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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/5/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Christians in Iraq are being told to 'convert or die' and need U.S. help

Chaldean Catholics took to the streets in Detroit last week to protest the ongoing genocide of Iraqi Christians. Protestors called upon President Obama to do more to prevent the killing and persecution of the faithful in Iraq.

Nearly 1,000 more gathered at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield later that day for a prayer vigil led by Chaldean Bishop Francis Kalabat.

Nearly 1,000 more gathered at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield later that day for a prayer vigil led by Chaldean Bishop Francis Kalabat.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/5/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: U.S. Chaldeans, Detroit, protest march, genocide


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chanting "Obama, Obama, where are you? Iraqi Christians need you!" and "Stop the violence in Iraq!" a group of about 150 protesters marched through city streets of Friday. The majority of the demonstrators were of Chaldean descent. The demonstration was intended to raise awareness about the violent persecution of Christians in their native land at the hands of Islamic State militants.

Nearly 1,000 more gathered at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield later that day for a prayer vigil led by Chaldean Bishop Francis Kalabat.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --


"Christians are being kicked away from their country, and no one is protecting them Christians do not take up arms like other groups, so they take action with their feet and just leave," Noor Mattr, one of the protesters who helped coordinate the rally, said.

Mattr said his grandmother lived in Mosul, Iraq, where Christians have recently been forced to flee their homes after the militant Islamic State, formerly ISIS, have told the faithful there to either convert to Islam, pay a huge tax or be killed.

Islamic militants have released videos on Facebook and other social media showing mass executions of Christians and other Iraqis. According to some estimates, as many as 1,500 people were killed in July.


"We're praying, but the prayers aren't enough," Ashor Khairon, another protester said, speaking to the local press. "We need support from all over the world, especially the USA. I'm sure they can do it. I don't know what they're waiting for."

Khairon called the situation "genocide" and expressed frustration at the lack of action on the part of the US and international community.

Many demonstrators waved signs or wore shirts depicting the Arabic letter that is painted by militants on the houses of Christians to mean "Nassara," or "Nazarene," to identify those targeted for persecution. The symbol also has taken off on social media as a sign of solidarity with those who are being martyred.

"People have to carry their kids on their back to walk 40 miles in 115 degree weather just to live," Janelle Rabban, a first-generation U.Ss-born Chaldean Catholic said. "The elderly are staying home because they can't make it, and ISIS is saying, 'Either you convert or you die,' and I've heard that some of them have," Rabban said.

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