- The United Nations has declared
the highest level of emergency in Iraq's humanitarian crisis,
amid worsening conditions for hundreds of thousands of refugees - Yazidis, Christians, Turkmen,
and Shabak - on the run from the militias of the Islamic State.
advance of Sunni guerrillas in the north
has made aid and rescue operations by
Western governments and the international community more difficult. However,
UN experts believe that a 'Level 3 Emergency' should facilitate the mobilisation
of additional assets and resources, as well as funding, to ensure a
better response to the needs of
is especially critical on Mount Sinjar, where 20
to 30,000 Yazidis are stranded
waiting for rescue.
In Dohuk alone,
Kurdish authorities report the presence
of least 150,000 refugees, outnumbering
the local population, which is doing its best to welcome
and help the newcomers.
minorities who fled their homes continue to live in precarious conditions, not far from the borders of the autonomous Kurdish region and sudden unpredictable fights with
the Islamic militias.
exceeding 40 degrees, refugees need food
and water, as well as the means to keep them cool.
They also need medical drugs and psychological
counselling, but most
are trying to get the right papers to move abroad
in search of safety.
Christians in the north, who have found shelter in
the churches of the city, report
that "the attack by the
Islamic State is the worst thing that could have happened." Despite "many wars," no one had seen "anything like this" before.
Meanwhile ankawa.com sources report that Caliphate
soldiers, which took over Mosul
in June, removed the street sign bearing
the name of the bishop and martyr
Paulos Faraj Rahho,
who was murdered in March 2008 by the Islamist
gunmen who had abducted him.
his death, city authorities named the street in front of St Paul's Chaldean
Church in honour of the fallen Iraqi prelate. Recently, fighters for
the group formerly called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham
(ISIS) removed the street sign to replace it with one bearing the name one of their leaders, extremist Abe Abdul Rahman Albelawy.
remember the situation of Iraq's Christian minority - and all the
persecuted of the world - the Italian Church has called for a day
of prayer tomorrow, the Feast of the Assumption.
Sponsored by the Bishops' Conference, it
reiterates the appeal launched by Pope Francis in last Sunday's reflection in which he expressed
and disbelief" over reports coming from Iraq.
the humanitarian crisis, AsiaNews launched
a Christian from Mosul' to provide concrete means to deal with the tragedy
unfolding in the Arab country and
bring help to the faithful targeted by Islamic
State. Hundreds of people worldwide have already
responded to the campaign.
Iraqi Christians has also come from Singapore, where the archbishop, Mgr William Goh,
has called on the faithful of the city-state to pray "for those who are afflicted
by wars", in particular, "for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in their own land." His thoughts went
to Iraqi Christians, victims of "atrocities"
committed by the militias of the Islamic state as their suffering
"strikes us as individuals and as members of the Church."
An appeal against the
"indifference" and "silence" vis-à-vis
the recent "wave of violence against innocent families and children
in Iraq" also
came from Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,
who speaks of "irrational persecution,
cultural intolerance and frightening
loss of human lives ", caused especially
by religious hatred and racial hostility.
condemnation, he referred not to the uprooting of a minority but of a "whole civilisation" that
cannot be justified before God or on religious grounds. In his appeal to world
leaders, including the leaders of Israel and Gaza, he called for
"an end to the escalation of
appeals for peace, the situation in
Iraq remains critical as the political stalemate of the past few months
persists in Baghdad.
Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
has reiterated his intention to appeal to
the Federal Court to be allowed to form a new government.
By contrast, Fuad Masum, Iraq's (Kurdish) president has already given the task to parliamentary deputy speaker
Haidar al-Abadi, a
Prime Minister-designate is backed by both
United States and Iran, and has
received the official support of the highest Shia
religious authority in Iraq, Grand
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,
who in a letter
calls for a break with the past and
for a government able to unite the country.
forming a new government will take time and no
quick fix is likely to settle the crisis.