[QODLink]
Middle East
Iraq's Christians demand justice
Iraqi Christians protest a wave of killing that has targeted the religious minority.
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2010 16:47 GMT
Protesters demanded the government bring the killers of Iraqi Christians to justice [EPA] 

Iraqis in Baghdad and Mosul have protested a recent wave of attacks on their minority religious communities, following the murder of eight Christians in less than two weeks.

Holding olive branches and the national flag, demonstrators vented their anger on Sunday over the poor security afforded them in the wake of a series of killings.

Shouting slogans such as "stop the killing of Christians", hundreds of demonstrators called on authorities to guarantee their protection as they marched round al-Ferdus Square in central Baghdad.

Bishop Shlemon Warduni, the second most senior Chaldean bishop, also took part in the protest and called for more to be done to protect his community.

"The government has done nothing so far," he said, demanding that the United Nations, United States and European Union "defend the rights of Christians in Mosul".

"We do not want to be involved in the rivalries of political parties running for election," he said, referring to nationwide legislative elections set for March 7.

And Pope Benedict XVI added his voice to the protest, sending a message to Baghdad in which he condemned the violence against Christians in Iraq and asked Iraqi authorities to protect "the most vulnerable religious minorities".

In Hamdaniyah, some 35km east of the city of Mosul, a third demonstration demanded the killers to be brought to justice.

"The blood of the innocents calls out to you: enough violence, enough terrorism," one of their banners read.

Baghdad said on Thursday it would set up an inquiry and boost security in Mosul, following the murder of an Assyrian Christian and his two sons on Tuesday.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 Christians live in Mosul, where the shrinking minority has accused authorities of inaction, noting that no murderer has been arrested or brought to justice.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list