Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Italy: Baghdad church attack victims to be honoured in St Peters' mass

Iraqi Christian woman lights candles under a portrait of slain priest, Father Wasim Sabih, 27, at the Sayidat al-Nejat Catholic Cathedral, or Syrian Catholic Church, in central Baghdad during Sunday mass on November 7, 2010.


Vatican City, 17 Nov. (AKI) - The Vatican announced a mass will be held in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on 25 November to commemorate the 58 people including two priests who died in an attack against the Syrian Catholic cathedral in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad last month.

The pontiff has frequently deplored attacks and discrimination against Christian minorities in Muslim countries. He condemned the Baghdad assault as "absurd" and "ferocious" and called for an end to sectarian violence in the war-wracked country.

Many Muslims denounced the attack, which was claimed by an Al-Qaeda-linked group, the Islamic State of Iraq. Besides the 58 people who died in the attack, 80 were injured.

Iraq's approximately 500,000 remaining Christians fear pograms after further deadly bombings targeting Iraqi Christians since the attack on Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, one of the city's main churches.

Most want to flee the country, observers say.

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