ICC Note: The Christian communities of Iraq and Syria are facing existential threat as The Islamic State terror group continues to destroy their lives and history. Hundreds of ancient Christian churches and places of worship have been demolished, thousands have been killed, while even more have fled for their lives. These are the oldest Christian communities in the world being in the geographic location of the birthplace of Christianity. Now they face extinction amid an unrelenting genocide.
04/30/2016 Iraq/Syria (Christian Post): Persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria fear that they are on the “brink of extinction” amid the genocidal actions of the Islamic State terror group.
“We are a people on the brink of extinction,” Juliana Taimoorazy, a Chaldean Catholic and ethnic Assyrian, told the National Catholic Register in an interview published Wednesday.
The report notes that hundreds of ancient Christian churches and places of worship have been destroyed by IS throughout Iraq and Syria, while millions of people have been forced to flee as refugees, and entire groups have been killed. Large Christian communities have also been emptied, putting an end to thousands of years of history.
“We gave a lot to Christianity as Eastern Christians, and we gave a lot to humanity as the Assyrian people: Our history is 6,700 years old, and we established the first library in the world, among other contributions,” added Taimoorazy, who is the the executive director and founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said the entire Roman Catholic Church is hurting in the wake of disappearing Christian communities, such as more than 100,000 Christians being driven out from the Nineveh Plain when IS took over the region. Dolan called on Western Christians to pray for their survival, and to help with advocacy and material support.
“These are our roots, and we see them displaced, see them threatened and see them wondering about their very survival,” Dolan said.
Bishop Yousif Habash, who leads the Syriac Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance in Newark, N.J., separately added that IS can take everything away from Christians, except for their faith.