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Iraqi Christians in Mosul Victims to Intense Violence
By Amer Hedow :: Monday, October 13, 2008 :: 58820 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - Despite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledge yesterday to protect Christians in Iraq after mass killings in the northern city of Mosul, thousands of Chaldeans flee as Islamic radicals turn-up the violence. 

Proving the weakness of Maliki’s government and the vulnerability of Iraqi Christians, a music store owner was shot to death in the northern city of Mosul.  Police sources said on Monday gunmen entered the store late on Sunday and shot dead the Iraqi Christian store owner and his nephew, who was wounded.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered an immediate investigation into the murders of Christians in Mosul and pledged to take all steps necessary to protect the community. 

"We will take immediate action to resolve the problems and difficulties faced by Christians in Mosul," Maliki said in a statement released by his office after meeting with two Christian lawmakers.

Iraq deployed around 1,000 police on the streets of Mosul earlier Sunday, after thousands of members of the minority group began to flee in terror following the worst surge of violence against them in five years.

Maliki also ordered a probe into the attacks on Christians in Mosul since September 28.  "I will instruct the security authorities in Nineveh province to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the (Christian) community so that they can live safely like the rest of the people in Iraq," Maliki said.

Mosul is the capital of Nineveh province.

"Christians have the right to live in safety and dignity and they are a fundamental part of the Iraqi people who deserve care and attention and appreciation and have their needs provided for," Maliki added.

Yunadem Kanna, one of two Christians in parliament, told AFP that Maliki had promised him action.

"I just met with Maliki and he promised to deliver," Kanna said, adding that the army and not just police had to move into the area in force if the law was to be upheld.

Since the US-led invasion of 2003 more than 200 Christians had been killed and a string of churches attacked, with the violence intensifying in recent weeks, particularly in the north, Iraqi Christian leaders have said.

There were around 800,000 Christians in Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, a number that has since shrunk by around a third as the faithful have fled the country, Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako told news reporters last week.

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.