SELF DEFENSE & SURVIVAL"....
The "Orthodox" this article is referring to are the Assyrians who broke with the ancient Patriarchates, including Rome, over the condemnation of Nestorius. They, among other things, objected to the term Theotokos, preferring Christotokos, so you can see how early that split came. They are not really Orthodox as any of us understand the term. They broke off around 431.
I think you will find that the attitude expressed by +Christodoulos of Athens best represents the position of those Orthodox Churches which have any real freedom of action.
I agree, I think the larger Orthodox Churches definitely know what the stakes in this are. Interestingly, one of the things that enabled Mohammed to take over was the plethora of small "local" churches that were only loosely connected to the whole, as a result of the many heresies that circulated through the Christian world at that time (and the backdraft of the major heresy, the Arian heresy). I hope the Assyrians think twice before they declare their allegiance to the wrong side!
Livius: Dhimmification marches on
The question is which Orthodox? Oriental or Eastern? But what is much more important is that not a single Muslim leader made any attempt to curb the ire of the militants. Where are our friends and allies among "moderate" Muslims? Not a single public statement demanding an end of ongoing rant, not a single voice of moderation.
Why? Either they agree with the militants, or they are scared of their own. I would say both. Every Muslim in his heart cannot be a Muslims and have room for a Christian. Islam forbids it! "Make no friends with Christians and Jews..." says the book of the moon god. How can anyone be a Muslim in his heart and soul and not obey that?
Self-styled Bosnian Muslim ex-president Alija Izetbegovic wrote in his famous "Islamic Declaration" (republished in 1990, just prior to the ourbreak of the Bosnian civil war) that there can not co-exist a peaceful relationship between Islamic and non-Islamic communities precisely for the reasons mentioned above. Those who talk about "moderate" Muslims and possible co-existence know nothing about Islam.
Kolokotronis has some information in his post above about that particular church, which I wasn't aware of. I think the vital thing is not to let the Muslims split us up, because that is one of the ways they have conquered before. Granted, Christian disunity has long been a scandal and should have been healed long before now, particularly among the Orthodox and the Catholics, but it's now becoming something that is going to threaten our very existence.
As I mentioned in a Freepmail to you recently.....
Just another peaceful threat from the religion of peace!!!
It's getting worse ... far worse. It's only a matter of time before all christians are driven out of these holy lands.
An excellent observation, L. I might add that one of the fundamental reasons why Mahammedanism spread so quickly across North Africa was on account of the damage done to The Church there by Donatism, a very, very long lived heresy which crops its head up even to this day. As +Isidore of Pelusium wrote: "Just as the fishermen hide the hook with bait and covertly hook the fish, similarly, the crafty allies of the heresies cover their evil teachings and corrupt understanding with pietism and hook the more simple, bringing them to spiritual death."