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‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians

Catholic World News - July 21, 2014

Following an ultimatum from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to leave Mosul, convert to Islam, or be killed, the city’s remaining Christians left for other parts of Iraq.

ISIL, the jihadist group that controls large sections of Syria and Iraq, confiscated the Christians’ possessions as they departed from Iraq’s 2nd-largest city.

“The heinous crime of the Islamic State was carried out not just against Christians, but against humanity,” said Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, as quoted by the Reuters news agency.

In an urgent appeal, the Iraqi Patriarch reported that Islamists were marking the homes of Christians in Mosul with the Arabic letter "N," standing for "Nazarene." (The homes of Shi'ite Muslims were also being marked, with "R" for "Rejecter," and Shi'ites were fleeing the city.) Patriarch Sako urged the people of Iraq to remember the rich heritage of inter-religious cooperation in their society for the past 1400 years, and to bear in mind that "Christian and Muslim blood has been mixed as it was shed in defense of their rights and lands."

“How in the 21st century could people be forced from their houses just because they are Christian, or Shi'ite or Sunni or Yazidi?” he said. “Christian families have been expelled from their houses and their valuables were stolen … their houses and property expropriated in the name of the Islamic State.”

“Even Genghis Khan or Hulagu [his grandson] didn't do this,” the patriarch added.

According to AsiaNews, some Muslims in Baghdad expressed their solidarity with Iraq’s Christians, holding up signs that said, “My house is open for my Christian brothers and sisters” and “I am an Iraqi Christian.”

“We are all equal in dignity, all citizens of the same country,” the Chaldean patriarch said. “We must unite to create a new Iraq. Thanks to all of you, there is still a hope.”

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 21, 2014 3:42 PM ET USA

    As indicated here, there are some good (and very brave!) Muslims, but the majority are either frightened into silence by other Mohammedans or are "true believers" and therefore complicit in the atrocities. Christians everywhere should at least draw the proper conclusions from this and insist on measures that prevent Islam, any brand of Islam, from ever becoming the majority religion where they live. They should know that persecution not only may but most certainly WILL follow.

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