» 08/13/2014, 00.00
Louis Raphael I Sako *
Patriarch of Baghdad: USA, EU and the Arab League must clear Nineveh plain of Jihadists
Mar Sako calls for a joint intervention to crush the Jihadist threat and "help the displaced" Christians, Yazidis and Shiites to return to their villages of origin. International efforts undertaken so far are "insufficient" and a central government "still being formed" cannot be relied upon. Sadness at the continuous migration of the faithful, Christian "heritage" of Iraq at risk.
For Mar Sako, one year after the Mosul tragedy, only unity and reconciliation can save Iraq
On the first anniversary of the great exodus from the Nineveh Plain, the Chaldean Patriarch addresses a letter to Iraq’s government and parliament. In it, he denounces the difficult conditions in which Christians and Yezidis still live, as well as the thousands of deaths among Muslims. Peace is the only response to the violence of extremist groups who "exploit religion".
Ethnic cleansing first against Yazidis, soon against Christians
The death toll from anti-Yazidi attacks in northern Iraq is rising and might reach 500. Sources warn AsiaNews that Christian villages in the Nineveh Plain are at risk. The area is currently controlled by Wahhabi extremists since there is no presence of US or Iraqi troops. In a climate of growing insecurity 40 children in Kirkuk receive their first communion on the day of the Assumption of Our Lady.
Nineveh Plain: a ghetto for Iraqi Christians is an illusion
The Archbishop of Kirkuk comes out against a plan promoted by Iraqi political and religious leaders leaving abroad to set up a Christian enclave in the Nineveh Plain. The idea is meant to “save Christians” from attacks and violence, but it runs against Iraqi history and Christians’ mission and could accentuate the ongoing ethnic and religious confrontation in the country.
In Iraq Christians want to rebuild the nation together with their “Muslim brothers”
P. Saad Hanna Sirop, one of the first Chaldean priests to have been abducted in Baghdad and ex director of the Babel College, reiterates that the persecution underway in Iraq is not exclusive to Christians, but also targets Shiites and Sunnis. The priest’s observations come in the wake of the Chaldean Churches unanimous rejection of the Nineveh Plains project. There is a need to avoid sectarian and divisive declarations, and to promote “universal action for the common good of the country, which is the patrimony of all humanity”.
24/07/2014 IRAQ - UN
Baghdad Patriarch to Ban Ki-moon: UN cannot stand by in silence as Christians are being massacred
Mar Sako writes to the Secretary-General of the United Nations: "The situation worsens, the international community must intervene to stop the violence against religious and ethnic minorities. We need everything, from water to medicines." An appeal to save the religious heritage: "It will be difficult to rebuild ancient monasteries and churches burned by extremists."
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