Iraqi Christians are searched as they queue up to attend Easter at Virgin Mary Chaldean Church in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The Chaldean Church is an Eastern Rite church affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed)
7 wounded in Easter bombing outside Baghdad church by Saad Abdul-Kadir, Associated Press – Sunday April 24, 2011 at 10:05 AM ET
BAGHDAD, Iraq — At least seven people were injured when a bomb outside the entrance of a Baghdad church exploded on Easter Sunday, an Iraqi police official said.
The blast took place just yards (meters) from the Sacred Heart Church in Baghdad's Karradah neighborhood. Shrapnel from the bomb struck the outside of the building, and at least four of the church's windows were shattered. Shards of broken glass lay on the street in front of the building.
Like many Baghdad houses of worship, the church is surrounded by blast walls to protect it from such attacks.
The officer said no parishioners were inside and services had not been held in the building.
Four policemen and three civilian bystanders were wounded, said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to brief the media.
Iraqi Christians have faced a recent wave of violence, including an attack last year against a Baghdad church that killed 68 people. Before Christmas services, al-Qaida-linked militants threatened a wave of violence against Christians, forcing many to tone down their ceremonies.
There was no such threat ahead of this Easter Sunday but authorities nonetheless stepped up security in the capital and two main northern provinces where Christians live, tightening hundreds of checkpoints that already dot the streets and snarling traffic for hours.
About 700 Christians attended Easter services at Baghdad's St. Joseph's Chaldean church where security forces closed off the roads leading to it, laid razor wires and searched all worshippers before entering the church.
"Our life in Iraq is fill of fear," Father Hanna Saad Sirop told worshippers. "But we have to live in faith and trust ... we have to trust almighty God," Hanna added.
Christians also marked Easter peacefully in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul.
Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraqi Christians have suffered repeated violence and harassment from Sunni Muslim extremists who view them as infidels and agents of the West, forcing many of them to flee the country either to the safer northern Kurdish self-ruled region or abroad.
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.