ICC Note: As Christians are ripped from their homes and communities in the wake of ISIS violence, President Obama remains silent. Pope Francis and Nouri Al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, have both pleaded for help. Those requests have fallen on deaf ears. Christian communities throughout Iraq and Syria are looted, churches ransacked, and Christians forced to evacuate. This level of persecution has even been compared to the persecution felt by the early church. As Christians are weeded out from the Middle East, many are asking why President Obama chooses to remain silent.
ICC has launched a campaign to provide aid to the Iraqi church to assist those in need who have fled from the attacks. Go here to find out more and donate: Iraqi Crisis Response
07/22/14 Iraq (National Post) – Full Comment’s Araminta Wordsworth brings you a daily round-up of quality punditry from across the globe. Today: For the first time in more than 1,600 years, there are no Christians in Mosul.
The last one fled Friday, driven out of Iraq’s second-largest city by the murderous jihadists of the Islamic State of Syria and Al-Sham (ISIS). The followers of this intolerant brand of Sunni Islam offered members of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities the choice of converting, paying the jizya, a punitive religious tax, or being put to the sword — probably literally.
Faced with such threats, thousands left their homes, allowed to take only the clothes they stood up in. They are, alas, only the latest followers of Jesus to be persecuted in Iraq.
Before the 2003 invasion, the country was home to more than 1.5 million of them, descended from some of the earliest Christian communities, living under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, but living in relative peace. Now, their numbers have dwindled to about 400,000 and are likely to fall even further. They are part of the huge displacement of the region’s Christians, also under threat in Syria and Egypt.
Although Pope Francis and Nouri Al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister and a Shiite, are pleading for help, U.S. President Barack Obama — arguably, the world’s second most powerful Christian — remains shamefully silent, as do other Western leaders.
“They are persecuted; our brothers are persecuted, they are driven out, they have to leave their houses without having the possibility of taking anything with them,” Pope Francis said Sunday in his Angelus address. “I want to express my closeness and my constant prayer to these families and these people.” Maliki, calls the Islamists “a terrorist gang.”