Political World

Reuters Feature – Iraq’s Christians “sacrificial lambs” as attacks mount

It isn’t the first time that members of Iraq’s Christian community, who number in the hundreds of thousands, have fallen prey to the bloodshed that has convulsed Iraq since 2003.


Earlier this year, Mosul’s ageing Chaldean Archbishop, Paulos Faraj Rahho, was kidnapped. His body was found two weeks later despite pleas from Pope Benedict for his release.


During a visit on Saturday to the al-Saida monastery, where more than 60 Christian families from Mosul have taken refuge, U.S. Brigadier General Tony Thomas, commander in the province, asked church leaders who they believed was behind the attacks.


“I will give you a guarantee: I will crush them. I will crush whoever it is,” the American general said.


The priests refused to assign outright blame.


“I am not a politician. I don’t know what the political agenda is,” said Father Gabriele Tooma, a Chaldean superior in al-Qosh. “We don’t want to be the sacrificial lambs. We don’t want to be fuel for these politicians’ games.”


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