ICC Note: A joint statement by the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch and the Syrian Catholic Patriarch is calling for the liberation of Iraqi lands inhabited by Christians. The Islamic State has committed genocide in these lands against the ancient religious minorities, as well as bringing full destruction to churches, monasteries and archaeological sites. The statement called on the International community to step up its game in facing the Islamic State.
06/16/2016 Iraq (Christian Daily): The Syriac Orthodox Patriarch and the Syriac Catholic Patriarch have released a joint statement calling for the liberation of Iraqi lands inhabited by Christians from the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
In the joint statement, the Syriac Patriarchs said ISIS is committing acts of crime tantamount to “ethno-religious genocide.” The two Christian leaders also lament that two years after almost 200,000 Assyrian Christians fled from their homes in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, forced emigration is still a big problem. The militants also left churches, monasteries, and archaeological sites in ruins, the Assyrian International News Agency relays.
The two Patriarchs also noted in the statement that the decision makers in the international community have remained mum and inactive amid the “ethnic cleansing of a historical people who founded the civilizations of the area.”
In light of the situation, the Patriarchs called on certain countries to declare the ISIS atrocities in the Middle East as acts of genocide against Christians and minority groups. They also denounced the absence of concrete actions from the Iraqi government and the international community, and urged the anti-ISIS forces to step up their campaign against the terrorists.