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Iraqi Christians Targeted In Order to Keep Them Oppressed
By Sabah Hajjar :: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 :: 39198 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – Christian churches in Iraq continue to receive threatening notices foreshadowing potentially violent attacks against the non-Muslim religious centers.  In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul parishioners fear the worst after a letters were received asking them not to cooperate with US forces. 

“We don’t cooperate with anyone.  They use this as an excuse to attack, torture, hold for ransom, and kill innocent people,” says Khalid Bunni, a parishioner in the region.  

Concern is growing that The Batallion of Just Punishment, Jihad Base in Mesopotamia which strongly opposes Christians entering the Iraqi police force, have begun an aggressive campaign to force Christians from the region once more. 

The letter stated, "We caution and warn anyone who tries to rob us through dealings with the Americans or through the spreading of American forces and/or police to protect the Holy Shrines in the Islamic Republic of Iraq, that these shrines would remain target of the freedom fighters.”

The letter made clear that non-Muslims would remain under oppression and forced into the Muslim Dhimmi system. "We remind the dhimmi people [Jews and Christians] that Iraq is for the noble Iraqis and not for how you are now."

Community leaders in the region suspect the letter actually originated from Ansar Al-Islam, a Kurdish Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda.  Muslim Kurds who have squatted on Christian lands in the North are collaborating with al-Qaeda to keep Christians out of the Iraq Police Force and increase tension in the region. 

“The Kurds benefit as long as there is fighting going on.  The Kurds remain ally of the coalition forces.  This wins them favor, gains them support and money, and makes it easier for them to finally gain their own autonomous region in northern Iraq and southern Turkey.   All that land was legally owned by Christians until Kurdish rebels began using the mountains as their place of operations to attack Iraq and Turkey, knowing that they could easily push Christians out of the region. Fearing that Christians on the police force will begin to uncover many of the corrupt efforts, they are being attacked and warned to leave the region and not join the police,” says Bunni.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.