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December 24th, 2010
10:43 AM ET

Iraq's Christmas fears

Many Christians in Iraq are afraid they'll be targeted by militants. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Iraq

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. bob

    After reading comments here I have to put my 2 cents in.. Religion has caused nothing but wars.. Period. What better way to "control" people than to create an alpha male that you can't confront, can't reason with or kill and if you don't "follow" his rules, you go to hell. Scare tactics don't work anymore like they used to. Now its "kill in the name of god and get 20 virgins" I'd prefer a few pros in there, but that's just me. Religion is like politics, no matter what proof you have in front of you, you're still wrong. As we get more information, the old writings start to make less sense, its too bad when they wrote the word of god, they didn't have the hubble telescope.
    Too bad we couldn't get all the extremist to one part of the world, let them duke it out like a huge WWE royal rumble. At least the rest of us could live in peace. Happy New Year!!

    December 30, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  2. Jesus is the final word

    @riley

    If you saw someone in harms way which one of these options is hateful.
    1. Suggest that the person move out of harms way
    or
    2. Just turn away without a care

    December 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  3. riley

    Oh poor Christians. how dare people try to stop them from teaching hate!

    December 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Derek

      *facepalm* As long as they're not preaching your brand of stupidity.

      January 3, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  4. jordygordy

    @ the solution comment #6 yeah christians did a lot of harm to world in the dark ages... But the muslim christian war goes back a thousand years or more... Besides, people were different back than, and times were different. Now though in a modern day perspective, muslims are worse there hasnt been ( as far i know) a christian crusade for several centuries, christianity has changed, we've become more peaceful, were not banging down peoples doors looking for non believelers anymore... But the heart of the muslim world hasnt changed much has it?

    December 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  5. Jesus is the final word

    @ peace2all

    I know I just made your point by saying if you read it as true you might think it is. So I ask you what you base your worldview on? Where did this all begin and how will it end? Are you saying there is no God or just that you can't find proof of which path to take?

    December 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Jesus is the final word

      You Said: "I know I just made your point by saying if you read it as true you might think it is."

      No problem... We are all here to learn and grow. And, my intention is certainly not to insult or demean, but to challenge people or more often than not, to ask sincere questions on their rationale, sources, reasoning, logic, beliefs, etc... As, others from time to time will challenge or question me about something i've posted. I very often learn something new that gets pointed out to me.

      As you can see, my questioning of you was not about getting into a metaphysical debate on is there a God or not, is there a Jesus or not, etc... but, what I was questioning was your 'lack' of you questioning your own 'beliefs' and inferring them as *unquestionable facts.*

      If you notice I really never said they 'aren't' facts, except in regards to maybe a few of your claims... because, as an 'agnostic' I need to be honorable in realizing that the biblical Christian worldview...'may'... be correct. I have no 'absolute' proof that you aren't right. See the difference...? So, I need to be open-minded.

      But, what I won't stand for is when someone is claiming their 'beliefs' as = 'absolute facts' without being able to back up the claims.

      You Said: "So I ask you what you base your worldview on? Where did this all begin and how will it end? Are you saying there is no God or just that you can't find proof of which path to take?"

      Again, as an 'agnostic' I make no claims to the 'absolute nature' of it... All.

      I will tell you that I did, several years ago have an NDE (Near-Death Experience). What i went through and experienced is really quite 'ineffable.' Now, I could say, just because I continued in...'awareness' let's say, that... that somehow 'proves' life after death, but, even having that experience, I 'can't' with intellectual honesty claim that, as it is all subjective speculation... no proof. All I can say was that I continued, peacefully and blissfully for a period of time. How long would it have continued...? Was it just my 'dying brain'...? You see there are those on this blog that would be *certain* about my experience, as either -dying brain, or ...there is some kind of life after death and it continues, citing different medical doctors and studies. But, the truth of the matter is, they still don't know.

      When people ask me or push me for an answer as to yes or no do we survive bodily death... I truly say I 'don't know.' If asked what is my personal *opinion*... then I say I do lean towards their being something, as far as survival. But, I think those that claim either way that they know for *sure* are claiming something that they cannot and do not *know for sure.*

      I know that I am not going into 'details' of my experience, because it would take too long... and trying to translate that experience into words, would basically be meaningless, really, most likely unless someone has had one (NDE).

      So, ultimately I am continually open-minded and seeking, and base my life, regardless if there is an after-life, I base it on the here and now, and what beliefs and worldviews work for me, in helping me be a happy, healthy, loving and giving contributing member of society.

      Thanks for chatting -Jesus is the final word...

      Peace...

      December 27, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  6. Peace2All

    @jesus is the final word

    You Said: -@peace2all– "yes I am going on what I grew up beleiving and it would be hard for me to change my view."

    No problem with your beliefs... as long as you recognize that they are just...'beliefs' and not necessarily 'facts.' As for it being hard for you to change your view, just because you grew up believing in a certain way, I would hope that you would still have the capacity for rational thought and open-mindedness, especially if... evidence or facts are provided that may run contrary to your beliefs, that you would be and are able to change due to new evidence of facts provided...yes...?

    You Said: " I am also going on facts like the copies of the bible that were found (known as the dead sea scrolls)."

    I was not aware that the body of ancient doc-u-ments from the nomadic and radical Essenes, collectively known as the 'dead sea scrolls' is considered as actual part of or copies of the 'bible'...?

    Also, I am not aware of 'any' mention of the man called Jesus of Nazareth... in any place in the dead sea scrolls. Certainly the scrolls give a pretty good glimpse into the group and their beliefs and culture of the time, but again, no mention of Jesus.

    So, not sure where you were going with this...?

    You Said: "Also the fact that the places of the bible are also found in archeological sites."

    Maybe true, but still a big logical leap from finding possible ancient verifiable tangible cities, to ... talking burning bushes, fitting thousands of species onto an ark, raising the dead, etc...

    You Said: "But what is even more convincing to me is the points about how these news articles about christians being persecuted are exactly what the bible says will happen near the end of this age."

    You 'EOD' (End of Days) believers have been around forever. When haven't the Christians been persecuted...? Except when they were the majority in power and actually 'doing' the persecuting themselves...? We have been hearing the 'end' is coming for a long, long time. Why is it all of a sudden so different now...? Countless people, i.e.. evangelical biblical literalists have been shouting that the 'end' is near ad infinitum.

    Heck, I think even Jesus talked about coming back pretty much immediately...yes...?

    You Said: "Also the way every nation will turn against Israel and how it will all be done in the name tolerance and peace."

    And this is somehow new...? I mean when the heck haven't the Jews been on the run or afraid for their lives throughout history...? I mean, really, this is 'not' new.

    You Said: "How is turning against Israel and persecuting christians tolerant?"

    It's not, certainly in relationship to this article. I would ask how is persecuting gays or even atheists or non-believers, or people that believe in other arguable equally valid religions as Christianity tolerant...?

    Peace...

    December 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • jeff

      The Dead Sea scrolls contain many copies of a large number of the books of the Old Testament, so, yes, they do contain portions of the Bible. (Not any stamped as "Gideon Bibles", of course 🙂 Because they are believed to have been placed there around 150 BC, there are no copies of the books of the New Testament. Of course, many Christians believe there are numerous prophesies foretelling of Christ in the Old Testament, and the great Isaiah scroll found in Qumran is an excellent example.

      grace and peace to all on a beautiful, snowy Christmas evening in Alabama!

      -jeff

      December 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @jeff

      Hey Jeff...! Hope that you are having or had a great Christmas.

      Thanks for the clarification on the scrolls, as the way the person put it above, did not make sense to me.

      And... that certainly would make sense anyway that some of the OT was copied or passed down. And as far as it being in the there still does not make it 'truth.'

      And, talking about or making inferences to a 'messiah' story is nothing new as well, but most importantly, I think as you stated..."Christians believe"...once belief is used... it is not fact necessarily but... 'belief' which does not = facts.

      I think you know through some of our previous discussions, that for me, being an 'agnostic' gives me room to view things as objectively as possible and see where the leaps of reasoning and logic that are used or implied as 'facts' falls apart.

      So, again for me... I can say ...'who knows' maybe...?

      Anyways, have a great New Year in 2011 !!!!

      Oh– and very nice on the 'Gideon Bible' joke 🙂

      Peace...

      December 26, 2010 at 1:09 am |
    • Peace2All

      @jeff

      I reposted this message to you from @Don above. It was meant to you, but got posted under me in an above thread. Thought I would put it out there for you to respond or not to Don.

      Thanks Jeff...

      Peace...

      @Don said:

      "Jeff, the Qumran and the Masoretic families of texts are different (the Masoretic is what's used currently), and there are 0 prophecies about jesus in the entire OT."

      December 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
    • jeff

      @Don, the Isaiah scroll is present in the dead sea scrolls, no? Not sure why you say there are 0 prophesies about Jesus in the entire OT, certainly not what Christian scholars would say. A nice site with the scroll images and the translations can be found here: http://www.ao.net/~fmoeller/qa-tran.htm#c44

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      December 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  7. jesus is the final word

    peace2all

    yes I am going on what I grew up beleiving and it would be hard for me to change my view.

    I am also going on facts like the copies of the bible that were found (known as the dead sea scrolls) to clarify that the bible has not changed and do date way back. Also the fact that the places of the bible are also found in archeological sites. In fact the bible is one of the main sources for identifying site in this area.

    But what is even more convincing to me is the points about how these news articles about christians being persecuted are exactly what the bible says will happen near the end of this age. Also the way every nation will turn against Israel and how it will all be done in the name tolerance and peace. How is turning against Israel and persecuting christians tolerant?

    December 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  8. The solution

    Merry Christmas One And All

    The previous 24 hours have been brought to you by intolerance. For being intollerant of religion is only one step away from the posts provided. Being intollerant of a sincel religion is exactly what the posts provided imply.. be carefull on this day of good will and peace that you provide each other with the kindness and love that each of you want and none of you are willing to give.

    December 25, 2010 at 6:10 am |
    • Amused

      Is this an example of "tolerance"? or an example of "love"? Who are you kidding!? No one here is fooled by your insults! You are clearly the one who is full of hate...

      December 30, 2010 at 9:56 am |
    • Amused

      Is this an example of "tolerance"? or an example of "love"? Who are you kidding!? No one here is fooled by your insults! You are clearly the one who is full of hate... (By the way, what exactly is a "sincel religion" ???)

      December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  9. Jesus is the final word

    The bible dates back and meets all the credentials for accuracy as a historical record and is not to be confusede with mythological fiction. As for christianity bringing more evil than other religions I can say two things. First have you watched the news at all, the terrorist suicide bombings all over the world are not committed by christians. Second, maybe your reply is that those wouldn't happen if there weren't any christians in the world to blow up. That is a kind of logic that seems rational to any one with an antichrist mindset.

    Actually I agree. If everyone was either for christ or everyone was antichrist we wouldn't have this tension in the world. According to the bible there will be a time before the end of time when tolerance will be the rule and everyone on earth will be deceived by the antichrist and follow him in the name of peace. However when he sets himself up as god in the new temple in Isreal (thus reveiling that he is the antichrist) this will mark the middle of the time known as the tribulation and there will be suffering like no one on earth has ever known.

    I am just amazed at how many people are already ready to jump at the chance to deny the bible and follow the schemes of the antichrist. Why can't we all see how this is happening right before our eyes. But I guess that when you grow up with a certain beleif it is hard to see the truth even if it is written down.

    December 25, 2010 at 12:32 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Jesus is the final word

      Hi there... -Jesus is the final word...!

      You Said: "The bible dates back and meets ('all' the credentials for accuracy as a historical record) and is not to be confusede with mythological fiction."

      Curious... As to how you absolutely 'know' that as 'fact'...? Please cite your sources that 'prove' absolutely and without question your statement.

      You Said: " But I guess that when you grow up with a certain belief it is hard to see the truth even if it is written down."

      And... you are saying that just because it is written down, that somehow, unequivocally is = to the absolute 'truth'...? Are you not in fact, using your 'beliefs' ...and acting as if, they are 'facts'...?

      Peace...

      December 25, 2010 at 4:54 am |
    • Don

      Jeff, the Qumran and the Masoretic families of texts are different (the Masoretic is what's used currently), and there are 0 prophecies about jesus in the entire OT.

      December 26, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  10. The solution

    Their God is false... other religions do not bring as much evil to this workd as the christiam religion does.

    December 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • christiantyranny

      amen to that

      December 26, 2010 at 12:28 am |
    • Amused

      All Gods are false! Gods are imaginary beings invented by people.

      December 30, 2010 at 9:43 am |
    • Derek

      lol trolls. May the new year bring you kiddies some maturity and reason.

      January 3, 2011 at 3:52 am |
  11. steve

    nobody can kill a christian, they have eternal life, but God will not look kindly on those who bring harm to even one of them. Jesus Christ came to show us how to love one another. He could have killed all His enemies but instead He died in our place and rose again so we can know that we to will have eternal life if we beleive in Him. But if we don't choose Jesus He will judge us rightly when we meet at the judgement day.

    December 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2010: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary.

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension story was promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      December 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @steve

      When you say, if we don't 'choose' him(Jesus)... what do you mean specifically...?

      Peace...

      December 25, 2010 at 4:56 am |
  12. steve

    nobody can kill a christian, they have eternal life

    December 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  13. The Solution

    And they should be targets. They are all infidels. Exterminate them for the blight that they are on the face of this earth!

    December 24, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Agnostic

      You are a GIANT piece of crap

      December 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • God sent

      Amazing how the devil tries to confuse people and puts them against each other. Muslims are too hatefull for their good. God bless them with sanity, they will need it in the times to come. Don't be the anti-christ Islam!!! God loves u more if u love ur brothers and sisters, even us christians.

      December 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.