More From Alder's Ledge

January 12, 2011

Did Santa Make It Out of Baghdad?

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October 31st... The Pagan's Holy Day.
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Halloween this past year was a day that for the Christian community in Iraq will live in infamy. On that day the "hounds of hell" (al-Qaida) well set upon the Christian congregation of a Chaldean Catholic Church. By the time the dogs were done some 60 or so Christians had been executed and a hundred plus more had been mangled. In the days that followed the butchery continued as the rabid mutts chased the survivors home. There they attacked and killed those they failed to kill on Halloween.
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The American government did little to condemn the attacks since they were not aimed at "American interest". Barack Obama had promised to recognize the Armenians' genocide over a hundred years ago, he however will not recognize this near 2,000 year old genocide in Iraq. Uncle Joe, Biden, called the attacks "tragic" and even "encouraged" the Iraqi government to "protect its minorities". Yet other than these failed promises and attempts at keeping face the White House has done nothing to stop the Arab Christians' genocide.
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As December approached the Christian Church in Iraq issued order after order for its followers not to show any sign of "being Christian". No Christmas decorations, no crosses, and absolutely no stars of any sorts (Bethlehem or Stars of David are likened to cross hairs in Iraq). Most have even decided not to hold the traditional midnight services come Christmas Eve.
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All the while the exodus for the Christians increases as Arabic Catholics and other minority Christian groups flee Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities. Most are suspected to be fleeing to Jordan and even Syria in fear of their native homeland. Others are trying to get out of the Middle East all together by attempting to immigrate to Europe.
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For those left behind the message from the Iraqi governing body is dire at best. Convert or die.
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Iraqi politicians have proposed to gather up all remaining Christians and ship them to Nineveh, Iraq (despite the claim by Kurds that this is their territory). There they could form the initial ghettos where Christians would be kept under armed guard. The only problem with this plan is that most Christians in Iraq will not willingly identify themselves as Christians to the government... with good reason.
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In Jordan and Lebanon the Christians are being met with open arms by other Christians in those Arabic countries. On the other hand, the new coming Iraqi Christians are told to keep their religion secret in Jordan and Lebanon too. They are simply leaving the inner circles of Hell to reach the outer circles of Hell.
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Many will look at this and ask how Christians are being told not to show they are "Christian" in Lebanon. The facts, by numbers alone, point to the fact that about half of Lebanon are Christian. However, Hamas runs many of its terrorist programs out of Lebanon. And for Hamas, Christians are believed to be "collaborators with Israel"... and therefore must be reminded daily that their days in Lebanon are numbered.
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In Saudi Arabia the level of persecution is not monitored because our largest ally in the Middle East openly admits that it does not tolerate Christianity. Catholics are allowed to engage in the economy and conduct business within Saudi Arabia. However, if they ever are even accused of professing their faith they are subject to jail time, execution, or simple deportation (which given the destination of their deportation, Iraq, this is keen to execution).
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Needless to say, Iran does not monitor its Christian population because it is a well known fact that being Christian in Iran is a capitol offense.
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So I ask the question again... did ole' Saint Nicholas make it out of Baghdad?
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One can only imagine the red clad jolly ole' soul being dragged off to a desolate prison or back alley. His long white beard being torn from his face. Then executed in the grandiose way that al-Qaida prefers.
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In my opinion, Saint Nich doesn't visit the Middle East these past several years. Like most Christians in the region, the jolly ole' lad probably hides his "signs of being Christian" if he does bring Christmas cheer to the region.
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All the while we here in the States need to keep our Christian brothers in the Middle East in our prayers. Easter will be coming up soon enough and other Holy Days will approach at their normal pace... but will the Christians still be in Iraq to celebrate them? Or by Easter will they all be in exile or executed before that celebration of our Lord and Savior's conquering of Death?
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A Message from the Persecuted Church
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Source Documents for this Post.
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The Guardian UK
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/23/iraq-christian-exodus-christmas
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Haaretz.com
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/christmas-requiem-for-iraq-s-christian-community-1.332680
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Washington Times
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/christmas-requiem-for-iraq-s-christian-community-1.332680

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