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Violence in Iraq is not simply Islam vs. Christianity, says Vatican Secretary of State

August 25, 2014

It is an “oversimplification” to characterize the persecution of Iraqi Christians and Yezidis as a matter of Islam against Christianity, according to Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

In an interview with the Vatican Insider, the Secretary of State argued strongly in favor of international intervention to stop the bloodshed in Iraq. “The international community must definitely intervene,” he said. “It is impossible for a country in the conditions Iraq is in now to resolve its problems on its own.”

However, Cardinal Parolin said that reports from Vatican representatives in Syria indicate that many Muslims are also facing violence, and many Muslims support the Christian presence in their region. “So this is definitely not a clash between Islam and Christianity,” he said. He continued:

There are people within Islam, and I believe that they are the majority, who refuse these brutal and inhuman methods. Unfortunately, some factions make them their own but I believe that they are not condoned by most of the other Muslims. We hope that they will also speak up against this, to make a clear distinction between what can and what cannot be done, we hope that the Muslim world speaks up.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 25, 2014 4:52 PM ET USA

    Parolin sets up a red herring. It's not "Islam vs Christianity"; instead, it's Islam against absolutely anything else -- Christianity, Secularism, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and yes, even alternate versions of Mohammed's teaching. And Islam's methods, pace the cardinal's assertion, are invariably violent. He assures us of widespread Muslim condemnation of this barbarism, but burning questions impose themselves: Where is this repudiation? Why is most international terrorism Islamic in nature?