Kurds promise to protect Christians 'until the last drop of blood!'
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/21/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A delegation of senior members of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches visited Irbil, Iraq, in order to show their support and solidarity with the more than 100,000 Christians and minorities who have been displaced due to the ongoing conquests of the Islamic State.
Iraqi Kurdish fighters have been engaged in fighting with the Islamic State since the beginning of this month. During a meeting with heads of the Catholic Church, Kurdish officials swore to protect Christians in Kurdistan.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, the patriarch of the Maronite Catholics, said that the trip was the "first step in the implementation of the statement issued by the patriarchs," referring to a summit that was held on August 7 to address the crisis facing Christians in Iraq and Syria.
Your Iraqi brothers and sisters NEED YOUR HELP!
"The first and essential clause in the statement is our support for Christians who have left their houses because of the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations."
Cardinal Rai left Beirut with Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II.
Upon arriving in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq, the group was joined by Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad and local officials, which including Kurdistan's Regional Interior Minister Karim Sinjari and Irbil Governor Nawzad Hadi.
The men visited three churches in Irbil and prayed with refugees from the Ninevah Plain. These refugees had fled after being told to convert to Islam, pay the tax on non-Muslims, or die. Many were robbed before they could flee.
"We want all the Christians, Muslims, Yezidis, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds to stay in Iraq and not to leave because this is our homeland, this is our culture, and civilization and we do not want to part with it," said Cardinal Rai. "The ones who want to help us must work to stop injustice, help us end injustice and help our people regain their rights. This is what we want from the ones who want to help."
"We cannot stand idly by and watch as evil oppresses the people. We will carry our cause to the whole world."
"We demand that the displaced be allowed to return to their land with dignity. We will not accept anything less than that," Cardinal Rai said.
Lebanon's National News Agency reported that the group received a promise from Kurdish authorities. A promise that Christians will be protected "until the last drop of blood."
In a news conference held before leaving Iraq, the patriarchs expressed support for human rights, including the rights of Christians to remain in their homes.
"We cannot tolerate the tragedy we have witnessed here today," said Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius. He urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit the regions to determine if the displaced Iraqis could continue to live this way.
Cardinal Rai said: "It is unacceptable to allow terrorist organizations to eliminate entire communities in the 21st century."
"Do not think of emigrating; safeguard your roots," the cardinal told Christians. "We are on your side and we will raise our voice to the international community to act against terrorism."
Pope Francis has publicly expressed concern about Iraqi minorities, and even sent a special envoy, Cardinal Fernando Filoni to Iraq on August 13 to gather information. Cardinal Filoni arrived back in Rome on August 31.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
A massive quake has killed over 400 people, and injured thousands in the border region between Iraq and Iran. The quake struck around 9:18 ... continue reading
Fifty years is a long time to endure forced suffering. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War when Israel captured and occupied the Palestinian ... continue reading
Following the liberation of Mosul, Iraq, from the hands of the Islamic State, Christians are cautiously returning to the city. And as they ... continue reading
Workers installing communication cables in Jerusalem's Old City have unearthed a Byzantine Christian mosaic inscribed with honors to ... continue reading
President Trump has announced a new strategy for the U.S. in Afghanistan that involves a significant investment in winning the conflict ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Saturday, November 18, 2017
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 HD Video
- The FBI may investigate Planned Parenthood
- Pope Francis calls for end of life care to acknowledge mortality
- Has Pope Francis violated the 8th Commandment, speaking out against ...
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 20th, 2017 HD Video
- St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November ...
- The Catholic Miracle. Become part of our incredible mission HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 19th, 2017 HD
- Did Pope Francis blast 'perverse attitude' of climate change deniers? HD
- Scientists warn: The end of life as we know it is near 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