Pope Francis Sends Letter to the United Nations Urging Assistance to Victims of ISIS Terrorism
The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes.- Pope Francis
That horrible black flag, a symbol of a reign of death and terror, is flying in many places now, as the army of ISIS militants advances, leaving a trail of carnage in their wake. These terrorists are routinely cutting off heads and sticking them on poles while they shout their slogans with enthusiasm and smile. They purport to honor God while they unleash a reign of evil. They engage in the worst human rights abuses, and claim they are doing it in the name of God. What kind of "god" would ever compel human beings to act with such evil? Certainly NOT the true God.
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Finally, the attention of the whole world is turned toward that territory illegally carved out of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon which is now called The Islamic State, or Caliphate, by the militant extremist Jihadist Muslims who follow Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim.
Finally, the true brutality and utter evil being inflicted by this growing threat, not only too that region but to the world, is being exposed in much of the main stream media. These terrorists who call themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are evil, period.
They have beheaded hundreds of innocent people, killed children, crucified former Muslims who freely chose to follow Jesus Christ, destroyed dozens of Christian churches, burned sacred manuscripts and sacred art, and sent hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities fleeing for their lives in a reign of bloodshed and terror.
The deluded madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim, issued an ultimatum last month which led to this ongoing slaughter. Christians in that part of the former territory of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon were to forcibly convert to Islam, face the sword, flee the country or have their property seized and pay the tax levied against dhimmis.
Not only Christians, but other religious minorities, are now subjected to the most vile and horrific violation of fundamental human rights that the world has seen in some time. For example, the plight of the Yahzidis, a sect which descends from an eclectic blend of Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian faith, blended with elements from other religious traditions, have drawn the attention of a watching world.
This despicable ultimatum was broadcast from loudspeakers and placed on the internet weeks ago. It has now been heard around the whole world: "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword." The ones who are issuing the ultimatum smile while they tell of their plans to fly their black flag over the White House.
The historic facts are clear and irrefutable. Christian tradition traces the planting of the Christian Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this ancient land now unjustly occupied by a new Caliphate all the way back to the missionary efforts of the Apostle Thomas.
Christians have an undeniable claim to live freely on this land - and the RIGHT to practice their faith. Their claim precedes the very arrival of Islam. They have fundamental human rights which are being ruthlessly denied by a barbaric terrorist movement whose poisonous ideology is spreading and threatening the entire world.
Christian homes were marked for seizure and destruction by these Jihadist terrorists. They took an axe to the ancient tomb of Jonah and destroyed it with a kind of mad abandon. They ripped down the Sacred Cross from St. Ephrem's Cathedral and replaced it with their dreaded black flag.
That horrible black flag, a symbol of a reign of death and terror, is flying in many places now, as the army of ISIS militants advances, leaving a trail of carnage in their wake.
These terrorists are routinely cutting off heads and sticking them on poles while they shout their slogans with enthusiasm and smile. They purport to honor God while they unleash a reign of evil. They engage in the worst human rights abuses, and claim they are doing it in the name of God.
What kind of "god" would ever compel human beings to act with such evil? Certainly NOT the true God.
Initially, there was only minimal news coverage of this utter horror - and a muted global outcry. Fortunately, that has now changed. Now, finally, even the main stream media admits, there is a genocide of Christians underway in this new Caliphate which has occupied territory which was once a part of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
These mad terrorists have amassed massive stockpiles of both weapons and cash. They threaten to blow up up a crucial dam - and the consequences will be dire. We face a serious global crisis. The question is - what will be the response of the rest of the world?
As demonstrated by the treatment of the Yahzidis, the Christians are not alone in facing the evil wrath of these bloodthirsty terrorists. Their blood is now mingled with other religious minorities such as the Yahzidis, ShabaIts, and Kurds.
Over 40,000 Yahzidi men, women and children are now trapped in the mountains. They have no way to escape a sure and certain mass execution without intervention from the international community. How could anyone watch the footage of those men, women and children trying to board that helicopter bringing food - shown on every newscast - and not feel the utter urgency of this hour.
Heroic Church leaders are speaking out with urgent clarity. We offer below the full text of a letter which was delivered to the Secretary General of the United Nations on August 9, 2014, from Pope Francis. They are doing their part. We must do ours.
Sadly, some people, including some Christians, separate prayer and action. As a Christian, I believe such a separation is dangerous - and misunderstands both Christian prayer and Christian action. I urge our readers to do both.
Mr Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Organization
It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony.
Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.
In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.
The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes.
The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.
Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
From the Vatican, 9 August 2014
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the oldest extant biblical manuscripts, have been a topic of interest since they were discovered in ... continue reading
Ongoing protests in Iran could be a sign of hope for repressed religious minorities, if protesters demand that conscience rights be ... continue reading
Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a Biblical-era seal in Jerusalem. The 2,700-year-old artifact once belonged to a governor of ... continue reading
At least eight churchgoers were killed and another 30 injured in a double suicide bomber attack at a Methodist church in southwest ... continue reading
Following U.S. President Donald Trump's Dec. 6 notice that he will be moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the Holy See has ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the First Week of Lent - Day 6
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD Video
- Try this fun Lent Quiz today!
- 'Living Lent': Monday of the First Week of Lent - Day 5
- Daily Readings for Saturday, February 17, 2018
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst ...
- St. Alexis Falconieri: Saint of the Day for Saturday, February 17, 2018
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, February 19th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 18th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, February 17th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education