Kirkuk, Apr. 23, 2007 (AsiaNews via CWNews.com) - An Iraqi Catholic leader has issued an urgent appeal for help, warning that the country's embattled Christian population is in grave danger, the AsiaNews service reports.
“In Iraq Christians are dying; the Church is disappearing under continued persecution, threats, and violence carried out by extremists who are leaving us no choice: conversion or exile." That was the grim report from Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk.
The Chaldean Catholic prelate-- whose archdiocese in a Kurdish are had previously been spared from religious violence-- reports that attacks on Christians by militant Muslims have now spread throughout the country, including zones that were thought to be safe havens for Christians. The message of the attacks, he said, is that "we can hit anywhere; nowhere is safe."
While Islamic groups are intent on driving the Christian minority out of Iraq, Archbishop Sako observed that Christians belong to an ancient community that helped to form the civilization. He said, "We have to remind the world of the importance of the Christian presence in Iraq, for the good of Iraq."
[For a more detailed story see the AsiaNews web site.]