Catholic World News

Strong Vatican condemnation of Islamic State

August 12, 2014

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has strongly condemned the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Sunni jihadist group that controls much of Syria and Iraq.

Noting that the majority of Muslim leaders reject the Islamic State’s claim that it has restored the caliphate abolished in 1923, the pontifical council stated it could not but “denounce and condemn unambiguously” the “unspeakable criminal acts” committed by the group, including killing persons on account of their religion, “the execrable practice of beheading, crucifixion, and hanging corpses in public places,” and the choice given to Christians and Yazidi to convert to Islam, pay a tax, or leave one’s home.

The pontifical council also condemned the Islamic State’s “forced expulsion” of tens of thousands of persons, the enslavement of Christian and Yazidi women and girls as war spoils, the imposition of female genital mutilation, and the destruction and desecration of Christian and Muslim places of worship and cemeteries.

Noting that Christians and Muslims have lived together for centuries-- “with highs and lows, it is true”-- the pontifical council called upon all involved in interreligious dialogue, especially Muslims, to condemn Islamic State’s acts unequivocally. Otherwise, the pontifical council warned, the credibility of religions could be called into question, and interreligious dialogue would have lost credibility as well.

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  • Posted by: nix898049 - Aug. 13, 2014 4:25 PM ET USA

    Apparently the Grand Mufti of Egypt got on the stick and denounced these atrocities. It's a start, of sorts.

  • Posted by: maryliz6175 - Aug. 12, 2014 12:41 PM ET USA

    Why does everyone say "pay a tax"? That's only one aspect of Dhimmi status.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 12, 2014 8:11 AM ET USA

    "Noting that Christians and Muslims have lived together for centuries-- “with highs and lows, it is true...!”" This statement takes the prize for the most charitable interpretation spoken in this century thus far. How, exactly, do its authors explain that about half of the Christian world along with many of its preeminent sees disappeared into Mohammedan darkness in just a century? Have they never heard of Charles Martel? The battle of Tours? Don Juan de Austria? Lepanto? John Sobieski? Vienna?