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Pope concern for Iraqi Christians after two terror attacks

Pope John Paul II has expressed his concern for Christians in Iraq after terrorists made fresh attacks on two Christian sites in the northern city of Mosul.

Catholic News Service reports that after praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square yesterday, the Holy Father conveyed his "spiritual closeness to the faithful, shaken by the attack."

An Armenian Catholic church and the Chaldean Catholic bishop's residence were destroyed on Tuesday in two separate bomb attacks in Mosul.

The Pope prayed for the intercession of the Virgin Mary to help "the beloved Iraqi people" experience "a time of reconciliation and peace."

In Mosul, an armed group of commandos stormed the Armenian Catholic church at 2:30 p.m. Witnesses said the attackers ushered everyone out of the church, then detonated two bombs, leaving the church in ruins.

About two hours later, another group of armed men attacked the Chaldean bishop's residence in another part of the city. The men ordered people in the building out before setting off explosives, which engulfed the residence in flames.

No one was killed or injured in the two attacks, according to news reports.

Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad lamented the fresh violence and warned that local Christians were becoming "increasingly worried that they will be targets of such acts of violence."

"Christians are worried about this kind of violence happening over and over again," he said in a Dec. 7 interview with Asianews, an Italian-based missionary news agency.

He said the "Iraqi government is impotent to prevent such acts."

Pope expresses concern for Iraqi Christians after two terror attacks (Catholic News Service 8/12/04)

Catholics rebuild churches in Iraq despite ongoing violence (CathNews 26/11/04)
Pax Christi Australia call for end to Falluja violence (CathNews 19/11/04)
Mass for slain aid worker Margaret Hassan (CathNews 18/11/04)

Mosul: Bishop watches home burn after terrorists strike (Aid to the Church in Need 8/12/04)
Pope condemns Iraq church attacks (BBC 8/12/04)
Pope Prays for Iraqi People after Bomb Attacks on Churches (The Scotsman 8/12/04)
Patriarch Delly mourns the destruction of the most beautiful symbol of Iraq's Chaldean Church ( 7/12/04)
Grave and cowardly acts, says papal nuncio ( 7/12/04)
Chaldean Bishop's Palace and Catholic-Armenian Church attacked in Mosul ( 7/12/04)
Pope expresses concern for Iraqi Christians after two terror attacks (Catholic News Service 8/12/04)
Iraqi bombers hits 2 more Catholic churches (Catholic World News 7/12/04)
Iraq churches bombed (Reuters/ 8/12/04)
Fighting fear with faith (Washington Times 29/11/04)

9 Dec 2004