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Iran's Christian MP calls on Pope to stand up to Israel

TEHRAN, July 25 (Mehr News Agency) -- MP Jonathan Betkellia, who represents Iran's Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in the Majlis, has written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI denouncing Israel's brutal attacks on the Lebanese nation, a report released by the Majlis media department said on Tuesday.

MP Jonathan Betkellia

Betkellia, who is also the director of the Asian branch of the World Union of Assyrians, called for efforts to relieve the Lebanese nation from the Zionist assaults.

"Jesus Christ has said share your neighbor's sorrow and pain... Today, the Zionist regime has launched barbaric attacks on Lebanon following the massacre it carried out in Gaza. By bombing a land which has suffered long years of war, Israel has caused insecurity, destruction and massacre in Lebanon.

"The carnage that Lebanon faces today has shed light on the brutal and inhumane image of a regime that had previously targeted the innocent and helpless nation of Palestine," parts of the letter read.

Betkellia called on Pope Benedict XVI to stand up to the Israeli regime and to prevent it from destroying churches, mosques and other historical and holy sites in Lebanon.

"Today, Israeli bombs are targeting Christian neighborhoods in Ashrafieh and the Junieh Port."

"Thousands of women, children and elderly have been displaced after fleeing the catastrophic assaults."

"Now is the time to force Israel to accept a ceasefire and to bring an end to the massacre of civilians and the destruction of the country," he noted.

... Payvand News - 7/26/06 ... --

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