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Shammu
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« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2008, 03:54:31 PM »

Quote
The United States government is concealing Iran’s role in the 9/11 attack, says Kenneth Timmerman, world-renowned investigative journalist and contributing editor of Newsmax.

I wouldn't be surprised. If the government did know about the attack there would have been a reason for keeping it quite. It could also be that Bush as a Christian, would understand Biblical prophecy. Yes the United States is not named, in the Bible but, all nations are mentioned.

Though this could also be a conspiracy theory. We have seen enough of them over the years. And after reading the book, you will get the impression that Timmerman would rather not bother with facts precisely because they undermine his conspiracy theory. That is after reading Chapters 1-3, and 7. All I think the book is good for is as "fire starter" for my fireplace.
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« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2008, 02:11:58 PM »

Are these our future allies? Iraq may execute MP for crime of visiting Israel

Prophecy News Watch

First his two sons were murdered. Now he faces prosecution. The reason for Mithal al-Alusi's troubles? Visiting Israel and advocating peace with the Jewish state - something Iraq's leaders refuse to consider.

The Iraqi is at the center of a political storm after his fellow lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to strip him of his immunity and allow his prosecution for visiting Israel - a crime punishable by death under a 1950s-era law. Such a fate is unlikely for al-Alusi, though he may lose his party's sole seat in parliament.

Because he had visited Israel, many Iraqis assume the maverick legislator was the real target of the assassins who killed his sons in 2005 while he escaped unharmed.

Now he is in trouble for again visiting Israel and attending a conference a week ago at the International Institute for Counterterrorism.

"He wasn't set to speak, but he was in the audience and conversed with a lecturer on a panel about insurgency and terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel," said conference organizer Eitan Azani. "We didn't invite him. He came on his own initiative."

Al-Alusi has a German passport, allowing him to travel without visa restrictions imposed on other Iraqis. Lawmakers accused him of humiliating the nation with a trip to the "enemy" state.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor called the reaction to al-Arusi's visit "very distressing" and said it was sad this was the response to someone who merely visited Israel and was interested in a dialogue with it.

"It is very unfortunate that the reaction was so violent and aggressive," he said. "It adds nothing."

Palmor said Israel was appreciative of al-Alusi's "courage," and that the reactions to his visit were an example of the extremism that was plaguing that country and leading to so much bloodshed there.

The uproar shows how far Iraq has moved from the early US goal of creating a democracy that would make peace with Israel and remove a critical force from the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The US Embassy declined comment. "It is an issue for the Iraqi parliament, not the US Mission to Iraq," said spokesman Armand Cucciniello.

"What has happened was a catastrophe for democracy," Al-Alusi told The Associated Press in an interview in his Baghdad home. "Within an hour's time, the parliament became the policeman, the investigator, the judge, the government and the law. It was a sham trial."

Al-Alusi said he went to Israel to seek international support for Iraq as it struggles against terrorism, and insisted that the outcry reflected Iranian meddling in Iraq's internal affairs - an accusation often leveled by Sunnis like himself against Iraq's mostly Shi'ite neighbor.

"Iran is behind Hamas and Hizbullah and many other terrorist organizations. Israelis are suffering like me, like my people. So we need to be together," he said. "Peace will have more of a chance."

Iraq sent troops to three Arab wars against Israel, and fired Scud missiles at it in the 1991 Gulf War. It remains technically at war with the Jewish state. Iraq's once-thriving Jewish community has shriveled to just a few people, most having fled after Israel was established in 1948.
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« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2008, 12:17:56 AM »

Neighbors vow to help Iraq
Arab News
24 October 2008

AMMAN/BAGHDAD: Interior ministers of Iraq and eight of its neighboring countries met in Amman yesterday and vowed to support the Baghdad government in strengthening its security and stability.

The meeting coincided with the handover of Babil province, part of what was once known as the “Triangle of Death,” to Iraqi security by US forces.

The Amman conference was significant as it came at a time when the Iraqi government is locked in intense negotiations with the United States on a long-term security pact that reportedly provides, among other things, for the withdrawal of the allied forces from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Interior Minister Prince Naif, who led the Saudi delegation, said the conference was a success. “All countries neighboring Iraq want the Iraqi people to live in peace and security,” Naif told reporters after the meeting.

The Kingdom will extend all possible support to the ongoing efforts to ensure the security and stability of Iraq, the prince said. “The situation in Iraq will affect not only the Gulf region but the whole humanity,” he said, adding that security is essential for Iraq’s progress at political, developmental and social levels.

Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Iran and Turkey, and officials from the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Arab League attended the meeting, which denounced all forms of terrorist activities and affirmed the need to protect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and Arab identity of Iraq.

The meeting also supported Iraq’s efforts to strengthen security; agreed to prevent terrorists from using their countries as bases for terrorist operations; and called for measures to prevent intruders and arms smuggling through their borders.

The ministers decided to sign security agreements with Iraq; activate existing bilateral security cooperation; and support Iraqi security machinery. Their next meeting will be in Egypt.

Iranian Interior Minister Ali Kordan said that Tehran opposed any document that threatens Iraqi interests, in an apparent reference to a draft of the Washington-Baghdad security pact. “We believe that the Iraqi people must remain strong enough to take their own decisions in line with their interests. Iran will support any document that is accepted by the Iraqis,” Kordan told the meeting. “The American troops must leave Iraq unconditionally and in accordance with a timetable,” he added.

Babil is the 12th of 18 Iraqi provinces to be placed under Iraqi control as a sign of improving security. US forces will remain in the area to assist the Iraqis when needed. At a transfer ceremony held near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 US commander in Iraq, said security gains have been remarkable with the number of attacks falling about 80 percent from an average of 20 per week a year ago.

But he cautioned that “while the enemies of Iraq are down, they are not necessarily defeated.” With Babil’s handover to the Iraqi government, the only province left under US control in southern Iraq is Wasit, a rural desert region that borders Iran. Wasit will be transferred to Iraqi authorities on Oct. 29, said Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, US commander south of Baghdad.

Other provinces that remain to be handed over are north of the capital, where violence has been slower to decline after insurgents fled security crackdowns in Baghdad and surrounding areas.

Salim Al-Musilmawi, Babil’s provincial governor, credited tribal leaders and Sunnis who turned against Al-Qaeda in Iraq in a US-funded revolt with the downturn in violence. “Today’s security handover is the fruit of the victory over Al-Qaeda,” he said at the ceremony.

Meanwhile in Baghdad, a man rammed his car into the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry convoy as it passed through the central Bab Al-Sharji area. Minister Mahmoud Mohammed Al-Radhi escaped unharmed but three of his guards were killed.

Neighbors vow to help Iraq
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« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2008, 02:14:34 PM »

Iran: We arm Middle Eastern 'liberation armies'
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

A top Revolutionary Guards commander has said Iran is supplying weapons to "liberation armies" in the Middle East, a state-run news agency reported - the first official confirmation the country provides weapons to armed groups in the region.

Slideshow: Pictures of the week Gen. Hossein Hamedani, deputy commander of a volunteer militia that is part of the elite Revolutionary Guards, did not provide specific details. But Iran is widely believed to provide weapons to Hizbullah. The US military has also accused Iran of arming Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

"Not only are our armed forces self-sufficient, liberation armies of the region get part of their weapons from us," Borna news quoted Hamedani as saying on its Web site late Sunday.

In the past, Iran - a majority Shi'ite country - has denied arming Hizbullah, saying it only provided political and financial support. The Iranian government has also denied providing weapons or financial support to Shi'ite militants fighting US forces in Iraq.

But the US military has said it has evidence that elements of the Mahdi army, an Iraqi militia loyal to anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have been armed by Iran.

Hamedani also said Iran has no shortage of advanced missile systems.

"Our chemical engineers have upgraded Iran's missile capability," he was quoted as saying.

Hamedani didn't elaborate, but Iranian officials have said they successfully tested a solid fuel motor for the medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile, a technological breakthrough for Iran.

Experts say solid fuel increases the accuracy of missiles in reaching targets. But many in the West have expressed doubt about Iran's professed military accomplishments.

Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.
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« Reply #49 on: October 28, 2008, 11:54:18 AM »

British defense secretary: Troops to hand over Basra airport next year
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Britain's defense secretary on Tuesday said he expects British troops to hand over their last major base in Iraq to local forces by the end of next year.

If all goes well, the handover of Basra's airport would take place by the end of 2009, John Hutton said. Britain has about 4,000 troops based at the airport on the outskirts of Iraq's second city.

Hutton said he is optimistic about the situation in Basra, where security is "significantly better" than in recent years.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he expects Britain to withdraw the majority of its troops from Iraq by mid-2009. Hutton said he expects "very significant decisions about UK force levels" early next year.
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« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2008, 11:57:44 AM »

Syria's response to raid: Shuts down US school, cultural center
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAMASCUS, Syria

The Syrian government has ordered that an American school and a US cultural center in Damascus be closed in response to Sunday's deadly raid by US helicopters near the Syrian border with Iraq.

Slideshow: Pictures of the week The official Syrian news agency SANA said the decision came at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Naji Otari, and that the Syrian education minister was given instructed to implement the decision.

Syria claims US troops in four helicopters attacked a building near the border with Iraq and killed eight people on Sunday.

US officials said the raid killed a top operative of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ghadiyah, who intelligence suggested was about to conduct an attack in Iraq. The US Treasury Department has identified him as one of four major figures in al-Qaida's Iraq wing who were living in Syria.

The attack was seen as another sign that the United States is aggressively launching military raids across the borders of Afghanistan and Iraq to destroy insurgent sanctuaries.

In Pakistan, US missile strikes have killed at least two senior al-Qaida operatives this year, and ramped up the threat to groups suspected of plotting attacks on Western troops in Afghanistan and terror strikes in the West.
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« Reply #51 on: November 15, 2008, 12:03:41 AM »

Iraq's damaged Babylon hopes for revival
14 November 2008
By Andrew North
BBC News, Babylon, Iraq

Picture 1

Beneath a patch of stony, desert ground on the River Euphrates, surrounded by date palms, many of the secrets of the cradle of civilisation are still waiting to be uncovered.

But the site of ancient Babylon in Iraq - with its legendary hanging gardens and the Tower of Babel reaching to the sky - has suffered under Saddam Hussein's rule and years of conflict.

Parts have been looted, altered or built on, and some of the historic soil has even been used by US coalition soldiers to fill sandbags.

Iraq's former ruler left the biggest mark, recreating his own version of Babylon on top of some of the original ruins, parts of which date back more than 4,000 years.

Today, the site itself is peaceful, almost forgotten, with only a few sleepy guards and the manager there to greet us when we arrive.

It is 85km (55 miles) south of Baghdad. But getting there means passing through one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq - the so-called "triangle of death" just beyond the capital.

It is a bit quieter now, with Iraqi army and police checkpoints every mile in places.

'Substantial damage'

In the UK, an exhibition just opened at the British Museum in London on Babylon and the myths that surround it.

Many experts question, for example, whether the hanging gardens really existed.

But the exhibition has put the city's story back in the limelight.

The museum has also focused attention on what it says is "substantial damage" caused by US and Polish troops who had a base here until 2005.

"We have many important historical sites here, but still only a quarter of the area has been excavated" Maythem ubgone19

One patch of flat ground we saw had been concreted over to serve as a helicopter landing pad.

A fuel store was carved out of the soil nearby - disturbing key evidence of the past before it could be explored, archaeologists complain.

The Americans say their presence helped to deter looters.

But manager Maythem ubgone19, working with the UN's heritage organisation Unesco, says he is pressing for compensation.

What you first see when you arrive is a large replica of the city's Ishtar Gate, commissioned by Saddam Hussein.

Beyond are a series of courtyards and arches, surrounded by high walls and ramparts - his version of the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled Babylon in the 6th century BC.

It is built along the outline of the original ruins, and at the base you can still see some of the old bricks.

But Saddam Hussein went further, inscribing his name on many of the bricks.

"This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq," they read.

But he did also protect some parts of the site, such as the main avenue known as the Procession Street.

Rebellion

I first visited Babylon while Saddam Hussein was still in power, in 2000.

At the time, there was a huge portrait of him and Nebuchadnezzar at the entrance to the ruins.

That has gone now, but the huge palace Saddam Hussein had constructed on another part of the ruins still looks down on the site.

"Don't photograph that building," the minder with me at the time instructed, without saying what it was. He was terrified even to look at it.

Eventually, when we were alone, he whispered that he did not agree with what had been done here - a fleeting moment of rebellion against his then ruler's megalomania.

Today, site manager Mr ubgone19 can be more open, condemning the desecration.

The main ruins you can see now are of Nebuchadnezzar's northern palace, some 2,600 years old, and parts of the old city walls.

Picture 2

Saddam Hussein had a statue of a lion killing a man, which was found there, set up on a plinth nearby.

It was Nebuchadnezzar who is supposed to have built the hanging gardens for his wife. The story goes that she was from the mountains, but living in this desert city, she missed the sight of greenery.

Perhaps the real story is still there underground.

Mr ubgone19 hopes that one day, proper archaeological exploration will resume.

"We have many important historical sites here," he says, "but still only a quarter of the area has been excavated."

Its importance, and that of the many other ancient sites in Iraq, cannot be overestimated.

Long before there were any towns or cities in Europe, Babylon was thriving.

Modern civilisation as we know it now - built around organised, planned cities - first emerged in what is now Iraq.

Before that, humans had only lived as nomads.

Mr ubgone19 says he hopes Babylon can regain its World Heritage status - removed because of Saddam Hussein's alterations - and eventually re-open to visitors.

But at the moment, the shutters on the old souvenir shop I remember from 2000 are still down.

Iraq's damaged Babylon hopes for revival
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« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2008, 12:18:02 AM »

A few pictures of Babylon, as it is now. These links are directly to the news, in pictures.



Now a few of you maybe asking questions on why, I posted about this development..........

During Tribulation, Babylon WILL be the most important site of the anti-christ till it is destroyed by God. There are two Babylons mentioned in Revelation.

The first Babylon described in Revelations 17, Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, represents the apostate church of the last days which will be based in Rome.

The second Babylon, referred to in Revelations 18, and Isaiah 13, represents the rebuilt city of Babylon in Iraq.
During the tribulation period, Babylon will once again become the world's center for demonic religious worship, and also an  economic superpower which thrives under satan's mark system.

Further proof that these two are separate entities lies in the prophecies about the destruction of the two Babylons.

Revelations  17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Revelations 17:16 - John reveals that the apostate Babylonian church will be destroyed by the Antichrist's ten kings at the mid point of the seven year tribulation period.

On the other hand, the actual city of Babylon will be destroyed by God during the Great Day of the Lord (Isaiah 13)
using fire from the heavens just as He did in Sodom & Gomorrah. This annihilation of the city of Babylon will occur 1260 days after the Antichrist destroys the false church in Rome.
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« Reply #53 on: November 15, 2008, 12:41:58 AM »

Iraq's al-Sadr renews threats to attack US
By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press Writer
Fri Nov 14, 2:24 pm ET

BAGHDAD – Iraq's two most powerful Shiite clerics on Friday challenged the government's planned security pact with the United States, undercutting efforts to reach a deal before the U.N. mandate for American troops in Iraq expires Dec. 31.

Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr renewed threats to unleash his militia fighters to attack U.S. forces unless they leave Iraq immediately, and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani vowed to intervene if he concludes the proposed agreement governing the presence of U.S. forces infringes on national sovereignty.

Iraqi officials have said they will seek a renewal of the U.N. Security Council's mandate if the pact, which would allow American troops to stay in Iraq through 2011, is not passed by parliament by year's end.

The pressure from the clerics showcases the precarious position of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Most of his Shiite allies reject the deal, including the senior partner in his coalition, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, and his own spiritual guide, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah of Lebanon.

Al-Sadr's threat to attack American troops if they don't leave came in a statement by the Iran-based cleric that was read to thousands of supporters at Friday prayers in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City enclave and the city of Kufa, south of Baghdad.

"I repeat my call on the occupier to get out from the land of our beloved Iraq, without retaining bases or signing agreements," he said. "If they do stay, I urge the honorable resistance fighters ... to direct their weapons exclusively against the occupier."

The statement did not say when or under what conditions the attacks might resume.

Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia fought the Americans in 2004 and again last spring, although it was battered by the U.S. military. Hundreds of militiamen died in those battles, but the tenacity of al-Sadr's loyalists forced American troops into weeks of fighting.

Al-Sadr called on breakaway cells from the Mahdi Army to join the "Promised Day Brigade," a name he used for the first time Friday. It refers to a unit of seasoned and loyal fighters who remained armed after he ordered the militia disbanded in July.

The cleric is backed by 30 lawmakers in the 275-member parliament and enjoys the support of a significant segment of Shiites in Iraq's oil-rich south, also home to the shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala. Last month, tens of thousands of al-Sadr supporters rallied in Baghdad to oppose the security pact.

But the biggest threat to the proposed agreement was the warning relayed from al-Sistani, who has the political muscle to sink the deal.

An official close to al-Sistani said Friday that the cleric has vowed to "directly intervene" if the final version of the agreement breaches Iraq's sovereignty. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Al-Sistani does not talk to reporters, instead conveying his political views through edicts or leaks by officials at his office in Najaf. The tone of Friday's comment suggests he wants al-Maliki's government to heed his concerns before it refers the draft to parliament.

Most of Iraq's Shiites consider al-Sistani to be infallible, and politicians routinely consult with him before they take a position on key issues. The agreement would have virtually no chance of parliamentary approval if he publicly spoke against it.

Al-Sistani's reported view was stronger than an Oct. 29 announcement from the cleric's office that said he wanted Iraqi sovereignty to be protected in the agreement.

The escalation by al-Sistani is likely to rattle al-Maliki, whose government has sought changes to the pact to satisfy critics.

The Bush administration last week responded to Iraqi demands for changes in the text before al-Maliki sends the deal to his Cabinet and then to parliament. U.S. officials described the text as final and said it was up to the Iraqis to push the process further, but Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh later said the changes agreed to by Washington were "not enough."

Iraq is understood to have demanded guarantees for its right to try U.S. soldiers and defense contractors for serious crimes committed off-duty and off-base and to ensure that the United States does not use Iraqi territory to attack a neighboring country, like Iran or Syria.

It also wanted stronger language to clarify that U.S. troops cannot stay in Iraq after Dec. 31, 2011.

Many Shiite politicians have looked to al-Sistani for political cover on the question of the agreement, fearing that publicly supporting it in a country where most people see the Americans as occupiers could cost their parties in provincial elections due by Jan. 31 and a national ballot late in 2009.

This is particularly true of the Supreme Council, al-Maliki's senior coalition partner and the largest Shiite party. It is closely allied with al-Sistani and has the additional worry of losing the support of Iran if it publicly backs the agreement.

Iran, which enjoys considerable influence with Iraq's Shiite parties, bitterly opposes the deal, which it sees as enshrining the U.S. military presence in Iraq and posing a threat to its own security.

Iraq's al-Sadr renews threats to attack US
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« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2008, 01:39:59 PM »

Troops out of Iraq by end of 2009: Iraqi official
Nov 14 2008

All British troops will be out of Iraq by the end of next year, Iraq's national security advisor told AFP Friday.

"By the end of next year there will be no British troops in Iraq. By the end of 2009," Muwafaq al-Rubaie said, adding that negotiations between London and Baghdad on the pull-out had begun two weeks ago.

However, a defence ministry spokesman in London said in response that Britain has "no timetable" on the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq.

Around 4,000 British troops are currently serving in Iraq, most of them in and around the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Troops out of Iraq by end of 2009: Iraqi official
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« Reply #55 on: December 25, 2008, 10:42:08 AM »

Iraqi government sponsors Christmas celebration
Picture of Jesus floats overhead while official declares Iraqis 'all Christian'

Christians, the first people of Iraq, have faced persecution, threats, assassination and mass extermination in recent years. But to celebrate Christmas 2008, the government formally recognized the Christian faith by sponsoring a Baghdad city-center party featuring a huge poster of Jesus suspended by a balloon and an artist creating oil paintings representing Jesus.

According to a report from CNN, the agency's correspondent was told by Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf, "All Iraqis are Christian today!"

Ken Joseph Jr. of the Assyrian Christians told WND walking through the streets of Washington, D.C., provides a visitor with no link between the decorations and festivities of the holiday time and the birth of Jesus.

Yet in Baghdad, "the government sponsored a special Christmas celebration for the Christians. The main focus was the huge picture of Jesus," he said.

"It's ironic that this was part of our whole struggle. We have fantastic support from the Iraqi side. They love the Christians," he said.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrisssey wrote, "Can anyone imagine this celebration taking place with government support in any other Arab nation — even those normally described as 'moderate'? Not only does this celebration include the standard secular imagery of Santa Claus, they actually put a picture of Jesus Christ on a hot-air balloon. That's a big deal in a Muslim nation, where they object strenuously (and often violently) to iconography. Suggesting that Iraqis are 'all Christians' on any day would get a Muslim fired or worse anyplace else in the region."

He continued, "This is what victory looks like. Iraq has settled into what Condoleezza Rice called a 'multi-confessional' society, one that has begun to promote a religious tolerance that is unlike anything seen in that region in decades, if not centuries or ever."

The CNN report said the celebration featured tables loaded with cookies and cakes, with Santa balloons hanging from trees.

It was held at a public park in eastern Baghdad and included a Christmas tree and military band, which played martial music instead of Christmas carols, the report said.

Khalaf told the CNN correspondent Iraq lost thousands of people to sectarian and ethic violence.

"Now that we have crossed that hurdle and destroyed the incubators of terrorism," he told the network, "and the security situation is good, we have to go back and strengthen community ties."

The report cited the presence of Father Saad Sirop Hanna, a Chaldean Christian priest. He recalled the 28 days he was held by kidnappers in 2006, because of his Christianity.

"We are just attesting that things are changing in Baghdad, slowly, but we hope that this change actually is real. We will wait for the future to tell us the truth about this," he said.

Baghdad is not the only Iraqi city to celebrate, either. According to AsiaNews, Christians in Kirkuk are awaiting a return of midnight Mass, an institution banished during years of conflict and violence.

The report said while the event hasn't yet been returned to the traditional midnight hour – it's held these days at 5:30 in the afternoon – the assembly itself is a promise to the Christian community.

Joseph said the Christian community in Iraq dates to the same time period the apostles were spreading their faith. In fact, he said, the people of the original Assyrian Christian community were among the first to send missionaries to other nations.

To this day, many Assyrian Christians still speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. They are also the people of ancient Nineveh, the city visited by the biblical prophet Jonah that lies today near the modern city of Mosul, Iraq.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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