Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Sometimes we feel like a broken record calling out for help for the Christians of Iraq. It looks increasingly hopeless for our brothers and sisters there.

Bishops appeal: Save Iraq ’s Christians!

4/23/07 Iraq (For the full story, go to Asia News) AsiaNews reports on an appeal made by msgr. Sako, on behalf of the Christian communities, on the unsustainable situation of Christians in the country: “We cannot remain silent any longer, people must be made aware that an Iraq without Christians is of no benefit to the nation, we need unity between people, otherwise there will be no escape”. Attacks in Niniveh plain underline that nowhere is safe.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – “In Iraq Christians are dying, the Church is disappearing under continued persecution, threats and violence carried out by extremists who are leaving us no choice: conversion or exile”. This is the urgent appeal sent to AsiaNews by msgr. Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, while reports arrive of car bombs and the death of Christians in the Kurdish area, until now untouched by the confessional violence.

The bishop who is president of Iraq’s Council of Catholic Churches’ Committee for inter religious dialogue , signed a declaration regarding the “tragic situation of Baghdadis Christians”, denouncing militant groups which under the threat of armed violence ask Christians to convert immediately to Islam or to consign their property and leave the country. The same thing happens in Mosul , but with a different “choice”: pay a monetary tribute to the Jihad if they want to avoid their death.

The Iraqi Christian community, at home and abroad, has long urged the local Church to take a stand against the forced evacuation, rape, kidnap, paying a ransom, blackmail, scarring and killing they suffer and the complete lack of protection from the local government and coalition forces. And in the last two days, as the controversial plan to install a secure zone for Christians in the Niniveh plain begins to take shape, the terrorists have begun targeting the zoned area. “It’s almost a political gesture – observes msgr Sako – as if to say: “we can hit anywhere, nowhere is safe”.

(Christians) cannot openly profess their faith, the veil is imposed on the women and the crosses are taken down from their churches, threats of kidnappings and extortion weigh heavily over all of them.
Msgr Sako lists the violence to which they are submitted on a daily basis: “now-a-days, Christians are suffering in certain areas and cities in Iraq from forced evacuation, rape, kidnap, blackmail, scarring and killing.