Beliefnet
The Deacon's Bench

Those are the words of a man, now in France, who survived the massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Church.

Details, from the Christian Post:

Iraqi Christians who were given indefinite political asylum in France say they don’t want to return to their home country.

Thirty-six Iraqi Christians who survived the attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad were taken to Paris last month where they were given medical care and asylum.

Some survivors still had bullet or shrapnel wounds and were immediately taken to hospitals to be treated upon deplaning, reported France 24 on Monday. Lyes, who survived a bullet wound in his abdomen, said he wants to stay in France and try to bring his wife and two children over to start a new life.

“I don’t want to go back to Iraq so long as the situation is like that. It keeps getting worse and worse,” said Lyes to the France 24 news crew while lying in his hospital bed. “Since getting to France I’ve seen on TV that there have been other attacks on Christians in Iraq. After going for the churches, they are now attacking Christians in their own homes.”

He recalled the traumatic incident on Oct. 31 when gunmen perpetrated the deadliest attack against the Assyrian Christian community since Islamic extremists began targeting them in 2003. At least 58 people were killed during the massacre, including three Catholic priests.

“They came in suddenly, shooting in all directions,” recalled Lyes. “We heard explosions outside. There was panic. We didn’t know what was going on. I don’t know who shot me. The bullet hit me from behind and came out here right in the front. I felt a burning sensation in my stomach and I put my hand over it and I could feel I was bleeding. That is when I knew I had been shot.”

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