Six churches in Baghdad were attacked the weekend of July 11-12 in what seemed to be a synchronized series of attacks, and a Chaldean Christian church in Baghdad and a church in Mosul both were bombed on July 13. At least four people were killed and dozens wounded.
Iraq’s Christians are just a tiny minority in the mostly-Muslim country, and some of the estimated one million Christians have fled the country out of concerns for their safety.
In response to the most recent attacks, the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus, led by former General Assembly moderator Fahed Abu-Akel, issued the following statement:
We, the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus, are grieved by the barbaric bombing of e churches in Iraq (7 in Baghdad, 1 in Mosul) on Sunday, July 12, 2009. We denounce the cowardly aggression of militants against innocent and peaceful Iraqi civilians. We emphatically deplore all violence, in particular violence in the name of religion or political ideology, targeting Christians and minority groups, and all hostilities aimed to dehumanize, terrorize, persecute, and murder people in the name of God or any political cause.
We call upon the Government of Iraq to intervene immediately to protect its Christian population and to investigate and bring to justice perpetrators and supporters of violence; and to guard the sanctity of Christian homes and places of worship. We appeal to the United Nations and the Arab League to declare this deplorable and persistent evil as genocidal atrocities intended to drive out Christians from their homeland.
We call upon the Muslim community worldwide to categorically reject and condemn all hostilities against Christian minorities throughout the Middle East. We call upon Christians worldwide to pray earnestly and muster their recourses and influence to ensure the safety of the Christian community in Iraq.