Season's celebrations are cancelled in city after militiamen murder siblings
Christmas celebrations are cancelled in Basra this year to mourn the killing of a Christian brother and sister. The pair were shot dead by militiamen barely a week before British troops hand control of security in the province to the Iraqis, convinced that their job is done.
The Most Rev Imad al-Banna, the Archbishop of Basra, said that he had asked the city’s significantly reduced Christian community not to put up Christmas trees or give presents. Religious ceremonies over the festive period, however, will continue as planned. “It is just to show how sad we are to lose our people and also to reject the killing of any innocents,” Bishop Banna told The Times.
“We have asked people not to put up trees and not to exchange Christmas gifts. We also ask God to forgive the people who killed the two martyrs and to guide them to the right path.” (...)