Catholic World News

Tens of thousands of Syrian Catholics flee Islamist advance

June 27, 2014

More than 90% of the people of Qaraqosh, a largely Catholic city of over 40,000 in Syria, have fled as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant moved to capture the area.

The jihadist group now controls approximately one-quarter of Syria and one-third of Iraq.

Archbishop Youhanna Boutros Moshe, who is among the few who remain in the city, told the Fides news agency that he appealed “to the consciences of political leaders around the world, to international organizations and to all men of good will: it is necessary to intervene immediately to put a stop to the deterioration of the situation, working not only at a humanitarian level, but also politically and diplomatically.”

“Every hour, every day lost, is likely to make all unrecoverable. Inaction becomes complicity with crime and abuse of power,” he added. “The world cannot turn a blind eye to the tragedy of people who have fled from their homes in a few hours, taking with them only the clothes they are wearing.”


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jun. 28, 2014 7:56 PM ET USA

    Skall: If G W Bush had not overthrown the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, none of this would have happened. Saddam was anything but nice, but he was a tyrant who repressed these jihadi without apology, and under his regime, Christians were safe. Even his foreign minister was a Catholic. Bush's insane war opened the floodgates for what we see now in Syria and Iraq. Bush, despite what you say, told us that democracy would flourish in the Mideast. Instead we have the current exploding disaster.

  • Posted by: skall391825 - Jun. 27, 2014 7:41 PM ET USA

    Wake me up when the civilized world realizes that WW III started years ago, and that the Axis powers were tame compared to the current Evil. How far will said Evil will be allowed to spread this time--how many men, women and children will be murdered, and worse--before even Liberals realize the warnings Bush et al. gave the world were correct?

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jun. 27, 2014 6:06 PM ET USA

    Has anyone heard Senators John McCain or Lindsey Graham speak out about the persecution and ethnic cleansing of these Christians? No, the two amigos are on the side of those driving out and killing these Christians.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 27, 2014 11:55 AM ET USA

    What the archbishop doesn't understand is nothing will be done since it is a Christian exodus, it would be different if they were Muslim. Now Obama wants $500m more to continue sponsoring an insurrection in Syria but still doesn't quite get it that he (and Saudi Arabia) has ended up supporting ISIS and other extremists groups that have taken over some of Syria and Iraq!