Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Human Rights Leaders Plead With Obama to Stop 'Nazi' Campaign Against Christians

A woman mourns with the framed picture of a man said to be among the 30 Ethiopian victims killed by members of the militant Islamic State in Libya, in the capital Addis Ababa, April 21, 2015. Ethiopia said on Monday that the 30 Christians shown being shot and beheaded in Libya on a video purportedly made by Islamic State were its citizens (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri).


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

WASHINGTON -- After viewing the video that was released April 19, showing the murder of two groups of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State terrorists, Jewish and Christian human rights groups have issued a joint statement calling on President Obama to intervene with force to stop the ongoing extermination of Christians in the Middle East.
In a gruesome repeat of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February, masked IS militants marched 15 Ethiopian Christians along Libya’s shore of the Mediterranean Sea and beheaded them. Another group of 15 was shot in another murderous act in an area of Libyan shrub land.

Open Doors USA, a global advocacy group for the persecuted, was joined by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, in condemning the killings and calling for the United States to intervene.

In a joint statement, the groups claimed to have alerted Western governments for months “that a religious genocide of Christians was taking place” with little response, and took particular aim at President Obama for his lack of action.

While we welcome the White House acknowledgment that these victims were targeted because of their faith, much more needs to be done,” wrote David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, along with colleague Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who serves with him as director of interfaith issues.

They chided the president to fully acknowledge the “religious extremism” and “theologically fueled hatred” that is at the heart of Islamic State terrorism. Likewise, they called on him to lead NATO to “forge an action plan” to protect Christians in the Middle East.

We must not stand idly by and watch as thousands of Christians are murdered for their faith,” they said.

Calling the Islamic persecution of Christians a type of “Nazi ideology” that unabated “will continue to infect the hearts and minds of the ever-growing number of youth around the world,” they said, “The time to act is now.”


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Human Rights Leaders Plead With Obama to Stop 'Nazi' Campaign Against Christians



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Piece By Piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is Being Shattered



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Still reeling from last week's news of the Islamist beheading of 21 Coptic Christian migrant workers in Libya, Middle Eastern Christians were again targeted by a large scale Islamist terror attack with thousands of victims Monday, in Syria. Islamic State jihadists laid siege to a string of Christian Assyrian villages, along the Khabour river, in northeastern Syria, kidnapping or killing scores of residents. Those abducted are now in imminent peril and thousands more who were expelled have joined the ranks of mendicant displaced.

Piece by piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is being shattered.

What this means for the Islamist militants are gains in strategic ground and further headway in the goal of religious cleansing. In other words, the Islamic State also known as ISIS is still winning -- militarily and politically. And despite upbeat statements about our counter-terrorism strategy by new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and last week's Counter Violent Extremism conference at the State Department, our side -- those who oppose this barbarism -- finds itself still back on its heels.

Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East emailed that sources in the city of Hassakah, reported that some 3,000 of the villagers managed to flee, either to that city or to Qamishly, where they are being sheltered in churches. According to his source, who requested anonymity, the captives included "50 families in Tel Shamiran, 26 families in Tel Gouran, 28 families in Tel Jezira, and 14 young people (12 males and 2 females) who were defending Tel Hormiz." Milad, a 17-year-old man, was "martyred."

Since a family averages five people, this translates to over 120 Christians captured by ISIS. The Islamist militants reportedly separated the captives, men from women and children -- a pattern also seen when ISIS attacked Iraq's Yizidi community on Sinjar mountain last August. The Syrian Christians' fate is unknown but could include murder, enslavement, rape or traded as a hostage. Churches in the seized villages could be seen ablaze from the opposite river bank.

Syrian-Catholic Archbishop of Hassakah-Nisibi, Jacques Behnan Hindo, told the Vatican press Fides that the Christians feel like they are "abandoned into the hands" of ISIS.

The Archbishop explained:

"Yesterday American bombers flew over the area several times, but without taking action. We have a hundred Assyrian families who have taken refuge in Hassakah, but they have received no assistance either from the Red Crescent or from Syrian government aid workers, perhaps because they are Christians. The UN High Commission for Refugees is nowhere to be seen."


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Piece By Piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is Being Shattered

Sunday, September 14, 2014

From Exodus to Exodus, Iraqi Christians Seek New Home



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

(AFP) -- Threats by jihadists have sent a fresh wave of Christians fleeing their Iraqi homeland, bustling from exodus to exodus in search of a safe haven to rebuild their lives.

Raja Marzina, who has taken refuge in Jordan with her husband and their five children, never imagined she would one day have to leave Iraq for good.

"But we had no choice; we had to flee to save our lives and our religion," she said.

Like dozens of others who fled the orgy of violence unleashed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists this summer, Marzina goes to the Syriac Catholics Virgin Mary church in Amman for prayers and to discuss the latest events back home.

IS militants between June and August seized Mosul, Iraq's second city that was home to a sizeable Christian community, and Qaraqosh, the country's largest Christian town.

Jordan is the transit point for Iraqis waiting to emigrate to North America or Europe, after a stopover in the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

"Around 70 percent of the Christians of Iraq have left their country over the past 20 years because of its successive wars and conflicts," said Wael Suleiman, the Jordan director of the Catholic relief organisation Caritas.

It was estimated their were one million Iraqi Christians before the wave of emigration began, with Baghdad once home to 600,000 of them.

The number of Christians in Iraq has been declining ever since the 2003 US-led invasion and the insurgencies that followed.


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From Exodus to Exodus, Iraqi Christians Seek New Home


Saturday, August 09, 2014

ISIS Persecution of Iraqi Christians Has Become Genocide, Say Religious Leaders


The following excerpts are from Aina.org:

Isis's persecution of Iraqi Christians, which has already forced tens of thousands of men, women and children to flee for their lives, is fast becoming a genocide, religious leaders have warned.

Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod of the Syriac Orthodox church said that Isis's capture of Qaraqosh, Iraq's largest Christian city, had marked a turning point for Christians in the country.

"Now we consider it genocide -- ethnic cleansing," he said. "They are killing our people in the name of Allah and telling people that anyone who kills a Christian will go straight to heaven: that is their message. They have burned churches; they have burned very old books. They have damaged our crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary. They are occupying our churches and converting them into mosques."

The archbishop, who leads the Syriac Orthodox church in the UK, urged the UK government to open the country's doors to those fleeing the violence. "We are dying, 100%," he said. "The British government needs to help people and to give them asylum. If they stay here, they will be killed."

His pleas were echoed by Patriarch Louis Sako, the Iraq-based leader of the Chaldean Catholic church, who said that about 100,000 Christians had abandoned their villages in the Nineveh plains earlier this week after Isis launched mortar attacks. He asked the EU and the UN to help them before it was too late.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Christian Groups to Rally for Protection in Iraq


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Across the ancient cities and villages of Iraq, an "N" word also is used out of hate.

Members of the extremist group known as ISIS spray paint the letter "N" in blazing red on the homes of those they deem different. Scrawled in Arabic and pronounced "noon," the N stands for Nazarene, or follower of Christ, and to an outsider, it may look like a happy face.

But ISIS uses it as a mark of death. It warns Christian families who live in those homes to convert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or prepare to die.

"There is a Christian genocide happening in Northern Iraq and no one is doing anything about it" said Delilah George, a 31-year-old Assyrian woman and Valley Village resident. "My people are experiencing unspeakable horror and grief at the hands of these radicals."

Since the takeover in June of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS has targeted the Christian population, whose faith has been present for almost 2,000 years. In the last two weeks, Assyrians were forced to leave their ancestral homeland under the threat of death. Many have been beaten, robbed and brutalized, or killed along the way as they search for a safe haven.

The sadness, frustration with the lack of public awareness and even anger has prompted George and countless Assyrians to hold a rally Saturday at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. Dubbed "Demand for Action," the Los Angeles event is one of nearly 40 worldwide to be held also on Saturday across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.


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Christian Groups to Rally for Protection in Iraq



Monday, July 21, 2014

Christian Holocaust Underway in Iraq, USA and World Look on



The following excerpts are from Aina.org:

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.

In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching.


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Christian Holocaust Underway in Iraq, USA and World Look on



Monday, July 14, 2014

Christians Disappearing From Iraq, Bishops Lament

Chaldean Archbishops of Erbil and Kirkuk, Bashar Warda and Yousif Mirkis (photo: Aid to the Church in Need).

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Two Iraqi archbishops are seeking "faith and hope" in Iraq, while bewailing the continuing exodus of Christians from the country amid continued violence.
Archbishop Yousif Mirkis heads the Chaldean Archdiocese of Kirkuk, in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.

He said that he "quite definitely" fears the end of Christianity in Iraq.

"We are in the process of disappearing, just as the Christians in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and North Africa have disappeared. And even in Lebanon they now constitute only a minority," he told the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need July 8.

Archbishop Mirkis said he is not resigned to defeat, but "trying to be realistic."

"There is still the hope that faith brings," he said. While he himself will not leave Iraq, he said he understands why young Christians are leaving in the wake of so many violent deaths.

"In the past ten years we have lost a bishop and six priests. In addition there are about a thousand of the faithful who have died in attacks."

"Not everybody shares the faith and the hope."

The Christian population in Iraq has plummeted to 400,000, down from about 1.5 million before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.


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Christians Disappearing From Iraq, Bishops Lament



Thursday, May 01, 2014

Chaldean patriarch rips Western actions in Iraq: ‘we are a ruined church’ : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic World News:
  • Eleven years after the US invasion of Iraq, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church declared that “we are a ruined church” and said that “1,400 years of Islam could not uproot us from our land and our churches, while the policies of the West [have] scattered us and distributed us all around the world.”
  • “Democracy and change come through upbringing and education rather than through conflict,” said Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, who has governed the Eastern Catholic church since February 2013. “Intervention by the West in the region did not solve the problems … but on the contrary, produced more chaos and conflict.”
  • Referring to the regime of Saddam Hussein, he said that “in the Church of the Ascension, Al-Mashtal, for example, there were about 5,000 families and over 240 students preparing for their First Holy Communion before the regime’s fall.” On “25 April 2014, I celebrated in this church the Holy Mass for First Holy Communion of 13 students only.”

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:)

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