The International Catholic aid agency Aid to the Church in Need announced on Tuesday that Christians are increasingly becoming the target of terrorist attacks in Iraq.
On Sunday, nine young Christians were murdered in Baghdad as they were returning home from their work at a leisure club.
The information was given to the German organization based in Königstein, near Frankfurt by a “direct contact with Church circles in Baghdad.”
The victims were three brothers of one family and two brothers of a second family, together with four of their friends. All nine are members of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
Earlier last week a young man from Mosul was kidnapped by terrorists and beheaded. He too was a Chaldean Christian, in his thirties, who ran a small souvenir and gift shop close to the university.
Priests of the Chaldean Catholic Church also frequently receive threats. In one instance the murder threats were so specific that the local bishop was forced to transfer the priest concerned to another town.
Since the official end of the war a year and a half ago, over 80 Christians have been murdered by Islamic terrorists, 20 of them this September alone.
Two of them were beheaded with swords. Their murder was filmed and copied onto CDs, which were then circulated in Mosul.
Churches and priests have also been attacked. Father Sabah Kamura only narrowly escaped an attack with machine guns and hand grenades on September 10. On the same day the church of St George in Doura, a suburb of Baghdad, was also the target of a bomb attack.