Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/21/2014 (1 year 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


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 October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the Doctors Without Borders hospital full of innocent people? Watch

Image of The burned Doctors Without Borders hospital following explosions in the city of Kunduz, on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 (Mdecins Sans Frontires/AP).


In a log released by Doctors Without Borders on Thursday for a report on the October 3 bombing of its Kunduz, Afghanistan medical facility, it was revealed that the United States military was aware the building was not in use as a Taliban headquarters. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

How to balance compassion with security concerns with influx of Syrian refugees Watch

Image of In the wake of the attacks, U.S. Catholic bishops have asked Americans not to scapegoat all Syrian refugees as possible terrorists and to remember their dire humanitarian plight.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As the U.S. plans to increase its intake of Syrian refugees to 10,000 next year, Americans - including Catholics - are trying to balance national security concerns with compassion for the refugees. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "Americans need to understand that ... continue reading

The one thing ISIS is afraid of - and it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Nicolas Hnin was an ISIS hostage for ten months, during which he observed the remarkable ignorance of Islam extremists.


In a blog written by Nicolas Hénin, posted to, Hénin wrote what life was like as an ISIS hostage, and revealed the one thing ISIS fears most. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During his ten-month captivity, Hénin observed the extremist view of ... continue reading

You won't believe what happened to these misguided teens who joined ISIS Watch

Image of Sabina Selimovic was only 15-years-old when she disappeared from her home in Austria and resurfaced as a married woman in Syria after joining ISIS.


Two Austrian teenagers joined ISIS and became "poster girls" last year. Since then, one has been reportedly beaten to death during an attempt to escape Syria, while the other has been declared missing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The teenagers, Samra Kesinovic ... continue reading

'A stab in the back': Putin accuses Turkey of treachery after Russian warplane shot down Watch

Image of Turkey claims it warned Russian plane ten times before shooting down the Russian warplane (Getty Images).


Russian warplane ignored ten warnings and repeatedly violated Turkey's airspace before being shot down in what Russian president Vladimir Putin has deemed an act of treachery. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Putin claims the downed plane will result in "serious ... continue reading

Russia kills 472 ISIS targets over the weekend Watch

Image of A French Rafale fighter jet takes off (AFP/Getty Images).


This weekend, France launched their first fighter jet attacks on ISIS from their Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. They used Rafale fighter jets to carry out their mission, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 500 ISIS targets within a two-day span. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Writer visits the Islamic State, what he reports will chill you and give you nightmares Watch

Image of Islam is on the march once again, and they do not plan to stop this time.


German author Jürgen Todenhöfer spent 10 days in the Islamic State, interviewing its fighters and working to understand their aims and ambitions. What he learned will chill you to the bone and give you nightmares. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Jürgen ... continue reading

Will this make a difference? ISIS' money source hit with Russian airstrikes Watch

Image of Islamist State oil tanker trucks in Syria in particular are being sought by Russian warplanes. Russia's increased involvement is largely in retaliation for the down passenger jet that killed all 224 people onboard.


Ever since Islamic State took credit for downing a Russian passenger jet over Egypt last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been using his fighter jets in surgical and precise airstrikes against ISIS strongholds in Syria. The strategy is intended to ... continue reading

What role does the U.S. government really play in ISIS attacks? Iranian Supreme Leader makes alarming connections Watch

Image of It is an extremely bold claim, one that has its roots in radical thought: Modern warfare is waged by the creation of an enemy that is funded and supported before the conflict begins.


It is an extremely bold claim, one that has its roots in radical thought: Modern warfare is waged by the creation of an enemy that is funded and supported before the conflict begins. That is what the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declares. On ... continue reading

Mastermind to ISIS' Paris attack poses with decapitated bodies and laughs while dragging corpses to a mass grave (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Watch

Image of The world's public enemy number one is 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The Muslim extremist believed to be the mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks is 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud. He has appeared in several videos and images smiling and laughing while playing with, dragging, and even posing with corpses. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • How to balance compassion with security concerns with influx of ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More