Assyrians Rally for Peace and Justice for Iraqi Christians
Posted: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 at 12:15 PM CT | Updated: December 7, 2010.
Mosul march against terror threat
by EuroNews. November 03, 2010.
Mosul (Nineveh), Iraq — Thousands of people have marched through the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to protest against Sunday’s attack on one of the Baghdad’s largest churches.
Muslims mixed with Christians for the demonstration to appeal jointly to the government to step up security.
The third major attack in nearly as many days appears to show that a weakened but stubborn insurgency has a greater capacity to carry out large-scale strikes than US and Iraqi officials have acknowledged.
Iraqi officials said 52 people were killed and 67 others hurt in the raid on the Assyrian Catholic Church mass, making it the bloodiest attack on Iraq’s Christian minority since the start of the US-led invasion in 2003.
Iraqi Christian Youth Rise Up at Chicago Rally
Assyrian teens help organize Black March to memorialize victims of Baghdad massacre; event draws nearly 1,500 to Thompson Center.
The theme was black on a beautiful November day as hundreds gathered to mourn and highlight the plight of relatives and friends facing persecution in Iraq.
The Black March drew nearly 1,500 Iraqi Christians to demonstrate and pray for action Monday in downtown Chicago. SAWRA helped to organize the local rally, which joined others in Phoenix, Detroit, London, Sydney and elsewhere around the globe.
We wanted to send a very clear message that we're still paying attention to Iraq," said Waleeta Canon, treasurer of the Assyrian American National Coalition (AANC) in Washington and a member of SAWRA. "We're not going to be quiet until we know that Assyrians and other Christians are living safely and securely."
Canon's comments came after more than 50 Iraqi Christians were killed inside a church in central Baghdad on Oct. 31. Congregants were held hostage for several hours before their captors–gunmen from the Islamic State of Iraq–opened fire and detonated bombs as police raided the building to end the standoff.
The rally was organized on a global scale in less than six days, Cannon noted. "It was a whirlwind of activity," she said. "It was really a youth effort in all of the cities, which is actually rare in the Assyrian community."
Plans for the march got underway last week as soon as the local Assyrian community learned about the deadly attack. Niles North High School's Assyrian Club was among those involved. Patch reported on it–click here for story. Part of the effort included busing participants from Skokie and elsewhere to assemble in front of the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.
On Monday, a few hundred demonstrators swelled to thousands during the course of the afternoon rally. High school students, couples with children and senior citizens were among those who took part in the event.
Symbolic start to rally
The rally started with a moment of silence as more than a dozen SAWRA members laid on the ground in red-stained clothing alongside body bags to symbolize those killed inside the church.
"I think it's always a good thing--about having a visual--so people can see what's happening, [to] get a real sense of what's going on," said Rachil Zaia, who was among those representing the dead. "I hope people really realize what's going on in Iraq. I'm confused as many people are--I just want some answers."
For some, the simulated carnage was too much. Several rallygoers broke down on their hands and knees screaming as they saw Zaia and others lying still on the cold earth.
Even though more than 1,000 people attended the rally, several participants felt it wasn't enough.
"I'm kind of disappointed," Marrian Macksud, 21, said about the turnout. "I think there should be a lot more numbers. Especially in Chicago, there are so many Assyrians."
John Borto, a 29-year-old from of Morton Grove, agreed with Macksud.
"There [are] more people that show up at Assyrian weddings," Borto said. "We know that there's a lot more Assyrians in the city."
The largest U.S. concentration of Assyrians is in the Chicago area, according to Vasili Shoumanov, author of Assyrians in Chicago. A large portion of those Assyrians live in the suburban communities of Skokie, Niles and Morton Grove.
Although Iraq is largely made up of Muslims, a small portion of the population is Christian, with many falling into the Assyrian, Chaldean or Syrian faith.
Rita Jacob, who recently emigrated from Iraq to the U.S., was friends with four of the people who were killed inside the Baghdad church. Moments before her speech, the petite Jacob was shaking, yet she managed to get in front of the microphone and tell her story.
"I've been writing this speech for a couple of days, and it really doesn't matter," Jacob said as she cried and ripped up her speech. "It won't bring nobody back. Do you even need a bigger wake-up call than this?
"It hurts because [my friends that were killed inside the church] were only 28-years-old. I can't handle this anymore. I'm not the same person. Just seeing my Christian people die, it hurts."
Christians number about 800,000 in Iraq, or about 3 percent of the nation's estimated 29 million people, according to the CIA World Factbook. Assyrians are among minor ethnic groups that comprise about 5 percent of the population.
And an estimated 66 percent of the country's Christian population have fled Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a 2007 article by Radio Free Europe.
At the rally those in front of the microphone weren't the only ones fighting back their grief.
Skokie resident Mores Hawel was standing in the crowd holding a photo of Wissem Sabeh, a friend who was among the priests killed during the Oct. 31 massacre.
"I knew him in Iraq; we used to work together," Hawel said. "I think he tried to [reason] with the terrorists as much as he could."
Hawel said he moved to Skokie 13 months ago because "much of my family lives there."
Ultimately, almost 1,500 Iraqi Christians navigated through downtown streets and passed construction sites to the nearby Federal Plaza, where they chanted, "Freedom we demand! In our homeland."
A few SAWRA members went inside the Kluczynski Federal Building to hand Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) a letter the group had written. At press time, it's unclear whether the group personally spoke with the senator before leaving.
Canon of the AANC concluded her rally speech with a special note for the young people in the crowd. "I especially would like to thank the Assyrian youth of Chicago," she said. "Within 24 hours of the attack, they took control of the protest.
"I'm very, very impressed with the young Assyrians that have taken control of the situation here. It's fully self-funded by them and a lot have taken time away from their jobs and school [to attend]."
Social media also provided crucial momentum for the Chicago rally. Facebook groups helped to orchestrate the day's events for many of the high school students at Niles West and Niles North. Their efforts, which did not go unnoticed, reached as far as the North Side of Chicago.
Hours before the rally, high school students gathered at the Assyrian National Council of Illinois' offices in Skokie. Fueled on doughnuts and coffee, they put the finishing touches on the rally's main props: the body bags.
The group stuffed black garbage bags with newspapers and splattered red paint on white T-shirts. Each bag represented a life lost in the Oct. 31 church attack in Baghdad.
"There were about 85 students from Niles North and Niles West high schools who participated in today's event," said Arbela Baba, a Skokie native and member of SAWRA, which means hope in Assyrian.
Niles West junior Akadia Rasho, 16, said she was inspired to attend the Black March when she saw videos on Facebook.
"I've been to Assyrian protests before and I've seen nothing like this," Rasho said. "For something that was organized this short, I think it's amazing."
Her friends couldn't agree more.
"If it wasn't for Facebook I don't think half of the people here would have attended," said Ramin Nano, 15.
"There were invitations asking if you were going to attend the rally and all you had to do was hit 'yes," Christian David, 17, said about how he learned of Monday's demonstration.
Check out Patch's gallery of photos, showing the preparations in Skokie and the rally in downtown Chicago. Click here to go to the site.
Assyrians in Chicago to rally for peace
by Becky Schlikerman, Chicago Tribune. November 7, 2010 7:12 PM http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/11/assyrians-in-chicago-to-rally-for-peace.html
CHICAGO, Illinois — After Natasha Shino heard about the killing of more than 50 Iraqi Christians in Baghdad last week, she knew she couldn't sit idly by.
"It just hit home," said the 23-year-old Assyrian Christian student who lives in the South Loop.
A minority in Muslim Iraq, Assyrians are Christian -- among the first people to accept the faith -- and do not consider themselves Arab. Forced to assimilate to Arab culture, many Assyrians have fled Iraq.
"We're going through a silent genocide," Shino said. "We are near extinction."
Worldwide, Shino and other young Assyrians have joined forces to organize rallies Monday calling on the American and Iraqi governments to protect Iraqi Christians.
Dubbed "The Black March" because protesters will wear all black, the Chicago rally will start at noon at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. Thousands of Facebook members have said they plan to attend similar rallies in other cities. According to 2000 census data, there are approximately 16,000 Assyrians in Illinois. But local Assyrian leaders say there are closer to 100,000 in the Chicago area.
Organizers, like Shino, said they've reached out to people of all faiths, including Jews, Muslims and other Christian groups, including Chaldean Catholics who have common roots in ancient Mesopotamia, to stand in solidarity with the victims of an Oct. 31 attack on a Syrian Catholic Church in Baghdad.
Al-Qaida militants reportedly took 120 worshipers hostage during an evening Mass commemorating the church's anniversary. The attack ended with at least 58 people dead after security forces stormed the church. At least 75 were wounded.
At Mar Gewargis Cathedral, an Assyrian church more commonly known as St. George's in Rogers Park, on Sunday, the Rev. Paulus Benjamin called for parishioners to pray for peace. The church's liturgy is said in Assyrian, an ancient language with roots in Aramaic.
Dozens of churchgoers bowed and silently spoke with God.
Among them was Ayad Khider, who lost his 50-year-old cousin, Salah Gerges, a father of three, in the Oct. 31 attack. His cousin's wife was injured in the attack and is in critical condition, he said in Arabic through a translator.
"We pray that she will be OK because who will take care of the children?" said Khider, 51, a mechanic who lives on the North Side.
In a letter dated Nov. 1, Mar Dinkha IV, the patriarch of the Chicago-based Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, demanded that the Iraqi government and the United Nations protect all Iraqi minorities.
Many at the church said they plan to attend the Monday rally to show support for their "brothers and sisters" still in Iraq.
"We are united with them," said Mary Yonan, 52, a teacher from the North Side. "We can be their voices here."
Thousands rally to protest Christian killings in Iraq
by ABC 7, WLS-TV/DT. Monday, November 08, 2010. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7772114&rss=rss-wls-article-7772114
CHICAGO, Illinois (WLS) — Thousands rallied in the Loop Monday to protest the recent killings of Assyrian Christians in Iraq.
The event was dubbed "The Black March."
Demonstrators called on the U.S. and Iraqi governments to do more to protect Christians in Iraq.
On October 31 militants took hostages in a Baghdad church. Nearly 60 were killed.
March organizers say 66 Iraqi churches have been attacked in the last seven years.
Iraqi Christians rally in Chicago
by Associated Press, November 8, 2010 at 1:26 p.m. CST. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-iraqchristians-ch,0,7788671.story?obref=obnetwork
CHICAGO, Illinois — Several hundred protesters have rallied in Chicago to call on the United States to provide better security for Christians in Iraq.
Protesters dressed in black finished a Monday afternoon march through downtown at a plaza in front of the Dirksen Federal Building.
One demonstrator held aloft a placard that read, "Save Iraq's Most Vulnerable Population." Others held of graphic photographs from inside Iraqi churches after they'd been attacked.
An organizer, Natasha Shino, says Christians are being forced to flee their homeland. The Chicagoan says Iraqi Christians believe the U.S. can do more to protect them.
The Chicago protest and similar ones around the country come in the wake of a recent bloody siege of a Baghdad church that left around 60 people dead.
Metro Detroiters rally for Iraqi Christians
Baghdad attack inspires calls for U.S. intervention
DETROIT, Michigan — More than 1,000 demonstrators sang, prayed and waved signs and American flags at a rally Monday outside the McNamara Federal Building in downtown Detroit that was organized to draw attention to the persecution of Christians in Iraq.
The demonstrators said the U.S. and Iraqi governments have not done enough to keep Iraq's Christians safe from Muslim extremists. Metro Detroit's Chaldean and Assyrian communities were stunned by the Oct. 31 attack during a church service at the Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq, that left 58 people dead.
Since 2003, when the U.S.-led invasion into Iraq toppled President Saddam Hussein, Muslim extremists' attacks on Iraq's Christians have increased.
Metro Detroit Chaldeans and Assyrians say they have appealed to the U.S. State Department over the past few years to do more to protect religious minorities in Iraq.
"We hear a lot of people talking, but nothing ever gets done," said Andre Anton of Farmington Hills, one of the rally organizers. "Religious and ethnic minorities are not a priority." Anton said that in three weeks, a similar rally will be held in Washington, D.C., to get the attention of the nation's lawmakers.
At a news conference at the St. Toma Syriac Catholic Church in Farmington Hills before the rally, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters called the church killings "despicable" actions. The Bloomfield Township Democrat said the U.S. government has to develop a comprehensive policy that will protect Christians in Iraq.
"We have to step up and step up and be firm," he said. Peters said it's especially important to do something now that U.S. forces in Iraq are being drawn down.
"We have to be sure those religious minorities that live in Iraq have the protection they need," he said.
Representatives from U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's office and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, a Harrison Township Republican, read letters at the news conference expressing support for action that will ensure the safety of Iraq's Christians. Miller called for the U.S. to help the Iraqi government better train its security forces to prevent future tragedies.
Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said terrorist attacks "are obscene when they take place in a house of worship -- any house of worship." In a prayer before the crowd, retired Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton said, "We pray you, God, watch over the people of Iraq."
Chaldean communities in Detroit, Chicago rally, call for more protection of Christians in Iraq
by Jeff Karoub, Associated Press. November 8, 2010 at 4:26 p.m. CST. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-bc-mi--iraqattack-michiganrally,0,33896.story?obref=obnetwork
DETROIT, Michigan (AP) — Hundreds of protesters clad in black rallied and marched Monday to demand peace and security for Christians in Iraq after dozens were killed in a recent attack on a Baghdad church.
The rally in Detroit coincided with one in Chicago, where hundreds marched through downtown to a plaza in front of the Dirksen Federal Building. Organizers also said rallies were planned in London and Paris.
Chanting "Wake up America," ''Stop the genocide" and "We demand peace," the protesters gathered in front of a federal office building in downtown Detroit. The rally was organized by members of Michigan's Chaldean community and other Christians who trace their heritage to the Biblical lands of what is now Iraq.
"The message is this: This massacre is not a one-time event — it's part of a systematic effort to bring about a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Iraq's indigenous Christians," said Wisam Naoum, a rally organizer.
Chaldeans are Iraqi Catholics. Since 2007, thousands of Iraqi Christians have come to the Detroit area, which has one of the nation's largest communities of people with roots in the Middle East.
Several hundred demonstrators filled the plaza in front of the building and at one point spilled out onto the street. They held signs with messages such as "66 Churches Bombed in Iraq Since '03" and "US Gov't You Have Made the World Miss Saddam Shame on You."
Others held photographs of two priests who were killed in the Oct. 31 attack on Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad. As a man read aloud the names of the dead, protesters wearing white T-shirts spattered with red lay down on the ground of the plaza.
The siege that left 58 dead was the worst attack by Islamic militants on the country's Christian minority since the 2003-U.S. led invasion.
"There are some solutions we're asking for, demands we have to make," said Joe Kassab, executive director of the Chaldean Federation of America.
Those include calling on the U.S. and Iraqi governments as well as the international community to provide better protection for Iraq's Christians. Kassab said they also seek a more secular, less sectarian Iraqi constitution that recognizes "other people sharing the land."
"Christians of the world — mainly Christians of America — they don't know there are Biblical Christians in Iraq," said Kassab, who is also a board member of the Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council of America.
"They should be helping them, they should be saving them."
The Rev. Selwan Taponi, who came to the Detroit rally from St. Ephrem Syriac Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Fla., said he served the Baghdad church for nearly four years in the 1990s. He said it was important to speak at the rally and "raise my voice as much as I can."
"It's the least I can do for my people over there," he said. "Condemning is a very weak word — we need to do something. We need to raise our voice high enough to reach the government of this country."
Christian Assyrian Protesters March Against Iraq Violence
MODESTO, California — Christian Assyrian protesters carry signs and chant for an end to the violence against their churches in Iraq, at McHenry and Briggsmore Aves. in Modesto, on Monday. Video: Darryl Bush.
Dozens March to Protest the Massacre of Iraqi Christians in Baghdad
by Heather Myers, San Diego 6. Monday, November 8, 2010. http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/story/Dozens-March-to-Protest-the-Massacre-of-Iraqi/h0SNPaxtjEu8moSjWH317A.cspx?rss=800
SAN DIEGO, California — Dozens of Iraqi-born Christians took to the streets of Downtown San Diego as part of a world wide protest. At least 60 people held signs asking the U.S. government to help protect Christians living in Baghdad.
The protest comes in the wake of the Oct. 31 massacre of 58 innocent churchgoers at the Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad. Terrorists linked to al qa eda Iraq took more than 100 Assyrian Christian hostages during a church mass. 58 hostages were killed, including two priests, pregnant women and children, and 75 wounded as the Iraqi police stormed the building.
Christian groups around the world mourned with the families of the victims of the attacks and strongly condemned the terrorists actions.
According to local Iraqi-born Americans, The Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac and Aramean Christians have been a constant target of insurgents attempting to rid the country of the ancient community. They believe the Iraqi and American governments have stood by and done little to help.
"The United States has a responsibility to protect those people because ever since 2003 when the Iraq operations started, half of our people in Iraq which numbered almost a million have had to flee because of persecution," said Christina Ablahad, who took part in today's march.
Today's protest took part in several cities across the United States as well as Australia, England and Sweden.
March Calls On US To Stop Violence Against Christians In Iraq
by KTVU. November 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm PST.
SAN JOSE, California — Hundreds of people took to the streets of San Jose on Monday night in hopes of focusing attention on atrocities overseas.
The marchers want President Obama to take action to prevent the slaughter of Christians in Iraq.
Many of the marchers carried pictures of people they said were killed in Iraq by Muslim terrorists.
Najala Zikoor of San Jose said she lost seven members of her family in a recent bombing.
"They went to church on Sunday. newlywed brides, pregnant, two of them, with the father and the husband,” said Zikoor. “Then we heard back the news. They were all killed in the church and bombed."
What has united Assyrians Christians was an attack by Muslim terrorists on a Catholic Church in Baghdad during a Sunday mass eight days ago.
It resulted in more than 50 people killed and dozens injured as the gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons and set off suicide bombs.
An Al-Qaeda group called the Islamic State of Iraq has taken responsibility.
"All of the Christians there are in danger now," said Basil Amso of Lafayette. "They're threatened. They want to harm them for no reason but just because they are Christians."
At one time, there were an estimated 1.4 milion Christians living in Iraq, now its estimated that two thirds have fled the country following the bombings of 66 Christian Churches over the last seven years.
Father Ladimer Alkhaseh of the Assyrian Evengalical Church of San Jose says the Obama administatration needs to do more to help the Christians.
"We want President Obama to intervene and basically stop the massacre of the Christians in the Middle East," said Alkhaseh.
So far the administration has not commented, and polls show the American public supports a withdrawal of U.S. troops rather than sending more into Iraq.
The demonstration was called the Black March. Similiar protests were held in other major American and foreign cities.
Phoenix demonstrators protest against Assyrian massacre in Iraq
by Molly Smith, The Arizona Republic. November 8, 2010 at 04:58 PM. http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2010/11/08/20101108Iraqi-church-killings-protest-Phoenix-abrk.html
PHOENIX, Arizona — More than 400 people gathered near Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix on Monday afternoon to speak against what they say is the oppression of Christians in Iraq.
On Oct. 31, an Iraqi militant group broke into Our Lady of Deliverance church, the main Catholic worship place in Baghdad, and held 120 Assyrian Christians hostage. Fifty-two people were killed, including 10 police officers and one priest, and another 67 were wounded, according to the Associated Press.
Many of the victims were women and children.
In the aftermath of the attack, Assyrians, an indigenous group from Iraq, held rallies across the country on Monday to speak out against the massacre. Cities including Chicago, New York, and Toronto held protests similar to the one in Phoenix, where local religious groups assembled at noon to protest the killings.
Many of those present said they had friends and family left in Iraq, some of whom were killed in the attack on the church.
The father of Jandar Baba, a 16-year-old Glendale resident, was killed during the attack.
"We want protection for our people, we want al-Qaida to stop killing Christians," Baba said.
The event was organized by a group called the American Assyrian Youth Coalition, which was formed only five days ago in response to the attacks, said Mike Darmo, 27, the group's spokesman. The group will become official within the next two weeks, after it drafts by-laws and sets up official internal structure. Darmo said it is likely the name could change, and describes the group as a "rag-tag group of youth" looking for change.
Representatives from groups such as the Assyrian Democratic Movement, Assyrians for Justice, the American-Israeli Alliance and the Assyrian Church of the East were present. According to Darmo, in addition to Assyrians, there were also Israelis, Greeks, Catholics, Muslims, Palestinians and Egyptians in attendance.
"We want peace between religions," Darmo said. "Terrorism is not bound to one religion, it is bound to evil. With cooperation we hope to make the world aware of this and not let history repeat itself."
Assyrians Rally in Australia in Support of Iraqi Christians
by Assyrian Universal Alliance. November 8, 2010.
Assyrian Federation in Germany and European Sections
Zentralverbandder Assyrischen Vereinigungen in Deutschland und Europäischen Sektionen e.V. (ZAVD) Postfach 11 23 05 ;
Stellungnahme des Zentralverband der assyrischen Vereinigungen in Deutschland und europäische Sektionen zu den jüngsten Attentaten im Irak
Am Freitag, den 12.11.2010, finden in ganz Deutschland Mahnwachen, anlässlich des Bombenattentats auf die christlichen Assyrer (auch Chaldäer und Syrer genannt) in der Sayidat al-Najat- Kirche in Bagdad / Irak, statt.
Bei diesem gezielten Angriff am 31.10.2010 brachten islamische Terroristen mehr als 120 christliche Geiseln in ihre Gewalt. Bei dem Versuch, die Geiseln zu befreien, zündeten die Terroristen Sprengstoffgürtel. Hierbei wurden über 52 Menschen getötet und über 70 lebensgefährlich verletzt.
Die der islamischen Al Kaida Organisation angehörenden Terroristen haben weitere Attentate auf die christlichen Assyrer im Irak angekündigt.
Seit dem Kriegsausbruch im Jahre 2003 wurden Anschläge auf über 60 christliche Kirchen verübt. Von den 1,5 Millionen Assyrern musste über die Hälfte ihre irakische Heimat verlassen. Unzählige Assyrer wurden bereits ermordet, enteignet und heimatlos gemacht.
Der Vorsitzende des Zentralverbands der Assyrer, Shlemon Yonan spricht bei den Angriffen auf die christlichen Assyrer von einem Völkermord, die das Ziel haben, den Irak christenfrei zu machen.
Der Ausrottung der Christen muss ein Ende gesetzt werden! Daher lasst uns alle gemeinsam unsere Stimme gegen die Ausrottung der Christen im Irak erheben!
Gießen, Seltersweg (Einkaufspassage)
Heilbronn, vor der Kilianskirche
Wiesbaden, Schloßplatz/Dernsches Gelände
Thousands in Brussels Protest Attacks Against Iraqi Christians
by Associated Press.
Syriac Christians have lived in the Middle East for centuries and now make up a small minority in countries like Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Turkey.
Iran Assyrians support Iraq's Christians
by Iran Press TV. November 15, 2010.
Iranian Assyrian Christians have held a demonstration in front of the UN office in Tehran to condemn a deadly attack on a church in Iraq last month.
Hundreds of Iranian Assyrian Christians held a demonstration in front of the UN office in Tehran on Monday to condemn the October 31 massacre of Christians in Baghdad's Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Catholic Church, a Press TV correspondent reported.
They also asked the United Nations to support Iraq's Assyrian Christian community.
On the last day of October, a group of armed men took dozens of worshippers hostage in Baghdad's Sayidat al-Nejat Catholic Church.
52 people died and 67 others were injured in the hostage crisis, which lasted nearly four hours until police intervened.
An al-Qaeda-linked organization has claimed responsibility for the assault. Many Assyrian communities across the globe have held similar demonstrations to express their outrage over the deadly attack.
Qassem Atta, the spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Command, told the Aswat al-Iraq news agency that the Iraqi security forces have arrested five of the gunmen.
About 100 people were inside the church for an evening mass when the attack occurred.
MP Yonathan Betkolia, the representative of the Assyrian Christian community in the Iranian Parliament, strongly denounced the attack earlier this month and criticized the international community for their silence about the incident.
Stop the Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq
by Björn Hansson (bjorn.hansson < a t> gp.se)
Stoppa morden på de kristna i Irak!
Det var en av parollerna under lördagens manifestation i Göteborg mot den etniska rensning som pågår i landet.
- Det kom fler och fler efter hand och till slut var vi över tusen personer, säger Josef Garis, ordförande i det assyriska distriktet i Göteborg.
Demonstrationen utlystes sedan våldet mot de kristna i Irak eskalerat den senaste tiden. I slutet av oktober dödades ett 50-tal personer när en islamistisk grupp trängde in i en kyrka i Bagdad mitt under pågående högmässa och så sent som i onsdags dödades sju vid angrepp mot kristnas hus och företag.
- Det är oskyldiga människor som straffas för USA:s krig, säger Garis.
De får med sina liv betala för vreden bland muslimska fundamentalister.
- De kristna behöver ett akut fysiskt skydd.
Det räcker inte med vackra ord i en grundlag.
Bland parollerna fanns också ett krav att kristna flyktingar från Irak skulle få amnesti och uppehållstillstånd och inte skickas tillbaka.
Ungefär 80 000 assyrier bor i Sverige, många av dem är nu mycket oroliga för kvarvarande vänner.
Före det första Irakkriget på 90-talet uppgick antalet kristna i Irak till omkring två miljoner; i dag är en knapp tredjedel kvar i landet.(Google English translation of Swedish article)
Stop the killings of Christians in Iraq!
It was one of the slogans during Saturday's demonstration in Gothenburg against the ethnic cleansing underway in the country.
Based on Götaplatsen where Marika Palmgren spoke of the bishop's place, Jalal Gargari spoke for the Iraqi political parties in Sweden as well as politicians Anne Enochsson (KD), Eva Olofsson (V) and Fouad Racho (KD) marched since the Avenue down to finish with a memorial service in the Cathedral.
The demonstration was organized since the violence against Christians in Iraq has escalated in recent times. In late October, killing some 50 people when an Islamic group broke into a church in Baghdad, midway morning service, and as recently as last Wednesday killed seven in attacks against Christian homes and businesses.
- There are innocent people punished for the U.S. war, "said Garis.
They may pay with their lives for the anger among Muslim fundamentalists.
- The Christians need an urgent security.
It is not enough beautiful words in the Constitution.
Among the slogans were also a requirement that Christian refugees from Iraq would get amnesty and residence permit and not returned.
Approximately 80 000 Assyrians living in Sweden, many of them are now very concerned about remaining friends.
Before the first Iraq war in the 90s, the number of Christians in Iraq to about two million, but today is just under a third remained in the country.
Assyrians Demonstrate in Washington DC
Assyrians demonstrate in front of the White House in Washington D. C. on December 4, 2010. The speakers included: William J. Murray, David Lazar and Juliana Taimoorazy.
These advertising and marketing media have been created to promote online campaigns and local community events.
Feel free to copy, distribute, and print these posters at your local printing store and then display them in your Assyrian campaigns.
8” x 11” - low-resolution PDF (online usage)
11”x 17” - high-resolution PDF (poster printing)