"Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future," Archbishop Emil Nona told Italian daily Corriere della Sera Aug. 9 from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Archbishop Nona has been forced from his home by the Islamic State, a caliphate recently established in Iraq and Syria. He is among five bishops who have been forced from Mosul.
The Islamist group has persecuted all non-Sunni Muslims in the territory it holds – Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims have all fled the area.
“I lost my diocese,” he said in the comments which were translated by Rorate Caeli. “The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.”
According to the United Nations, there are more than 1.2 million internally displaced persons in Iraq, as well as at least 10,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria as a result of the Islamic State.
Archbishop Nona appealed to western media to “try to understand us.”
“Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.”
“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values.”
“If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”
The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul has warned that Christians around the world would face suffering from Islamists as his diocese has, and decisions that challenge the underpinnings of Western political ideas.
Islamic State, Chaldean Archeparchy of Mosul, Archbishop Nona