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Poverty forces Iraqi refugees into prostitution

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Poverty forces Iraqi refugees into prostitution

Oct-01-2010 at 11:22 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Asking for help: Bishop Antoine Audo SJ at a press conference in London. Photo:
Poverty forces Iraqi refugees into prostitution
by Bill Bowder

SOME CHRISTIAN IRAQI refugees in Damascus, driven out by death threats and with only the clothes they stood up in, had taken to prostitution, the Chaldean Roman Catholic Bishop of Aleppo, Syria, Bishop Antoine Audo SJ, said in London last week.

“This is a big problem, and we don’t know how to deal with it,” he said. “I have asked the Little Sisters of Jesus to help us. The reason is poverty, and in Syria there are no regulations and no laws to defend them . It is a new problem to have prostitution in this quantity in a Christian community.”

But the Bishop also spoke of the 1000 Iraqi Christian catechists that were being prepared in Damascus, and the plans to open a new high school that would serve both Iraqis and Syrians. Although Syria had initally welcomed the 1.2 million refugees, 60,000 of whom were Christian, it had now closed its borders because of fear of terrorism.

Bishop Audo was in London to support the work of the charity, Iraqi Christians in Need. He said that Christians in Syria were opposed to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. “In work, in university, in the streets, more and more ladies are covered. And today I saw in London a woman with a child and she was totally covered up — in London!

“This is insupportable to me. We cannot accept this kind of pressure for Christians. This is wrong, terrible, dangerous. This is a deep feeling. the young people say to themselves, ‘I can’t live in this atmosphere in this kind of society.’”

The Bishop said it was essential that Christians remain in the Middle East. The Church wanted to help Muslims to accept modernity. “If we have lived in peace with Islam, it will be possible for the West to do so, too.

“But if we fail, as we see now in Iraq, it will be dangerous for the Middle East — and for Europe, too.

I defend the presence of the Christians in the Middle East with their openness towards both the Islamic world and the Western world.”

Hostage plea

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, appealed on Wednesday to the kidnappers who have been holding five British hostages in Iraq since 29 May. Lord Carey read out an appeal by the hostages’ families, and added: “I would like to add my own personal appeal at this holy time of Eid and Christmas . . . that we may see the safe return home of these men as soon as possible.”


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Assyria \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.)   3:  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 — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \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.   3:  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. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   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.

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