BAGHDAD, Iraq, APRIL 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Christian churches in Baghdad have been forced to remove crosses as threats from Islamic extremists cause pressure to mount. Wednesday was the bloodiest day in Baghdad since the start of U.S. security operations. Nearly 200 people were killed in a string of attacks in Iraq's capital. Meanwhile AsiaNews reported new threats to Christians. The churches in the Dora region, a Christian quarter of Baghdad, have received threats from an unknown Islamic group, which warned: "Get rid of the cross or we will burn your churches." Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad told AsiaNews: "In the last two months many churches have been forced to remove the crosses from their domes. "In the case of the Church of St. George, in Assira, Muslim extremists took the situation into their own hands: They climbed onto the roof and ripped down the cross." Bishop Warduni added that "in the Chaldean Church of St. John, in Dora, which has been without a pastor for months, the parishioners themselves decided to move the cross to a safer place following repeated threats." The Church of Sts. Peter and Paul has received the same threats but so far has withstood the intimidation. Ultimatum AsiaNews reported that the same unknown Islamic group active in Dora seems to have delivered an ultimatum to the Christian community there: Convert to Islam or die. - www.zenit.org
------------------------- God bless the lovers of Christ in this region and may He give them the courage they need to be faithful to that cross. Crucified Love is the only way to truly win hearts. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. May this crucified love melt the cold hearts of their aggressors!