Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christians under attack in Iraq - More flee to France

Victims of Church attack

UN Condemns Attacks

The United Nations has condemned the brutal attacks against Iraqi Christians by Islamic militants.

In the past 10 days, the Christian community has been targeted by a series of bombings and an attack on a Baghdad Catholic church. More than 60 people have been killed.

The U.N. Security Council said it's appalled by the acts of violence, calling them a blow against religious diversity and democracy.

The council added that it condemned all attacks in Iraq, "particularly those motivated by religious hatred."

French ambassador Gerard Araud also told reporters that Iraq's Christians are "on the frontline of the fight for democracy."

Meanwhile, 37 survivors of October's deadly Baghdad church attack and their families arrived in France on Thursday. The French government has offered them asylum and will also welcome another 90 Iraqi Christians to their country in the next few days.

"France supports their desire to remain and live in peace on their land, where they have lived for centuries," French Immigration Minister Eric Besson said.

Bessen explained that the move is part of France's program for Iraqis belonging to "vulnerable religious minorities."

Pakistan Court Sentences Christian woman to death for blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) – A Pakistani court has sentenced to death a Christian mother of five for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman and sparking protests from rights group Thursday.

Asia Bibi, 45, was sentenced Monday by a local court in Nankana district in Pakistan's central province Punjab, about 75 kilometres (47 miles) west of the country's cultural capital of Lahore.

Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy, but the case spotlights the Muslim country's controversial laws on the subject which rights activists say encourages Islamist extremism in a nation wracked by Taliban attacks.

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