Iraqi bishop calls for international aid in response to massacre of Christians


Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad, Iraq is calling for the international community to continue offering assistance to Christians in his country.

Bishop Warduni spoke Jan. 20 during Italy's congressional committee on foreign affairs and warned, “Christians are in great danger.”

“They are tired, they don’t know what to do or where to go. Their rights are being restricted.”

He added that Christians in the area are left unprotected from violence.

“Iraq needs a comprehensive solution,” the bishop said, urging that special help be given to “minorities, including Christians, who have done much to build Iraq.”

“Cooperation among all in order to achieve peace and security in Iraq and the Middle East” must be one of the first steps, Bishop Warduni continued. “If this were happening,” Christians would not be leaving the region.

“We call for the creation of a special international tribunal to shed light on the killings of Christian martyrs such as Archbishop Faraj Raho of Mosul (killed in 2008), and others.  We want everyone to know the truth,” Bishop Warduni said.

He urged Italian lawmakers to put pressure on the governments of countries where Christians are a minority to ensure greater protection of their rights against the actions of extremists. “The danger is that this continues to spread throughout the world. We want the U.N. to be more decisive when it comes to defending the rights of man,” he said.

He also warned against the growing Islamization of Iraq, a country where “Christians are free to worship but not to fully profess their faith.

“The time for words is over, it is now time for concrete action,” the bishop concluded.

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