After the recent kidnapping of two Christians, one of whom was killed, Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad said Iraqi Catholics live with the fear that “due to the 2010 elections, violence could increase even more.”
Speaking to the SIR news agency after a pastoral visit to the Dioceses of Zakho and Amadhiya with Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly of Baghdad, Bishop Warduni said, “Christians not only suffer from this violence, but Muslims as well.”
“Christians and Muslims are trapped by the increasing violence,” he said. “The causes of this hatred are many: political, sectarian, criminal, fundamentalist, [they are] not only religious,” the bishop added.
Commenting about his pastoral visit to Zakho and Amadhiya, Bishop Warduni recounted some of the difficulties Iraqis face, especially the Christian minority.
“The lack of work is noticeable and is made worse by the fact that many lands have been occupied by people who have come from other areas in search of refuge. The streets are not secure and neither are they in good condition, thus making it difficult for the people who need to find work or to transport the infirm to move about.”
All of this, Bishop Warduni said, “does nothing more than foster Iraqi, and in particular, Christian emigration. Despite the difficulties, the believers we met showed us strong faith; but they also have an urgent need for material and spiritual support.”