Iraq: child killed in attack on Christian home


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A three-year-old Christian child died after a bomb attack on a Christian home in Mosul on Saturday. The attack was made against the house of Ramzy Balbole, a painter with a wife and three children. All the family was injured in the attack.

A local spokesman said: "This is yet another event to mourn in this Holy Week in the Christian community of Mosul. Christians are under attack and, like Simon of Cyrene, are helping Christ to carry the Cross, sharing in his Passion," he told Fides.

Archbishop George Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, said: "We are waiting for better times. The faithful are terrified. But the word of the day is 'hope,' always and in every circumstance. We will celebrate Easter in this situation of suffering and fear. Our churches will not be crowded, as they would usually be, as many Christian families have fled the city and many faithful will remain at home for fear of attacks. But, they continue to hope in God, in Jesus Christ, in His Resurrection, as He leads us as Iraqi Christians to rise with Him. We continue to pray for the future of peace in our country."

He said: "Given the recent political developments, we are hoping now in a strong government whose only plan is to bring peace and justice to Iraq. We want a government that defends the interests of religious, ethnic or political factions, seeking the common
good of the country, because Iraq belongs to everyone," said the

Meanwhile Archbishop Avak Asadourian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Iraq and Secretary General of the Iraqi Council of Christian Church Leaders, which brings together leaders of 14 Christian churches in the country said they were hopeful about the new government.

Commenting on the results of the elections, the Archbishop said: "Many citizens have participated in the vote. There was a high level of participation among Christians, as well. Now all we are waiting to see is which direction the government will take. We hope that the guiding principle of action will be to ensure peace and security to the nation, as this is the basis for genuine democracy and for rebuilding infrastructure and work."

He said: "The Christians have hopes for a stable and strong government. We are citizens of Iraq and we have been in this land, our home, for millennia. Politicians leading the country say they hope that Christians will remain in the country and continue to contribute. We ask them not to remain in good intentions, but to put them into practice through works," ensuring a peaceful life to Christian minorities, who are still under fierce attack.

Archbishop Asadourian said: "There are now five Christians in Parliament and this is a step forward from the previous Parliament, where there was only one. But it's not enough. We encourage lay Christians to become involved in social life and engage in good politics, to support Christian values such as respect for human dignity and fundamental human freedoms."

The Council of Christian Church Leaders in Iraq was established on 10 February in Baghdad as a coordinating body among the Christian leaders in Iraq. It includes 14 communities: the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church, the Assyrian Catholic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Syro-Catholic Church, the Armenian-Orthodox Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Greek Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Latin Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Assyrian Evangelical Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Coptic Orthodox Church.