عدد المساهمات : 38313
تاريخ التسجيل : 21/09/2009
|موضوع: With 100 million victims of violence, Christians are the most persecuted religious group الأربعاء 05 أغسطس 2015, 21:26|| |
Jul. 31, 2015
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With 100 million victims of violence, Christians are the most persecuted religious group
Iraq - Christians flee ISIS
n a new report published at the end of July, Caritas Italy reveals that there are somewhere between 50,000-70,000 prison camps in North Korea. 4,344 people have been killed in less than a year. Hostility against religious groups is acutest in Syria
- اقتباس :
The date of publication was not chosen at random: it commemorates the events which took place “one year ago when ISIS seized control of Mosul triggering an exodus which within a few weeks time led to over a million people fleeing to Iraqi Kurdistan, especially to the region of Erbil, Dohuk and Zakho”. This is why, Caritas Italy explains, it has chosen the end of July as the moment to publish a dossier titled: “Perseguitati. Cristiani e minoranze nella morsa fra terrorismo e migrazioni forzate” (“Persecuted. Christians and minorities caught in the grip of terrorism and forced migration”). The text “takes an in depth look at the drama experienced by more than 100 million victims of discrimination, persecution and violence at the hands of totalitarian regimes or followers of other religions”.
Christians are the most persecuted
The report highlights the words of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Camerlengo (October 2013): “Christianity is the most persecuted religious group on the planet”. In North Korea there are between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians being help in prison camps. The countries where Christians suffer the most intense persecution, are: Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea and Nigeria. 4,344 faithful were killed between November 2013 and 31 October 2014 “for reasons strictly linked to their faith” and “1,062 churches were attacked for the same reason,” the document states. It is barbaric that many other religious and ethnic minorities are also affected and that a worrying increase in intolerance has been noted,” Caritas adds.
The persecution “league table”
Syria ranks first in terms of the number of different forms of persecution suffered by minorities and ethnic-religious groups affected. Syria has been the stage of a civil war that has been raging on since 2011. “While the aim was initially to destabilise the Bashar al-Assad regime, now political objectives are in the crosshairs as well as religious affiliations not so much for the religious beliefs they represent but because they are seen as potential political opponents”. So “contrary to what the international media say, Christians in Syria are one of the numerous minorities who are persecuted not so much because they are Christians but because they are caught in a much bigger political conflict, dominated by Assad’s pro-government militia and armed revolutionary groups”; this conflict is made all the more unstable by the spread of ISIS followers across Syrian territory which accentuates the persecutory nature of the treatment received by religious and ethnic minorities as well as Muslim minorities who do not agree with their extremist approach”. Next up in the list are: Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Myanmar, South Sudan and the Republic of Central Africa.
Where the biggest increase in violence has been witnessed
Countries that rank high in terms of the highest number and greatest intensity of persecutions underway, include Syria, Iraq, the Republic of Central Africa, Egypt, China, Russia and Ukraine. Regarding the last three nations mentioned, it is important to point out that this year China moved up 15 places, to 29th place, preceded by Ukraine which climbed to 21st place, moving up 39 places.”
The Church and Caritas Italy
In response to emergencies, in Iraq in particular, “the local Church took action, giving shelter to people in courtyards, churches and in every space available”, the director of Caritas Italy, Francesco Soddu, said, recalling the visit he paid along with the Secretary General of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Mgr. Nunzio Galantino, to refugee camps in Erbil last October. “The Italian Church had already organised a day of prayer for 15 August,” he added. Caritas’ work is focused on assistance projects in the dioceses of Erbil and Dohuk “with a big twinning project worth over a million euros to help the 13,000 Christian families and families of the Yazidi minority, who were forced to flee their homes. Between 2003 and today, Caritas Italy has donated 3,3 million euros to Caritas Iraq projects as well as to projects launched by the network of organisations linked to the local Church”.
The story of an ISIS survivor
The report also features the story of 55-year-old Kharya Yossuf Abood: “Before Mosul was taken by the Islamic State army, my family and I fled to the nearby village of Hamadania, in the hope of finding a safe haven. Then, at 5:30 in the morning on 6 August, in Hamadania, we were awoken by ISIS’ men who started banging on our doors. They gave us three choices: either we converted to Islam and declared our loyalty to the Islamic State, or we paid a ransom in order that our lives be spared, the so-called Jizya, or we faced death by beheading. As the spoke the blade of their swords hovered close to my neck before they pressed it against my throat.” “ISIS held us captive for ten days. We were kept inside a house behind Hamadania hospital. We had no water, no electricity and no food. ISIS’ men would cook for themselves and when they had finished, they would toss the left overs over to the women in my family, as if they were dogs. I myself did not eat or drink anything and I still find it hard to eat normally. I was too disturbed by the whole experience.” Kharya and his family were set free after a ransom was paid. “We then returned to Mosul in the hope of reaching Dohuk, a city that is free from the ISIS threat. Unfortunately, on the border we came across the Peshmerga troops who would not let us cross the border for fear we may have been terrorist infiltrators. Once against we were sent back to Hamadania where ISIS militia got hold of us again, taking us hostage and grabbing hold all our documents, ID cards and passports. Fortunately, among them was a man from Hamadania I knew, who spared our life.”