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Tag Archives: Iraq

Middle East patriarchs call for international effort to end attacks on Christians

Patriarchs meet in Iraq

CATHOLIC and Orthodox patriarchs of the Middle East denounced attacks on Christians and called upon the international community to work toward eradicating terrorist groups. The patriarchs met on Wednesday, August 27, at the Maronite Catholic patriarchate at Bkerke, north of Beirut, for a special summit to address the crisis in the region. They were later joined by the United Nations’ ... Read More »

Christian refugees want to know ‘can we ever return?’

Refugee woman and child

RETURNING from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion “pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide”. “What we, the five patriarchs, saw in Ankawa, Irbil and other cities of Kurdistan, was something indescribable in terms of the violation of human rights and the threat of disappearing ... Read More »

Papal envoy says Iraqi minorities facing genocide and calls for urgent action

Iraqi woman

POPE Francis’ special envoy to Iraq has said Christians and religious minorities in the country are facing genocide and the international community must act quickly to come to their aid. In an interview with the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire Wednesday, Cardinal Fernando Filoni said Iraqis had told him the world must urgently help them and “not wait until they are ... Read More »

Pope talks airstrikes in Iraq, his health, possible US visit

Pope Francis flight

POPE Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop “unjust aggressors” such as Islamic State militants in north-eastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse United States military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country. The Pope also said he was willing to travel to the war ... Read More »

Cardinal, patriarch call for international action to liberate Iraq

Iraq demonstrator

POPE Francis’ personal envoy to the suffering people of Iraq joined the Chaldean Catholic patriarch in launching an appeal to the international community on August 18, pleading for help to liberate villages controlled by the Islamic State terrorists and to provide the displaced with international protection. Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who has been in Iraq since August 13 at the Pope’s ... Read More »

Vatican calls on Muslim leaders to condemn Islamic State

A man and three children in Iraq

THE Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn the “barbarity” and “unspeakable criminal acts” of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardise the future of inter-religious dialogue. “The plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic communities that are numeric minorities in Iraq demands a clear and courageous stance on the part of ... Read More »

Pope to UN: Act to end the tragedy in Iraq

Children flee Iraq violence

POPE Francis formally asked United Nations agencies and the entire international community “to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway” in north-eastern Iraq. In a letter signed on August 9, but released by the Vatican only after it had been delivered, Pope Francis told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediate action was needed “to stop and to prevent further ... Read More »

Iraqi Christians beginning to die in hot, crowded camps, witnesses say

Iraqi Christian woman

IRAQI Christians driven from their homes by Islamic State fighters are beginning to die in crowded camps, witnesses claimed. Sahar Mansour, 40, who lectured in chemistry at the University of Mosul before she fled the city in June, said new-born babies, the sick and the elderly in the Ankawa refugee camp on the outskirts of Irbil were dying from diseases, ... Read More »

Catholic Iraqi refugees in Lebanon recall horror of militant attacks

iraqi refugee

By Doreen Abi Raad THE memory of that brutal June evening in his home near Mosul, Iraq, brought 48-year-old Joseph, now a refugee in Lebanon, to tears. “These people know no limits of humanity, decency or respect for human life,” he said of the Islamic State fighters. Meeting with Catholic News Service on August 8 at the Caritas Lebanon Migrant ... Read More »

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