Couple of things to note on Iraq today.
Firstly, the National Council of Churches and its partners throughout the world on Monday sent a letter to Hillary Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates expressing concern about “the ongoing situation of violent attacks on minority groups in Iraq”.
Here’s a link to the letter:
The UK and US are partly responsible for this escalation of Christian persecution in Iraq and are bloomin’ duty bound to do something, but seem disturbingly unwilling. In the seven years since the Iraq War was launched, 2,000 Christians have been murdered and 600,000 have fled Iraq, according to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. 44% of Iraqi refugees are Christians, and many of the 600,000 Christians who remain are internally displaced persons who have had to flee their homes.
For background reading on Christian persecution in Iraq, see here.
The following is a cross-post by Bataween over at the Point of no return Blog, who is faithfully covering this.
Tourist hotels to be built near shrine of Ezekiel
The battle to save the shrine of Ezekiel from being converted into a mosque may be won, with the revelation that three tourist hotels are to be built in the nearby town of al-Kifl in central Iraq.
Baghdad-born Professor Shmuel Moreh received the news in a letter from a friend. The letter says that the people of al-Kifl are happy that the hotels, presumably for pilgrims, will be built. The letter also affirms that the authorities will work with UNESCO to preserve the Jewish character of the shrine.
It is not known on what information the friend has based his letter, but Professor Moreh deems him an influential man with connections.
Professor Shmuel Moreh of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has been spearheading a public campaign to preserve the shrine. Point of No Return has played its small part by setting up a petition requesting the immediate intervention of UNESCO and other western bodies. The petition has attracted over 280 signatures.
The latest campaign to save the shrine follows news reports that the Shi’a waqf, which is in charge of restoration work, wished to turn the site into a mosque, although a Shi’a Ayatollah has since denounced the plan. Fears for the future of the site were raised in January when it was revealed that workmen had accidentally painted over Hebrew inscriptions above the tomb.
On an aside, Christian persecution in Islamic lands often goes hand-in-hand with persecution of the tiny Jewish remnant who are grimly clinging on, The Point of no Return Blog has an interesting section on the Jewish community in Iraq……well, what’s left of them.
To think, if things carry on as they are now, we could eventually see Islamic lands ‘cleansed’ of Christians and Jews for the first time in thousands of years….imagine that, swathes of the world which are solely Muslim.