Fresh death threats against Christians residing in Iraq are terrorising families and inciting them to flee, according to reports from ‘al-Hayat’ newspaper, which cites interviews from Iraqi security officials.
Seven hand written messages for which Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility were found in various locations throughout the city, Abdullah al-Nawafili, a Christian community leader in the Iraqi capitol, Baghdad confirmed.
“Threats of these types have been coming in over the past few days that push us to leave the country,” he said.
The messages were delivered to the Camp Sara neighbourhoods of Baghdad which is home to a predominantly Christian population as well as the districts al-Amin and Baghdad al-Jadid and were written on white paper resembling doctors prescription pads. “Leave Iraq immediately or you will be killed by us,” the notes read.
The response from the United States? Near silence, and this only perpetuates the tragedy:
[...] without enormous pressure from his backers in the U.S., [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki] has little incentive to turn his attention to this problem. And yet the U.S. and the international community thus far have barely managed to muster the most muted response to anti-Christian violence in Iraq.
What is needed is a firm condemnation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacting specifically to al Qaeda’s explicit plans to rid Iraq of its Christian communities and warning the Iraqi government that there will be dire consequences to its continuing inaction on this urgent matter.
This silence cannot stand. Americans of all faiths must band together and pressure the State Department to do something about the wanton murder of Iraqi Christians before it’s too late and there are no more Christians in Iraq to protect. What is happening in Iraq is genocide, plain and simple. It must be stopped now.
As Advent approaches for Catholics, its second-nature for us to involve ourselves with the traditions of the faith and go about our business. While we deal with the stresses of the season, and conveniently and vociferously complain (myself included), let’s not forget that there are those on the other side of the world, who are literally dying to practice the tenets of Christianity.