Iraq: arrivel of US missionaries may trigger backlash warns archbishop


 Missionaries from American Christian sects arriving in Iraq could trigger the growth of extreme Moslem fundamentalism, warned the Latin-rite Catholic archbishop of Baghdad. In an interview with the Missionary News Service, Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman. who remained in Baghdad throughout the bombing, expressed concern that "Christian preachers have arrived who want to convert the Muslims." He said: "They are those groups that harangue people on the streets and want money. They put a notice up anywhere and open a church. They don't realize that they are creating an impossible atmosphere which, by offending the sensibility of the people, fosters the development of Shiite extremism." The Archbishop said there was no sign of a police or security presence on the streets and he feared the continuing instability in Iraq could lead to problems for Iraq's indigenous Christians. He said: "The civilian population more or less identifies Iraqi Christians with Westerners and, therefore, with the Americans." Source: MISNA

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