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Iraq: patriarch appeals to ‘conscience of the world,’ says US actions, Muslim leaders’ words not sufficient

Catholic World News - August 25, 2014

Iraq’s leading prelate has issued a new statement on the plight of the nation’s Christians.

“It has become obvious that Iraqi Christians along with other minorities have received a fatal blow at the core of their lives and their existence whether through displacing more than 100,000 Christians by force, or looting their possessions, money, and documents, or occupying their houses for just being Christian,” wrote Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church. “I visited the camps of the displaced persons in the provinces of Erbil and Dohok, and what I saw and what I heard is beyond any imagination.”

“There is not yet an immediate concrete solution for the crisis we are facing,” he continued. “On the other hand the flow of funds, arms and fighters continues to the Islamic State. Despite the fact that we are living an organized campaign of elimination from Iraq, the world conscience is not fully awake to gravity of the situation. Now, the second phase of the calamity has already began, which is the migration of these families to the different parts of the world, thus dissolving the history, heritage, and identity of these people into [the] void.”

He added:

The international community, principally the United States and European Union due to their moral and historic responsibility towards Iraq, cannot be indifferent. While acknowledging all that is being done to solve this crisis, it seems that the decisions and actions undertaken until now have made no real change in the course of events and the fate of the these affected people is still at stake, as if these people are not part of the human race!

The same is true with regard to the Muslim community, whose statements about the barbaric acts in the name of their religion practiced against the life, dignity and freedom of Christians were not according to our expectation, knowing that Christians have contributed and fought for this country, living in partnership with their Muslim brothers alongside the Islamic civilization.

Religious fundamentalism is still growing in its power and force, creating tragedies, and making us wonder when the Islamic religious scholars and the Muslim intellectuals will critically examine this dangerous phenomenon and eradicate it by educating a true religious consciousness and spreading a genuine culture of accepting the other as brother and as an equal citizen with full rights.

What has happened is terrible and horrific, therefore, we need an urgent and effective international support from all the people of good will to save the Christians and Yezidis, genuine components of the Iraqi society from extinction, knowing that silence and passivity will encourage ISIS fundamentalists to commit more tragedies! The question is who will be the next.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 25, 2014 12:42 PM ET USA

    "The same is true with regard to the Muslim community, whose statements about the barbaric acts in the name of their religion practiced against the life, dignity and freedom of Christians were not according to our expectation, knowing that Christians have contributed and fought for this country, living in partnership with their Muslim brothers alongside the Islamic civilization." Are we listening? Does anyone remember similar words once spoken about German Jews? Is the Vatican listening?

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