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Vatican official, Syrian prelate call for international force to block Islamic State

August 26, 2014

The Vatican’s chief representative at UN headquarters in Geneva has repeated the call of Pope Francis for international leaders to stop the persecution of Christians and Yezidis in Iraq, “though the mechanisms of the United Nations.”

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told Vatican Radio that the Holy See has two objectives for its diplomatic efforts regarding the situation in Iraq: to seek international help to stop the violence against Christiand and Yezidis, and to provide international security for refugees returning to their native villages.

Questioned about Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria, the archbishop said that the international community should “support the Nigerian government to fulfill its efforts to reject this group.”

In a related development, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria, suggested an international force to combat the advance of the Islamic State. While the Christians of Aleppo are safe now, Bishop Audo said, they have heard chilling reports from neighboring Iraq, and fear the growing power of the Islamic State. “No one knows when the bombs will drop,” he said.


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