WASHINGTON -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 1 and 2, four Iraqi Christians were killed in Baghdad and Kirkuk. Though the perpetrators of the murders are not yet indicated, Islamic fundamentalists, criminal gangs and other armed groups have been behind attacks against Christians in Iraq in the past.
According to the Middle East Times, on April 1 Sabah Aziz Suliman was killed in Kirkuk. The following day Nimrud Khuder Moshi, Glawiz Nissan and Hanaa Issaq were killed in Dora, a historically Christian neighborhood of Baghdad.
"The killing of four innocent people within the last two days has put a renewed fear in our hearts. What is important is to keep these continuous atrocities in the media and on the policy makers' radars. What we need is a more safe and secure Iraq for all of Iraqi's especially for the Christians who have faced ethno-religious cleansing," said Julian Taimoorazy, president of Iraqi Christian Relief Council, in an interview with ICC.
Iraqi Christians have been paying a heavy price due to the instability in the country following its invasion in 2003. In a recent press conference, Archbishop Louis Sako, said, "A total of 750 Christians have been murdered in the past five years, including Archbishop of Mosul Paulos Faraj Rahho." Archbishop Sako is the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk.
The persecution has also forced half of an estimated 1.2 million Iraqi Christians to leave their homes. Many of Iraqi Christian refugees are living in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria under difficult circumstances.
ICC's Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East, Jonathan Racho, stated, "The suffering of Iraqi Christians has been beyond description and is not yet over. More than ever, the Iraqi Christians need our prayer and support. The latest martyrdom of our brothers should serve to awaken churches in the Western countries to come to the aid of their Iraqi brothers and sisters. We call upon Iraqi officials and the allied forces in Iraq to avert further attacks against Iraqi Christians. It is simply unacceptable to watch the extinction of the Christian community from Iraq."
International Christian Concern