AINA News
Muslims Burn Assyrian Church in Baghdad

(AINA) -- According to the Assyrian website ankawa.com, a group of armed Muslims set fire to St. George Assyrian Church in the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad. The group of men poured gasoline on the church and set it on fire. This is the same church that was bombed in the first of a wave of bombings of Assyrian churches (AINA 10-16-2004). When St. George was bombed in 2004, the church Cross was not damaged; the bombers tore the cross down with their hands after the bombing.

In the past four weeks, the Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) community in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood has been systematically targetted by Islamists, who have demanded that the Christian Assyrians pay the jizya (AINA 4-17-2007, 3-18-2007), a "protection" tax demanded by the Koran, or convert within 24 hours or be killed. Assyrian families have sought refuge in Churches (AINA 5-18-2007).

Dora is located 10 kilometers southwest of Baghdad.


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