Thousands protest over increase in violence against Iraq Christians
Published 14/11/2010 | 05:00
Several thousand people from across Europe gathered in Brussels yesterday to protest against a recent escalation of violence against Christians in Iraq.
"We want our voice to be heard by the European community," said Suleyman Gultekin of the European Syriac Union, which organised the march. "We are attacked systematically" in Iraq.
Syriac Christians have lived in the Middle East for centuries and now make up a small minority in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Turkey. The demonstration follows a string of violent attacks against the Christian community in Iraq, which has already dwindled from 1.5 million to about 400,000 over the past decade.
Gunmen stormed a Sunday Mass service in Baghdad on October 31, killing 68 people -- including two priests.
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Iran, also a Shiite majority country, has backed Mr al-Maliki's efforts to seek another term as a way to consolidate Shiite power. Iran also lobbied heavily to minimise the role of Sunnis in the new government.
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Written in upper and lower case, it contains remarks from Higgins including: "i was very upset at the time in respect of personal and financial matters". The letter was expected to fetch between £1,500 (€1,770) and £2,000.