Mosul, Iraq, Feb 18, 2010 / 22:15 pm
Following a series of murders of Christians in Mosul, the Archbishop of Mosul has warned that they all may leave the ancient Christian center if the violence continues. The killings are part of an effort to force believers to leave Mosul, he reported, urging more media coverage of the persecution.
Speaking to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) from Mosul on Thursday, Archbishop Amil Shamaaoun Nona said a sudden surge of killings in the northern Iraqi city has prompted more Christians to emigrate. This threatens the survival of a local Church whose origins date back to biblical times.
“If the situation continues as it has done, especially over the past few days, all the people will leave. It is very difficult to live in this kind of situation,” Archbishop Nona said. “It is panic – panic always. The Christians don’t know what will happen to them – it is the same everywhere: in the office, at school or even at home. They don’t know if somebody is going to kill them.”
He described the murder of four Christians as part of a politically motivated drive to force Christians from Mosul, emphasizing that the attacks had specifically targeted Christians. He said some groups will gain politically if all Christians leave.