Gunmen break into Iraqi Christian home and kill 2

Friday, November 19, 2010

By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Worthy News)-- In a series of brazen attacks against a beseiged religious minority, gunmen recently broke into a home in northern Iraq, killing two Christian men while a bombing of a Christian home in Mosul Monday wounded a bystander.

Fayez al-Shamani, a priest in Mosul's Mar Afram Syrian Orthodox church, said Christians there live in fear in spite of an increased police presence.

"Security officials gave us assurances," said al-Shamani, "but we know they cannot put a police car near every Christian house in the city. The two people killed were only guilty of being Christians."

The two deaths occured while Iraq's Christians were still recovering from the attack last month in which militant Mulims stormed a Catholic church in Baghdad during Sunday Mass, killing 68 in the siege that followed. A few days later, Muslims attacked Christians homes throughout Baghdad, killing five more; an al-Qaida group claimed responsibility for both attacks, annoucing its intention to kill Christians wherever they live.

Although Christians have lived peacefully in Mosul for nearly two millenia, hundreds have left the city since the sectarian violence that followed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq; Catholic officials estimate that 1 million Christians have already fled the country; many Arab Christains have left the Middle East for the West, especially in Iraq where Christians historically made-up a large portion of the country's middle class.