The massacre at the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in Baghdad is the latest example of the horrific suffering Christians have endured in a nation shattered by war. As reported for The New American on October 29, Iraqi Christians have suffered persecution since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003; any "victory" which U.S. leaders trumpet in that nation has not been enjoyed by the hundreds of thousands of Christians who have now fled their homeland. For many, the persecution carried out by Islamic militants has made emigration a necessity.
A report from the AP on October 29 cited a statement from an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul, South Korea, saying that North Koreans had fired two rounds toward South Korea along the border and South Korean troops immediately fired back.
Over seven years have passed since President Bush declared victory in Iraq, and two months have now gone by since Obama declared that same conflict to be over, but for Christians in the Middle East, such talk of victory is hollow. For centuries, Christians living under Muslim domination have endured cycles of persecution and tolerance, but now an virtually unprecedented exodus of Christians from the region is underway.
On October 27, AFP news service quoted from a statement issued by Russia’s foreign ministry calling for "clemency" for former Iraqi Deputy Premier Tariq Aziz, who had been sentenced to death by hanging by Iraq's top criminal court a day earlier.
Voice of America and other news sources reported on October 25 that Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has been sentenced to death by hanging by Iraq's top criminal court. Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic, was the only Christian in Saddam Hussein’s government, which was dominated by Sunni Muslims.
U.S. taxpayers, it seems, are not the only ones being taken for a ride by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The New York Times reported on October 23 that Iranian taxpayers, too, are being forced to pony up millions of dollars for the Karzai regime, a story that was confirmed, at least in part, by Karzai himself two days later.
The publication of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the Iraq war by the whistleblower WikiLeaks earned condemnation from governments on three continents within hours of their posting on the Internet. The U.S. government, the British defense ministry, and the Iraqi prime minister's office all quickly condemned the documents being revealed to the public.
The Associated Press reported on October 21 that government officials in China had taken a woman from her home during her eighth month of pregnancy and forcibly aborted her baby.The report cited a statement made by the woman’s husband, Luo Yanquan — identified as a construction worker — who said that his wife “was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on October 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.”
Liu Xiaobo, co-author of "Charter 08," was arrested two days before that freedom manifesto was published on December 10, 2008, and was finally sentenced on Christmas Day 2009 to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” Late last week he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his trouble.
Pakistani authorities on October 10 reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan for NATO forces, ending an 11-day blockade. The Pakistani government imposed the blockade in response to a September 30 NATO airstrike at the border post, which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani troops. On October 5, the United States took responsibility for the helicopter attack and issued an apology, explaining that the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said General David H. Petraeus.