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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/29/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many Christians are in the desert, or trapped in city streets with nowhere to go

Iraq will soon be a Christian free nation, the only vicar of the only Anglican church in that country warns.

Christians are fleeing for their lives in parts of northern Iraq where Islamic militants issued an ultimatum to convert or be killed.

Christians are fleeing for their lives in parts of northern Iraq where Islamic militants issued an ultimatum to convert or be killed.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/29/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: International, Middle East, Iraq


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Canon Andrew White, also known as 'the bishop of Baghdad' gave this warning after the deadline set by Islamic militants to convert or be killed expired.

Please help the Christians who are suffering in Iraq.

White spoke of the ultimatum that was given to Christians by the new Islamic Caliphate in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, the ultimatum-with its July 19 deadline-said that Christians were to convert to Islam, or would be put to death.

Reverend Adrew-White said with BBC radio that desperate Christians have fled, but many are trapped in the desert or on the streets with no place to go.

"Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing," he said. "We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off.

"Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near."

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report found that starting on July 14, homes in Mosul were painted with either an 'N' for Nasrani, which is the Arabic word for Christian, or with an 'R' for Rafidah, a word used by Sunni Muslims to describe Shia  Muslims.

White was in London to speak about the desperate plight of Christians in Iraq.

"The Christians are in grave danger. There are literally Christians living in the desert and on the street. They have nowhere to go," he said.

"We do not want Britain to forget us. We-and I'm saying 'we' talking like an Iraqi Christian-have always been with the British because they have already been with us.

"Individual churches, individual Christians in Britain, have been a bigger help than anybody around the world."

Up to a million Christians lived in Iraq prior to the US-led invasion in 2003, with many residing in areas such as Mosul where the communities date back to the first centuries of Christianity.

There are now fewer than half that number.

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