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Entries for 'Ziad Bitti'

Elderly Chaldean Sisters Beaten to Death
By Ziad Bitti :: 25 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, World News & Odds 'N' Ends


BAGHDAD, IRAQ - There was growing concern about spreading anti-Christian violence in Iraq after church officials confirmed two elderly women of the Catholic Chaldean community were beaten to death.

Fadila Naoum, 85, and her 79-year-old bed-ridden sister Margaret were killed Monday, March 26, 2007 in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk.
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Chaldean Seminary and Theological University Moved and Inaugurated
By Ziad Bitti :: 23 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Ankawa, IRAQ– A century old seminary has been forced to leave Baghdad.  Under pressure of violence and continual attacks the Chaldean Seminary and Theological University was forced to close.  Baghdad stands as the center of the civil strife in Iraq between violent Muslim Shi’ite and Sunni groups.  Christians in the region have been forced to leave Baghdad after numerous killings, kidnappings, and torture of community leaders.  As the capital of Iraq is being emptied of its Christians, property and land is being stolen by Sunni and Shi’ite militias.

Erbil’s Chaldean bishop, Mgr Rabban al-Qas, said that the doors to the Chaldean Major Seminary and Babel College, Iraq’s only theological faculty run by the Chaldean Church, have reopened in Kurdistan after shutting down because of the growing insecurity in the Iraq. The two institutions were in fact officially inaugurated last Thursday after moving from Baghdad to Ankawa, near Erbil, in Kurdistan.

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Spiraling Sectarian Violence in Irqq - Not Random
By Ziad Bitti :: 11 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Like other minority members in Iraq, Mardon Matrood, a 44-year-old Assyrian shopkeeper in Baghdad, has had enough of the country's sectarian violence.

"Minorities in Iraq are targeted by insurgents and militias, who want us out of the country as they promote what they call the 'cleansing of Iraq, of non-Muslim communities'," said Matrood who is living with his family of six in an abandoned government building.

Four months ago Matrood's family failed to pay a ransom of US $50,000 to kidnappers who had abducted his nephew. The nephew was later found dead.

"We are a poor family.  We couldn't pay [the ransom money] and after two weeks we were informed that the police had found his body near a mosque in Adhamiyah district (northern Baghdad). It was totally mangled, burned and tortured," Matrood said.

Spiraling sectarian violence has threatened the decades-long peaceful coexistence in Iraq between members of different religions, sects and tribes. Now Sunni and Shi'ite extremists are targeting minorities in a bid to force them out of the country.

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Pope and Chaldean Patriarch Meet
By Ziad Bitti :: 24 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Castelgandolofo, Italy - Pope Benedict said on Sunday he hoped Iraq's Christian minority could continue to live in peace with the Muslim majority in a country where people of both religions faced tragedy on a daily basis.

The Pontiff, who has been trying to patch up relations with Muslims after a controversial speech last month, said Iraq had traditionally been a place of harmony between Muslims and Christians.

Benedict said the leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church visited him on Friday and told him of the "tragic reality faced every day by the dear population of Iraq where Christians and Muslims have lived together for 14 centuries as children of the same land.

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