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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/8/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Catholic leaders call for immediate international support

Pope Francis has asked for all Catholics around the world to pray for the tens of thousands of Christians in Iraq who have been forced from their homes by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq.

Kurdish fighters stand watch in northern Iraq for fighters from the Islamic State.

Kurdish fighters stand watch in northern Iraq for fighters from the Islamic State.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/8/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: International, Middle East, Iraq


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Francis also made a "pressing appeal to the international community to take initiatives to put an end to the humanitarian drama underway, to take steps to protect those involved and threatened by violence and to ensure the necessary aid for so many displaced people whose fate depends on the solidarity of others," a Vatican spokesman reported.

Please help your brothers and sisters in Iraq.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, said that Francis is appealing "to the conscience of all people and every believer," repeating the Pope's words after the July 20 forced exodus of Christians from Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

Thousands of Christians are fleeing from Iraq

Thousands of Christians are fleeing from Iraq's largest Christian city after fighters from the Islamic state took it over in early August.


"May the God of peace create in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is not conquered with violence. Violence is conquered with peace. Let us pray in silence, asking for peace."

These words followed an August 6 attack on the predominantly Christian town of Qaragosh and other villages in Ninevah province by Islamic State militants. "The Christians, about 100,000, horrified and panicked, fled their villages and houses with nothing but the clothes on their backs," said Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

"Christians are walking on foot in Iraq's searing summer heat," he added, noting that many of these Christians are fleeing to Iraqi Kurdistan. "They are facing a human catastrophe and a risk of real genocide. They need water, food, shelter."

Sako said that the Iraqi government is incapable of protecting its citizens and that the Islamic State fighters are taking advantage of the power vacuum to "impose their rule and terror. There is a need of international support and a professional, well-equipped army. The situation is going from bad to worse."

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