Hundreds of people took to Toronto streets Saturday afternoon to draw attention to the killing of Christians in Iraq, according to an organizer.
Fadi Naami, 28, a youth leader with the St. Joseph Syriac Catholic Church in Mississauga, said the demonstration was intended to commemorate the deaths of 58 hostages after militants seized a Baghdad church on Oct. 31.
The attack, claimed by an Al Qaeda-linked organization, was the deadliest ever recorded against Iraq's Christians, whose numbers have plummeted since the U.S.-led invasion as the community has moved elsewhere.
The marchers, who congregated at Front and Yonge Sts. and made their way up University Ave. past the U.S. embassy to Queen's Park, chanted slogans like, "Stop killing Iraqi Christians."
Some draped themselves in both Iraqi and Canadian flags and held up photos of two priests as well as other victims killed in last week's attack.
Members of Naami's church, other Iraqi-Christian churches and a Coptic Christian church took part in the demonstration, he said.
"It was freezing," said Naami, of the chilly temperatures during Saturday afternoon's march. "But we have to struggle because people in Iraq died."
Similar events are planned in cities across the United States and Europe for Monday (AINA 11-6-2010).