Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Iraqi Christians targeted in coordinated...

Email:

Iraqi Christians targeted in coordinated church bomb attacks

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Iraqi Christians targeted in coordinated church bomb attacks

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq

It was a coordinated attack to target churches at the same time

Kirkuk Deputy Police Chief Major-Gen Torhan Abdulrahman

A blast outside a church injured 23 people as police foiled two further car bomb attacks on churches in northern Iraq on the same morning.

Bombed_Church-4X3.jpg
An Iraqi boy surveys the damage
to the bombed church in Kirkuk
Photo: ankawa.com

A car bomb exploded near a church in Kirkuk at around 5.30am (2.30am GMT) on Tuesday (2 August), severely damaging the building and around 30 surrounding homes; nearby cars were also set on fire.

The church leader, Rev. Imad Yalda, was the only person inside the church at the time of the blast and was injured. A newborn baby was among the other 22 wounded; they were residents whose homes in the predominantly Christian and Turkmen neighbourhood of Shaterlo were hit. One Christian man, Mati Shaba, is in a serious condition.

Following the blast, police discovered vehicles packed with explosives outside two other churches in Kirkuk and defused the bombs.

Rev. Haithem Akram, the leader of one of the targeted churches, said,

The terrorists want to make us flee Iraq, but they will fail. We are staying in our country.

Iraqi Christians are said to be “sad and in shock” after the attacks, which happened two days into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hopes dashed

The coordinated attacks come just a month after the first church to be built in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion opened in Kirkuk. Hundreds of Christians gathered for its launch, heralding the new church as a defiant statement against violent attempts to drive them from their homeland. After that momentary celebration, their hopes and calls for peace have now once again been dashed.

Iraqi Christians have come under frequent attack since the 1990-91 Gulf War, when they were inadvertently associated with the Western invaders because of their faith. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes, with many seeking refuge in neighbouring countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Violence against Christians in Iraq intensified with a hostage siege on a Baghdad church last October that left more than 50 people dead. Since then, Christians have been targeted and killed by militants in their homes and workplaces.

The latest bombings come as three people were sentenced to death, and another was given a 20 year prison term, for their part in the Baghdad church siege.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Iraqi Christians targeted in coordinated church bomb attacks

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Fund in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 5 hours ago

    • Heavenly Father, we pray to You for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Madagali, in Adamawa state, until their town was seized by Boko Haram two months ago. We think of those who were betrayed into the hands of Boko Haram by their neighbours pointing out Christian homes or places where Christians had hidden. We bring before You those who saw their menfolk beheaded, and women forcibly converted to Islam. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for a pastor in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania whose home was attacked on 17 May; two of his children were injured. When he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family; it was they who made the accusation against him. He has faced much opposition because of his fruitful outreach to Muslims, and several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations. Pray that the sovereign Lord will help him and that he will not be disgraced (Isaiah 50:7-9). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

    • A church on Mafia Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, was attacked on 9 May by around 80 young Muslim men armed with arrows and knives. The church members, who are mainly converts from Islam, had gathered for their weekly overnight prayer session when the attackers appeared, shouting “death to ritad’i” (those who leave Islam). They set fi re to the church, leaving the interior in ruins, and then went in search of the pastor, but he was not at home. The incident followed a bomb blast at another church in Mwanza in mainland Tanzania on 5 May, in which a worker at the church rest house was critically injured. Pray that the authorities will effectively address the increasing incidence of attacks against churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Cry out to the Lord for the many Christian victims of kidnapping by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Remember especially the more than two hundred teenage girls who were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state, on the night of 14 April. A video released in May showed eight of the girls speaking about their ordeal; they plead for their release, and one says, “I never expected to suffer like this in my life.” It is believed that they have been divided into at least four groups and that most of them are being held in camps outside Nigeria. They are hungry, while some are unwell and need medical attention. Pray for their safe release and for that of other kidnapped Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks