March to Downing Street to call for end to attacks in Christians in Iraq

Iraqis in the UK, concerned over a wave of attacks on Christians in Mosul, will march to Downing Street on Saturday November 1.

They plan to deliver a petition to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, asking the Government to act immediately to prevent further killings, persecution and eviction of the Iraqi Christians in Mosul and other parts of Iraq.

Recent months have seen thousands of Christians flee the northern city of Mosul in the wake of a string of murders. Many Christians had taken refuge there from persecution in other parts of the country.

Since the end of August, at least 14 Christians have been murdered, according to official reports. The victims have included a doctor, an engineer, two builders, two businessmen and a 15-year-old boy.

About a third of Iraq’s estimated 800,000 Christians are believed to have fled abroad since the invasion of 2003.

Yesterday, the Chaldean Bishop Rabban Al Qassays told AsiaNews: “The city of Mosul has been emptied of Christians:.

“Threats, sanctions, discrimination, blackmail, Islamic propaganda in the schools, slogans on the walls, have driven even the moderate Muslims to stop defending their Christian brothers from intolerance,” he said.

“Once they used to open their homes to the Christians; now, out of fear of fanaticism and terrorism, they do not even dare show that they are friends or acquaintances of Christians.”

Saturday’s march will begin at Whitehall Court, at the junction with Horseguards Avenue, at 12 midday and go along Whitehall to Downing Street.