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Killing of Chaldeans Continue Despite Promises of Added Security
By Amer Hedow :: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 :: 103779 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

Baghdad, IRAQ – Yet another targeted religious execution of Iraqi Christians takes place in northern Iraq.   An armed commando storms the neighborhood of al Saa, near the monastery of the Domincan fathers on a killing rampage killing 55 year old Chaldean businessman, Sabah Yacoub Gurgis.  The well known entrepreneur owned an eyeglass factory, employing many Arabs and minorities in the city near the Tigris River. 

Neighboring Christians are terrified that the killings will continue.   The shooting is just the latest in a long trail of blood that has forced hundreds of Chaldean families to flee the city toward the plain of Nineveh or abroad. A spiral of violence that grew in the months preceding the parliamentary elections of  March 7, so much so that Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, spoke of an "Endless Via Crucis".

Iraqi Christians continue to escape the country as killings and religious persecutions intensify.  “The election and Easter season has given the crazy killers motivation to wipe out all the Christians in Iraq,” says Husam Ashaki, who barely managed to survive the rampage killing in the city.  “We are all trying to figure out how we can leave.  We are not even safe in north.  They follow us here and are very thirsty for Christian blood.  No mater if it is a man, woman, or child.  They kill even small children and babies if they know they are Christian.”

Between February 14 and 23, eight Christians were killed in and around Mosul, sparking protests in Baghdad and the northern city involving hundreds of Christians, who accused the government and security forces of inaction. 

Iraq has said it will set up an inquiry and boost security in Mosul, but nothing has been done since the annoucement.

In November, New York-based Human Rights Watch warned that minorities in the oil-rich north including Christians were the collateral victims of a conflict between Arabs and Kurds over who controls Iraq's disputed northern provinces.

Ironically, world leaders and their governments move to pass the genocide of Christians during World War I by Islamic Turkey while ignoring the current genocide.  “The current Iraqi Genocide is being ignored, while world leaders debate the 1915 Genocide of Christians by the Ottoman Empire.  These fools are centuries behind.  They think they are driving by looking in their rear view mirrors,” says a frustrated student of history Sali Yohanna.

Both the Sweden Parliament and the US House move to pass resolutions acknowledging and condemning the 1915 Genocide; the first genocide of the 20th century. 

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted H. Res. 252 recognizing the genocide by the Ottoman Empire despite intervention by both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Turkish government withdrew its ambassador to the US following the vote in protest of the decision.  The parliament of Sweden also passed a resolution acknowledging the Genocide beginning in 1915 after which the government of Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also cancelled his scheduled visit to Stockholm next week for a Sweden-Turkey summit in protest of the parliament’s resolution.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Electoral Commission continues to scrutinize votes with now 80% of the ballots counted. Projections released yesterday shows a head to head between the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawy, head of the government between May 2004 and April 2005.  Both candidates have promised to provide additional security and justice to Iraqi minorities. 

The projection assigns 87 seats to two lists of candidates, about 310 of which make up the Iraqi parliament. The Iraqi National Alliance, which brings together the Shia religious parties, follows in third place with 67 seats and the list that combines the two major Kurdish parties is at 38 seats. Of the 310, 15 will be reserved for religious minorities in the country, including Christians.

Based on the number of votes obtained, which supports Allawi's secular bloc - the list al-Iraqiya - has collected 2,102,981 votes, with a margin of 8984 votes ahead of the coalition led by al-Maliki, the State of Law (2039 .997). The Shiite religious parties have obtained 1,597,937 votes and the Kurdish bloc 1,132,154.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.