Christians and concerned citizens gathered today to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians in Iraq.
Bishop Sarhad Jammo of San Diego’s Chaldean/Assyrian Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle spoke at the rally, held in front of the Federal Building in downtown San Diego.
The bishop was in Mosul, Iraq, on June 3, when Fr. Ragheed Ganni and three deacons were killed in front of Mosul’s Church of the Holy Spirit. The bishop saw what happened and said one of the deacons was even shot in front of his wife.
The deteriorating situation of Iraq’s Christians has taken a back seat in the media to the struggles between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Many Christian refugees have fled to Syria and Jordan.
Dr. Noori Barka of St. Peter’s Chaldean Catholic Parish has been working with Bishop Jammo by lobbying the State Department to do more to help Iraq’s persecuted Christians.
Barka said they have had some success. “They are going to start allowing Christian refugees to come here from Iraq, probably in September or October,” Barka was quoted as saying. “We are trying to get more aid for these people and get the new government in Iraq to help.”
Barka said the community is hoping that pressure from the Pope and other world leaders will help.
The Chaldean community in Michigan is planning a similar rally next week.