Feb 25 2010
Mosul is experiencing a veritable “humanitarian emergency” in just one day, yesterday, “hundreds of Christian families” left the city in search of shelter, leaving behind their homes, property, commercial activities: the situation “is dramatic.”
Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, confirmed to AsiaNews about the exodus of the faithful from the city. Meanwhile, Mgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, will launch “a demonstration and a fast”, to sensitize the international community to the “massacre of Iraqi Christians” and stop the violence in the country.
The archbishop of Mosul is concerned about the many families, “hundreds” in one day yesterday, leaving the city. Bishop Nona speaks of an ” unending via Crucis” and denounces the “change in methods” operated by the armed gangs. “In the past we said to the Christians to remain closed in the house – he remembers – but now they are even attacked in their own homes”. The reference is to the murder took place last February 23: commandos entered the house of Aishwa Marosi, a Christian of 59, killing the man and two boys. His wife and daughter witnessed the murder but were spared by the criminals.
Bishop Nona confirms the risk that “Mosul will be emptied completely of Christians”, who are fleeing towards the plain of Nineveh and other places considered safer. “Yesterday I visited some families – he continues – I have tried to bring comfort, but the situation is dramatic. The people fled without taking anything with them”. This is why the local archdiocese has launched an initial emergency response, trying to provide “essential supplies and relief”, but the danger of “a humanitarian crisis is real.”
The archbishop of Mosul plans to travel to Baghdad to meet with politicians and the central government, to demand their intervention. It is difficult to maintain the Christian presence, he continues, and it is likely that the general elections – scheduled for March 7 – no one will vote. The confining of Iraq’s Christians in the Nineveh Plain, victims of a power struggle between Arabs and Kurds, seems an increasingly concrete likelihood, although the Church leaders have always been opposed to this “ghettoization.” ASIA NEWS