It’s starting to look like an all out murderous offense to get rid of Christians completely in a land of ancient Christianity.

The recent slaughter in a Baghdad cathedral prompted a Vatican diplomat to plead with Interpol to help stop the violence.

“The violation of human rights occurs around the world today in far too many ways. One of the most glaring is that being experienced by the Christian communities of the Middle East,” said Archbishop Carlo Vigano, secretary-general of the Vatican City governor’s office.

The archbishop spoke Nov. 8 in Doha, Qatar, at a general assembly of Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization…

Archbishop Vigano said the Oct. 31 siege and attempted rescue at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, which left 58 dead and at least 75 injured, was “an act of unheard-of ferocity against defenseless people united in prayer.”

The archbishop, who once served as a Vatican diplomat in Iraq, said that for years Iraqi Christians have been the object of “atrocious attacks” as well as daily limitations. On the other hand, he said, Iraq’s dominant Muslim communities also have suffered terrorist attacks, often by Islamic groups that “show no respect, not for the dignity of the human person, and not even for (those belonging) to the same religion.”

At about the same time the archbishop was making his appeal, new attacks were launched all across Baghdad. At Christians.

A string of anti-Christian bombings has cost six more lives in the wake of a Baghdad church bloodbath, sowing panic in Iraq’s 2,000-year-old minority on Wednesday, many of whom now want to flee.

Note that. These families are descendents of original Christians of the Holy Land. Islamist extremists are on a murderous campaign to drive them all out.

“Since Tuesday evening, there have been 13 bombs and two mortar attacks on homes and shops of Christians in which a total of six people were killed and 33 injured,” a defence ministry official said. “A church was also damaged.”…

On November 3, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the hostage-taking at the capital’s Syrian Catholic cathedral and warned it would step up attacks on Christians.

As Christians converged on their churches on Wednesday to seek counsel from their religious leaders, the capital’s Syrian Catholic archbishop made an emotional appeal for Western countries to come to their rescue.

“It would be criminal on the part of the international community not to take care of the security of the Christians,” Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka said inside the church targeted on October 31 where he tried to console his flock.

“Everybody is scared,” he said. “People are asking who is going to protect them, how are they going to stay on in Iraq. We are trying to encourage them to stay patient.”

The UN Security Council said Wednesday it was “appalled” by the militant attacks on Christians and Muslims in Iraq.

There is “a deliberate will to destroy the Christian community” which is “on the frontline of the fight for democracy,” said France’s UN ambassador Gerard Araud.

The UN Security Council was “appalled by and condemned in the strongest terms the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Iraq, including today’s,” said British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant reading a council statement.

Therefore….what? What comes next? What will be the response, the strategy, the offense against such terrorism?

Somebody has to do something

“For the past two years now, my wife has been trying to persuade me to leave the country but I didn’t agree,” said 42-year-old labourer Raed Wissam from the Dora district of south Baghdad.

“Today, I feel sure she’s right because I don’t want to feel guilty if something bad happens to one of my children.”

Wissam said he was woken up at 6:00 am (0300 GMT) by an explosion. “I ran up to the roof to see what was going on and I heard three more blasts, with three Christian homes targeted. My two children wept.”

Emmanuel Karim, a 27-year-old IT worker, was about to go to work from his home in Camp Sara, central Baghdad, when a bomb exploded. The apparent target was the car of his uncle, who was among those killed on October 31.

“Fifteen minutes later, a second bomb exploded, killing a neighbour who was trying to put out the fire in the car… He was a Muslim. He was my friend,” said Karim, fighting back the tears.

This is an all-out assault of everyone who doesn’t believe what the terrorists believe, and that includes other Muslims.

In this new wave of attacks, the terrorists even stepped up the aggression in their statements, promising more bloodshed.

In the aftermath of the church massacre, The Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda front, announced its intention to open upon the country’s Christians “the doors of destruction and rivers of blood.”…

Earlier this week, a leading Iraqi clergyman accused the Iraqi government of abandoning Christians to a campaign of “premeditated ethnic cleansing”.

Athanasius Dawood, archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church, said the only hope of salvation for Iraqi Christians lay with Britain and other EU states.

“The Iraqi government is week, biased, if not extremist,” he said. “I ask the British government again to help the Iraqi Christians and grant them the rights of humanitarian asylum.”

This is an international emergency. What are we doing?

In responding to the attack, the White House issued a generic statement, saying the “United States strongly condemns this senseless act of hostage taking and violence by terrorists linked to al-Qaida in Iraq that occurred Sunday in Baghdad killing so many innocent Iraqis.”

The White House did not mention that the victims were Christians or that they had been attending church.

For Nina Shea, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, the White House response was “extremely political correct and uncaring.”

A prominent American Jewish leader agreed.

“We are stunned by the barbarity of this onslaught. We share the grief of the survivors, the families of victims, and our many friends in Christian communities worldwide,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

“But we are also outraged by the indifference of the international community. The only thing more outrageous than the systematic slaughter of families gathered in their place of worship is the overwhelming silence at this heinous act,” he added.

How not to be silent…

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....