Patriarch pleads with Iraqi Prime Minister to protect Christians
Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan. Credit: Sryo-Catholic Diocese of Mosul.
Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan. Credit: Sryo-Catholic Diocese of Mosul.

.- The Patriarch of the Syro-Catholic Church sent an urgent letter to the Iraqi Prime Minister on Wednesday pleading for government intervention to establish peace and security for Iraqi Christians, especially those in Mosul. The message is accompanied by news of peaceful protests from the area's Christians in the coming weeks.

Translated portions of the text written by Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, based in Beirut, Lebanon, to Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri Al-Maliki were sent to CNA by a priest from Mosul.

"We are writing you now with injured hearts because of the painful news we are receiving, especially from Mosul where the tendency of Christians being the target of 'anonymous' criminals has increased considerably," writes the Patriarch in the message.

Of Christians in Mosul, he relates, "they are killed, sacrificed and attacked in the streets, in schools and also in their own homes, this only because of their religious affiliation which is different from the affiliation of the majority who live in that city."

Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan also expresses his disbelief at the "excuses from those in charge of the government." These excuses, he charges, are "nothing more than complicity for the plan to empty Mosul of Christians who have lived there for so many centuries."

The rocks used to build the city still bear witness to "the sweat of their fathers," he added.

The Patriarch concluded his urgent message with an appeal to the government of Prime Minister al-Maliki "to strike with an iron arm and punish the criminals together with their accomplices in Mosul." If they are unable to "achieve peace and introduce security for the affected innocents," the Patriarch suggested that the government should arm Christians "so that they can, in some way, protect themselves from being sacrificed like sheep."

After the funerals on Wednesday of the most recent victims of violence, Syro-Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Georges Casmoussa spoke to Vatican Radio. He said that Orthodox and Catholic bishops of the city have decided to stage protests on successive Sundays with moments of prayer in Christian cities and the suspension of all Masses.

Through these actions, he said, "we will give a message to the government."

Archbishop Casmoussa also responded to a question on the relationship between the killings and the March 7th elections in Iraq. "In all elections there are problems," he answered, "but not to the point of killing people and, in particular, Christians.

"Christians are killed not for a political point of view, but because they are Christians."

He also said that they have asked the governor to investigate, which he promised to do as well as sending military forces to search for the assassins, but no action had been taken yet.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: