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Please Spare A Thought & Prayers For Iraqi Christians This Christmas - Religion - Nairaland

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Please Spare A Thought & Prayers For Iraqi Christians This Christmas by tiarabubu: 9:46pm On Dec 25, 2013
While we celebrate Christmas please;

(i) spare a thought and prayers for Christians in Iraq
(ii) spare a thought and prayers for Christians in Eygpt
(iii) spare a thought and prayers for the repose of the Madalla Bomb victims and their families as well as others who were martyred for their faith in the course of the year

Another dark Christmas for Iraq's Christians

(Reuters) - It's Christmas in Baghdad, and once again Iraq's Christians are celebrating behind blast walls and barbed wire.

At least 34 people died in bomb attacks in Christian areas on Wednesday, some by a car bomb near a church after a Christmas service. A church attack in 2010 killed dozens.

As prayers are offered and gifts handed out, many are wondering what a surge in violence to its worst levels in half a decade and politicking ahead of April elections means for a community whittled down by years of carnage and migration.

On Christmas Eve, the Mar Yousif Syriac Catholic church in western Baghdad looked like a walled fortress. Soldiers and police ran bomb detectors across cars, searched trunks and bags and patted down visitors before the evening ceremony.

Inside, the red confetti-strewn Christmas tree, bright blue-and-white tile mosaic, and strings of Santa Claus-themed bunting contrasted with drab streets strewn with concrete blocks and barbed wire outside.

But pews which would have overflowed with worshippers a few years ago were barely two-thirds full - a reflection of the fact that the Christian community has fallen from about 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion to about half that.

"The future is very critical because of immigration," said human rights activist William Warda before Tuesday night's service, estimating 10 to 20 Christians were still leaving the country each day.

"Many Christians ... are fleeing from the country because of this issue, because there is no sign of a bright future."


Egypt's Coptic Christians feel vulnerable amid nation's upheaval

KERDASA, Egypt — Three times a week without fail, the sound of ancient chants reverberates from the blackened walls of the Church of the Archangel Michael. Once aglow with precious icons and flickering candlelight, the Coptic church outside Cairo now stands nearly bare, looted and burned by an angry mob more than four months ago.
In this holiday season, many Copts, adherents of one of the oldest Christian sects, see Egypt's turbulent times as a test of their faith. Although the country as a whole has been roiled by violent political upheaval, its Coptic minority feels particularly imperiled, as do many fellow Christians elsewhere in the Middle East.
In the region that gave rise to their religion, Christians are a dwindling minority. A long-standing Christian exodus has accelerated amid the war in Syria, an increase in sectarian violence in Iraq and gnawing hardship in the Palestinian territories. In some countries, the uprisings of the "Arab Spring" also strengthened the hand of Islamists, adding to Christians' anxiety.
Copts, who make up about 10% of Egypt's population, have long suffered discrimination and oppression, not only at the hands of fellow Egyptians, but under successive governments as well. Since Egypt's 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak, they have been buffeted by the rise — and spectacular fall — of the Muslim Brotherhood, the region's largest and oldest Islamist movement.


Syria's minority Christians under threat from extremist Muslim rebels

DDAMASCUS — The Arab Spring has turned very wintry for many Christians in the Middle East.

As the Christian minority in Syria celebrates Christmas, local leaders say they feel increasingly imperiled by extremist Muslim rebels, an added threat amid a deadly civil war.

Christians and Muslims co-existed for centuries in the region, but in several countries including Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, ultra-conservative Islamic groups have launched violent attacks on minority groups in order to rally their supporters against infidels and propel themselves to power.

Extremist rebels regularly shell Christian neighborhoods in Damascus and kidnap Christians for ransom in areas under their control. GlobalPost has learned that Christians are also being kidnapped in Damascus by militias supporting Bashar al-Assad.

Some 10 percent of Syria's 22.5 million people are Christian, both Orthodox and Catholic. Each Christian faith has its own story.

Re: Please Spare A Thought & Prayers For Iraqi Christians This Christmas by benny4wax(m): 1:27am On Dec 26, 2013
The lord is their strenght

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