Kurds promise to protect Christians 'until the last drop of blood!'
FREE Catholic Classes
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/21/2014 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://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 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
At the launch event for a new African Catholic news agency Saturday, a Kenyan bishop urged journalists to focus their work on the ... continue reading
An Iraqi church damaged and defaced by the Islamic State in 2014 was rededicated Thursday for the parish's celebration of the Feast of the ... continue reading
Catholic and other religious leaders signed a joint resolution Thursday encouraging the Pakistani government to adopt policies to protect ... continue reading
A 52-year-old Caritas volunteer helped rescue more than two dozen families from a recent flood in Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi, ... continue reading
Five years on from the conquering of Christian communities in Iraq by the so-called Islamic State, Christians in the country remain at the ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Vatican diplomat: Solidarity must be at the heart of the European ...
- St. Philip Benizi: Saint of the Day for Friday, August 23, 2019
- Ex-Philly pastor arrested for charges of embezzling roughly $100,000 ...
- Daily Readings for Friday, August 23, 2019
- Daily Reading for Sunday, August 25th, 2019 HD Video
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 HD Video
- Bishops praise proposal to clarify religious exemptions for federal ...
- Daily Reading for Saturday, August 24th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, August 23rd, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 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
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.