A CALL FOR HELP: Christians in war-torn Iraq face murder, rape
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Among the many casualties in the war in Iraq are the many Iraqi Christians, long a source of persecution, put in the position of being raped and murdered in the deteriorating situation. Aid to the Church in Need, a non-governmental organization is reaching out to the world community to help.
Among the many casualties in the war in Iraq are the many Iraqi Christians, long a source of persecution, put in the position of being raped and murdered in the deteriorating situation.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The situation was already bleak but now it has got a whole deal worse. For the first time the ever, the bishops have raised the doomsday scenario of an Iraq emptied of Christians" John Pontifex, spokesperson for the UK branch of the organization says
Church In Need has been in close contact with the bishops of Iraq. Bishops there have watched their people flee from the cities. Their churches have been torn to the ground and innocent men, women and even children, Christian and Muslim, being brutally killed.
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Baghdad described the Christians exodus and went on to suggest that Christianity in Iraq was coming "to an end," the Vatican Radio reported.
"This is very serious. We are losing our community. If Christian life in Iraq comes to an end, this will be a hiatus in our history," he said. The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, which is in full communion with Rome, said the future of Iraq's Christians is under threat: "In 10 years there will perhaps be 50,000 Christians left."
Areas taken over by ISIS have Christians being taxed for being non-Muslims. Many cannot afford to pay it. Horrifying reports arose last week of a man being forced to watch as ISIS militants raped his wife and daughter after the family was unable to pay the tax. He later committed suicide.
Two nuns, Miskintah and Utoor Joseph, and three young Christians, Hala Salim, Sarah Khosaba and Aram Sabah went missing last weekend on their way back to Mosul after taking orphaned girls to Dohuk for their safety. It's feared that they have been abducted - and possibly murdered.
UNHCR said 10,000 people had fled from Christian communities in Qaraqosh, near Mosul last week. Many wound up in Erbil with little more than the clothes on their backs. It said some 300,000 Iraqis had arrived in the Kurdistan region from Mosul's Nineveh province.
"Prayer, information and action is the best way we can help these our brothers and sisters in dire need" John Pontifex says. "Pray for them, inform yourselves about what is really happening on the ground and then take action to help these Christians stay in their homeland."
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