.- The Spanish newspaper “La Razon” published a statement this week by a priest of the Iraqi Diocese of Mosul who says that in addition to attacks against churches, Iraqi Christians are also victims of “psychological terrorism.” Fr. Nizar Semaan says Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq are undertaking “a cultural and psychological massacre” by obliging Christians “to behave in ways they do not want to.”
An example is the harassment young Christian women endure, as they are constantly threatened through messages left for them on university campuses or at the doors of churches.
Fr. Semaan said they are forced to wear the Islamic veil, and some of them carry it in their pockets and put it on when they sense danger.
“I will never tire from asking leaders of the Arab world for a clear condemnation of terrorism, which up to now has not occurred,” said Fr. Semaan. He added that Arab media reports on the terrorist attacks in a triumphal tone, “instead of fostering a social isolation” of terrorists.
One nun who asked to remain anonymous stated that Christians suffer attacks in their own homes and are kidnapped and killed.
The Mazen Sako family in Nineveh was attacked by fundamentalists upon returning to their home. “We have come to kill you,” they were told. “This is the end for Christians.”
Their resistance proved useless as the attackers immediately killed their 10 year-old son.
Quoting the Fides News Agency, “La Razon” reports that according to Elias, a Syrian Christian who lives in Baghdad, the situation in the country is terrible. “There is a civil war here. If this continues, Christianity may soon disappear from Iraq. More than 4,000 Christian families have already fled Baghdad,” he said.
Elias said Christians have to celebrate Mass “in the basements of churches” as if they were modern catacombs.
Sources at the Patriarchate said the only solution is the isolation of extremists. They said they have contacted “the chief Muslims so that we might be able to live in peace with each other, because we don’t want a small group of extremists to damage the image of religious and peaceful tolerance.”