Christian man, daughter killed in bombing in Iraq

Friday, November 19, 2010

by Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Worthy News)-- A bomb in northern Iraq killed a Christian and his 6-year-old daughter Tuesday; it was the latest in a string of strikes against the country's dwindling Christian population.

The man and his daughter were killed Tuesday afternoon in Mosul when an explosive attached to a vehicle detonated. The previous night, attackers went into two Christian homes in the Tahrir neighborhood, killing the male heads of the households and then driving off; at about the same time, another bomb detonated outside a Christian home, wounding a bystander.

Many Christian families in Iraq fear for their safety and want to leave the country, but they just don't have the means.

Christians have endured a series of attacks in Baghdad since All Saints Eve when militants attacked the Sayidat al-Nejat Cathedral, leaving 70 dead and 75 wounded, including two priests; the "Islamic State of Iraq" claimed responsibility.

In November, at least three were killed and 28 wounded in attacks targeting Christians in the capital.

Recent violence against Christians prompted the United States, the United Nations Security Council and an American Catholic archbishop to express their concerns for minority religious groups in Iraq.

The patriarch of Iraq's largest Christian community, Cardinal Emmanuel Delly III of the Chaldean Catholic Church, urged his fellow Christians in a televised address Thursday to stand firm during these difficult times.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom asked American officials to make a special effort to protect Iraqi Christians, Yazidis and Mandaean minorities.

"Given the United States' continued military presence there, we urge the administration to work with the Iraqi government to proactively heighten security at Christian and other minority religious sites," said USCIRF chairman Leonard Leo. "The United States also should press its allies in the region to be increasingly vigilant of the threats by extremists targeting religious minority communities and work together to reduce these threats, in order to secure their well being and help prevent the continued exodus of Christians and other minorities from the Middle East."

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