Istanbul, Turkey, Dec 5, 2006 / 22:00 pm
The Chaldean and Syrian Catholic bishops of Turkey, Bishop Francois Yakan and Bishop Yusuf Sag, said this week they are very hopeful that the recent visit by Benedict XVI will help to improve the Iraqi refugee situation in the country.
Both bishops called on countries of the European community to open their doors to Christian Iraqi refugees, who have no place to go.
Bishop Yakan decried that “each day, five or six people who are relatives of somebody in our community in Istanbul are killed in Iraq. Returning to their country is something unthinkable at this moment.”
“There is no place for Iraqi Christians in their own country, like there is for Sunnis, Shiites or Kurds. Many Christians were forced to leave Iraq sometime ago and they cannot return now to their country, where in addition, they would find other people living in their homes and working their fields,” Bishop Yakan said.
According to Bishop Sag, who ministers to 174 families in his diocese, “This is a humanitarian catastrophe. I ask you to continue praying, and although some may be tired of doing so, we should always be sure of one thing: God is always taking care of us.”