Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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The Sunday school teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when a little Chaldean boy interrupted, "My mom looked back once while she was driving," he announced triumphantly, "and she turned into a telephone pole!"

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Thu, 12 Jun 2014 22:59:00 -0500

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Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:07:00 -0500

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Mon, 09 Jun 2014 22:17:00 -0500

Following an attack by 10 Taliban gunmen, Pakistan officials have reopened Karachi Airport, the country's ...

Sat, 14 Jun 2014 23:15:00 -0500

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Iraq's Persecution of Christians Continues to Spiral out of Control
By Sabah Hajjar :: Monday, June 30, 2008 :: 20301 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ - Senior research fellow, Brian J. Grim, paints a harrowing picture of the ongoing persecution of Iraqi Christians.  The research expert on religion and world affairs with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington, D.C. reports that the situation for Christians in Iraq is worsening. 

“It is no small irony, of course, that the Shiite majority that's now a leading force in Iraq was brutalized and suppressed under Saddam, who extensively curbed the Shiites' religious freedoms. A State Department report in 2002 said Saddam's government ‘severely restricts or bans outright many Shiite religious practices.’ One might think that those fresh memories would be enough to ensure liberties for Iraq's religious minorities today. Yet that appears not to be the case,” writes Grim in his report. 

Iraqi Christians are part of historic indigenous communities that have been in what is now Iraq nearly since the time of Christ, several centuries before Islam came to the region. The majority of them are Chaldean Christians, an ancient religious group affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Grim points out what's particularly devastating for Iraq's religious minorities is the lack of clear legal protections for religious freedom. Although Article 2 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees religious freedom, it also contains what some have termed a "repugnancy clause," which states, "No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established." Because the clause does not explicitly state what the "established provisions of Islam" encompass or exclude, this opens the door for the state and the courts to become theological arbiters. As such, there are no formal avenues for religious minorities to participate in the process.

Furthermore, Article 89 of the constitution stipulates that the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court include experts in Islamic jurisprudence, which means that the provision in Article 2 will be supported by a court system with people specifically employed to interpret Islamic law. These people can be appointed without having civil law training.

The nature and extent of the violations of religious freedom were not only severe, they also were tolerated by the government and, in some cases, committed by forces within the government.  As such, a bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom included Iraq on a "watch list" of countries where religious liberty is severely threatened.

Religious leaders have made numerous attempts to broker resolutions.  In 2007, American president George W. Bush recounted, the pontiff " was concerned that the society that was evolving (in Iraq) would not tolerate the Christian religion."

Indeed, Iraqi Christians have continued to find themselves in the cross hairs of faith-inspired violence. The worst episodes have occurred in regions with diverse ethnic and religious groups, such as Baghdad and Mosul, where the majority of Iraq's Christians live. The State Department reported last year that Muslim extremists "warned Christians living in Baghdad's Dora district to convert, leave or be killed."

Commission representatives recently visited Iraq. Among other things, they are assessing whether religious freedom is threatened due to possible collusion between Shiite militias and Iraqi government ministries, and whether the country's smallest religious minorities are being marginalized by government officials and parastate militias. If Iraqi government's culpability in violations of religious freedom continues, Iraq would join the likes of Burma, Iran, North Korea and Sudan.

The political and social consequences of this oppression will need to be addressed by the new U.S. administration, whichever party wins the White House in November. An Iraq that truly honors and protects religious freedom would be a benchmark of success that all Americans — and no doubt both parties — would applaud.

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:59:00 -0500

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Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:16:00 -0500

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Wed, 11 Jun 2014 18:52:00 -0500

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info@chaldean.org

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:15:56 -0500

(Cliff Kincaid) - Dave Brat's victory over Eric Cantor (R-VA) was attributed to his Tea Party backing, when national groups like the Tea Party Patriots gave him no financial assistance at all. What the media ignored was his campaigning in local churches and emphasis on family values...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:15:20 -0500

(Gina Miller) - Transcendent truth, which is God's law, does not change and will never change. It is revealed by God in the Bible and is written on the hearts of men. We call it "conscience." People can bury this fundamental knowledge of right and wrong and the awareness through observing creation that God exists, but at some deep level they still know it. So it is with homosexual behavior. God has called it an abomination, a sin. Men have called it the infamous crime against nature. People are naturally, inherently repulsed by it...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:13:59 -0500

(Rev. Mark H. Creech) - During the second century, the Greek poet Babrius penned an Aesop-like fable that seeks to show that no pain inflicted by an outsider is ever so terrible as the suffering that can be caused by a member of one's own family...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:12:31 -0500

(Ellis Washington) - "Again we are all sprung from a heavenly seed, all have that same Father..." ~ Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, Book II If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now....

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:10:45 -0500

(Tabitha Korol) - Metropolitan Opera Metropolitanopera@metopera.org Attn: Peter Sellars, Peter Gelb, Nicole Halton, Susan Hayes To the Staff of the Metropolitan Opera: During World War II, a violinist dressed in military uniform went to play for the servicemen in a United States Army hospital in Italy. As he entered a ward d...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:03:09 -0500

(Alan Caruba) - A fatal crash on the George Washington Bridge this morning caused major backups, trapping commuters for up to three hours and stalling traffic back to the Garden State Parkway and other highways leading to the bridge. After Gov. Chris Christie spent two hours answering every question reporters asked following the revelation that an aide whom he fired immediately had engineered a comparable problem I had no problem believing he had nothing to do with it...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:00:16 -0500

(Judie Brown) - It seems to be the mantra of today's society that we are told to be tolerant and to just accept the changes in morality that occur almost daily. Belief in God's commandments is scoffed at. Holding fast to faith is looked down upon. When we allow morality to fade away and tolerance to take over, the face of God is obscured and His teachings lost. The result is a society also lost-a society aching and hurting....

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:59:47 -0500

(Lisa Fabrizio) - Ah, nostalgia! Merriam-Webster online defines it as, "pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again." And so it was that I experienced an acute pang of pleasant wistfulness as I watched Hillary Clinton's hair-tossing attempts at school-girlery when trying to explain her way out of her claim that she and her husband were "dead broke" when they left the White House...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:58:31 -0500

(Jim Kouri) - President Barack Obama allegedly uses members of the U.S. Border Patrol who are supposed to be patrolling the border as babysitters for the illegal alien teenagers flooding across the Mexico-Texas border, according to a report on Wednesday by the well-respected "Inside the Beltway" watchdog, Judicial Watch...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:57:57 -0500

(A.J. Castellitto) - "Useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause." -wikipedia Argument is a waste. Opinion is fine...

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:57:14 -0500

(Chuck Baldwin) - Three Pertinent Observations *The Las Vegas Shootings Predictably, the mainstream media is doing its best to try to depict the couple who killed three people (including two police officers) in Las Vegas as right-wing militia-types. No doubt, the Obama administration will try to conjure up more gun-control...

Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:11:40 -0500

(Matt C. Abbott) - Below is the foreword to the book To Know Christ Jesus, by Frank Sheed (1897 1981). Thanks to John Riess of Angelico Press for allowing me to publish this excerpt in my column. Click here to order a copy....