Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/21/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

U.S. has failed to acknowledge that Christians were being targeted by Islamists in Iraq

In an appeal "to all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world," Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of Iraq's Catholic Church, has issued a plea for international support. He says that the situation for Iraq's Christians has been steadily deteriorating ever since the 2003 invasion. He says that the United States has never formally acknowledged that Christians were being targeted by Islamists and did not prioritize protection of Christians or other ethnic or religious minorities.

ISIS had reportedly marked the doors of Christians in red last month. Patriarch Sako's letter confirms that rumor.

ISIS had reportedly marked the doors of Christians in red last month. Patriarch Sako's letter confirms that rumor.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/21/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, Iraq, Christians, persecution, appeal, genocide


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With the sweep through Mosul and other Iraqi cities by the jihadi group ISIS, Iraq's Christians are now threatened with genocide.

ISIS had reportedly marked the doors of Christians in red last month. Patriarch Sako's letter confirms that rumor. Many fear the worst. Sako and other Christian leaders are pleading with the world to intervene.

Get food into the hands of needy children -- by going here --

Iraqi human rights activist Pascale Warda arrived from Baghdad to Washington to raise the alarm with the State Department and members of Congress. She was accompanied by Bishop Yousif Habash, who now resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey, but was originally from Qaraqosh, a city 15 miles from Mosul which was also recently overrun by ISIS, where the Christians still speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.

 "Christians throughout the Middle East have been targeted, and we are on the verge of being exterminated," Bishop Habash says. "The West stepped in to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Muslims, so we know it can be done. The West must step in now and save the Middle East's Christians, or we will be wiped out."

The full text of Sako's appeal follows below:

An urgent message of Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad

Mosul Christians: Whither?

To all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world

To the voice of moderate brother Muslims who have a voice in Iraq and all the world

To all who have a concern that Iraq could remain a country for all His Children

To all leaders of thought and opinion

To all who announce the freedom of the human being

To all protectors of the dignity of human beings and of religion

PEACE AND MERCY FROM GOD!

The control exercised by the Islamist Jihadists upon the city of Mosul, and their proclamation of it as an Islamic State, after several days of calm and expectant watching of events, has now come to reflect negatively upon the Christian population of the city and its environs.

The initial sign was in the kidnapping of the two nuns and 3 orphans who were released after 17 days. At the time, we experienced it as a flash of hope and as a clearing of the sky after the appearance of storm clouds.

Suddenly we have been surprised by the more recent outcomes which are the proclamation of an Islamic state and the announcement calling all Christians and clearly asking them to convert to Islam or to pay the jizyah (the tax all non- Muslims must pay while living in the land of Islam) - without specifying the exact amount. The only alternative is to abandon the city and their houses with only the clothes they are wearing, taking nothing else. Moreover, by Islamic law, upon their departure, their houses are no longer their properties but are instantly confiscated as property of the Islamic state.

In recent days, there has been written the letter 'N' in Arabic on the front wall of Christian homes, signifying 'Nazara' (Christian), and on the front wall of Shiite homes, the letter 'R' signifying 'Rwafidh' (Protestants or rejecters). We do not know what will happen in future days because in an Islamic state the Al-sharia or Islamic code of law is powerful and has been interpreted to require the issuance of new I.Ds for the population based on religious or sectarian affiliation.

This categorization based upon religion or sect afflicts the Muslims as well and contravenes the regulation of Islamic thought which is expressed in the Quran which says, "You have your religion and I have my religion" and yet another place in Quran states, "There is no compulsion in religion". This is exactly the contradiction in the life and history of the Islamic world for more than 1400 years and in the co-existence with other different religions and nations in the East.

With all due respect to belief and dogmas, there has been a fraternal life between Christians and Muslims. How much the Christians have shared here in our East specifically from the beginnings of Islam. They shared every sweet and bitter circumstance of life; Christian and Muslim blood has been mixed as it was shed in the defense of their rights and lands. Together they built a civilization, cities, and a heritage. It is truly unjust now to treat Christians by rejecting them and throwing them away, considering them as nothing.

It is clear that the result of all this discrimination legally enforced will be the very dangerous elimination of the possibility of co-existence between majorities and minorities. It will be very harmful to Muslims themselves both in the near and the distant future.

Should this direction continue to be pursued, Iraq will come face to face with human, civil, and historic catastrophe.

We call with all the force available to us; we call to you fraternally, in a spirit of human brotherhood; we call to you urgently; we call to you impelled by risk and in spite of the risk. We implore in particular our Iraqi brothers asking them to reconsider and reflect upon the strategy they have adopted and demanding that they must respect innocent and weaponless people of all nationalities, religions, and sects.

The Holy Quran has ordered believers to respect the innocent and has never called them to seize the belongings, the possessions, the properties of others by force. The Quran commands refuge for the widow, the orphaned, the poor, and the weaponless and respect "to the seventh neighbor."

We call Christians in the region to act with reason and prudence and to consider and to plan everything in the best way possible. Let them understand what is planned for this region, to practice solidarity in love, to examine the realities together and so be able together to find the paths to build trust in themselves and in their neighbors. Let them stay close to their own Church and surround it; endure the time of trial and pray until the storm will be over.

 * Louis Raphael Sako

Patriarch of Babylon for the Chaldean

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

Arab nations form powerful joint military force amid Yemen attacks Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to a growing conflict in Yemen, the Arab leaders from different countries have agreed to form a joint military force. This decision is mostly aimed toward fighting jihadists and Islamist extremism that has invaded Iraq and Syria and is making moves toward ... continue reading


TOP SECRET: The United States publishes sensitive, classified information on Israel's nuclear program Watch

Image of In 1987, Israel's nuclear program was described as being on the same level as the United States'

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Unites States has officially breached a silent agreement with Israel that had been in place for decades. The Department of Defense declassified a top-secret document that details Israel's nuclear program. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israel never formally ... continue reading


As Houthis rebels advance on Aden, Yemeni president flees by boat Watch

Image of A Yemeni man says the child, pictured riding a horse, was killed in the Saudi air stirke in Sana'a this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen are targeting military installations held by the Shia rebels. The militant factions swept into the country's south and drove Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee by sea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hadi was ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen dangerously clashing with archrival Iran Watch

Image of The greatest concern is that the conflict could evolve into a proxy war between Yemen and its neighbor Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni power, and Iran, the leading Shia power.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The momentous divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the Middle East has turned into open conflict in Yemen. There are widespread fears that this will draw other nations into a much wider war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Sunni coalition of Arab states ... continue reading


DRIVING MILITANTS OUT: Houthi positions in Yemen targeted by Saudi Arabia Watch

Image of The air campaign began at 7 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, according to Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Backed by other Gulf States and Egypt Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against Houthi militants in Yemen. The airstrikes were in response to the Yemeni president fleeing his palace ahead of advancing fighters. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia builds megacity in middle of desert at cost of $100 billion Watch

Image of KAEC has its own website showing plans for the city, including details on how to invest in its growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The King Abdullah Economic City, or KAEC -- pronounced "cake," is being constructed by Saudi Arabia. The planned megacity in the desert will be slightly larger than Washington D.C. and home to approximately two million residents. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


'Death to America' Iran's Supreme Leader declares on even on nuclear weapon agreement Watch

Image of When the crowd started shouting,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States works with Iran for a comprehensive nuclear weapons treat, Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for "Death to America" this past weekend. It was contradictory news as it came shortly after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to ... continue reading


The Obama administration steps on more toes: U.S. moves from Israeli-Palestinian peace talks toward United Nations forced two-state resolution in Middle East crisis Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The continuous efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peaceful agreement on land has potentially reached its peak. The United States is edging closer to supporting the United Nations Security Council in forcing a final peace settlement, a lasting two-state ... continue reading


Netanyahu takes overwhelming victory despite left-wing busing Arabs to polls during Israeli election Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message posted on Facebook declared that left-wing non-governmental organizations, or NGOs and foreign governments attempted to influence the Israeli election. He says that these entities bussed Arabs to the polls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message posted on Facebook declared that left-wing non-governmental organizations, or NGOs and foreign governments were attempting to influence the upcoming Israeli election. He says that these entities intended to bus ... continue reading


'We will blacken your life and blow up your White House.' ISIS makes direct threats in new audio accepting Boko Haram's allegiance Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"We want, Allah willing, Paris before Rome and before Al-Andalus [Spain and Portugal], [and] after that we will blacken your life and blow up your White House, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower, Allah willing," Islamic State spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani warns in a ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 42:1-7
1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, ... Read More

Gospel, John 12:1-11
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Regulatus
March 30: Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter