Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Iraqi Christians Face Bomb Threats in Run-Up to Christmas

Iraqi Christians buy a Christmas tree in central Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. Although the number of Christians has dropped in Iraq, Christmas, a national holiday in Iraq, is very popular in the capital.(Photo: AP Images / Karim Kadim)
Some churches in Iraq have canceled Christmas services to protect themselves against the threats of bombings on churches.Just a day before Christmas Eve, a bomb planted near Church of St. Thomas in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul killed two men and wounded five others on Wednesday.Earlier this month, a series of bombs left four people dead in Mosul.
"I’m very sad that we are not able to have our rituals for Christmas this year and not have a sermon, but we do not want any Christians to be harmed," Edward Poles, a Christian priest at Sa’a Church in Mosul, which was bombed last week, told The New York Times.
While Christians in the United States prepare to gather in churches and homes to celebrate Christmas, believers in more religiously restrictive countries face more intense persecution during the holiday season....

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