terça-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2004

Cristãos no Médio Oriente

1. "Iraq's besieged Christians weigh taking up arms, fleeing into exile"

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Leaders of the ever-dwindling Christian population in Iraq say bombings of their churches and attacks against their communities may force them to take up guns.

Two more churches were bombed in Mosul last week, the latest attacks, and some Christians say extremist Muslims are terrorizing them with the intent of ousting them and seizing their houses and belongings.

Iraq is home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, made up largely of ethnic Assyrians, an ancient people who speak a modern form of Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. But as the turmoil increases, hundreds of Christian families are leaving each week for exile in Syria and Turkey. "

2. Christians leaving

The mayor of Bethlehem has blasted the Israeli occupation as an oppressive siege which is forcing Christians to leave the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ in ever increasing numbers.

About 2400 Christians out of a total of approximately 40,000 living in Bethlehem and surrounding areas in the southern West Bank have left since the September 2000 start of the Palestinian intifada, according to Nasir.

"Imagine the city of Bethlehem with no Christians," he said.

"Christians all over the world should know this reality. If we don't have a quick breakthrough in the peace process more are going to leave."

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