The Pope’s special envoy to Iraq has said Christians and religious minorities in the country are facing genocide and the international community must act quickly to come to their aid.
In an interview with the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire Wednesday, Cardinal Fernando Filoni said Iraqis have told him the world must urgently help them and “not wait until they are in a hopeless situation.”
“We are faced with a tragedy that is genocide,” Cardinal Filoni said, “because when all the men are taken and killed, when women are robbed, taken away, their dignity violated in the worst human way and then sold, then you are destroying these people, knowing that in this way they will no longer have a future.”
I recently spent some time watching Shark Week on television. Being fascinated with large predatory fish, I’ve watched many shark programs throughout the years. And I’ve reached one conclusion: the “liberal” response one is accustomed to when the topic of Islam and Islamists come up—that they are misunderstood, that we need to respect their ways and be tolerant, that it’s our fault we get attacked—has become so embedded in the Western psyche that it now colors our understanding of the animal world as well.
Is it much too little, a fraction too late in ridding the world of the ISIS menace. This is a wakeup call to freedom-loving peoples around the earth, or is it? This address is to those unaware of the unprecedented debauchery in the name of religion by thugs forming a self-proclaimed Caliphate, the Islamic State of Iraq and Eastern Syria (ISIS), less well known as ISIL, where the (L) stands for the Levant. Those aware of the massacre seem to not being interested, blind to the fact that this monstrosity is aiming for a global reach.
The young ask for guns. The elderly approve. "Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future," says Amel Nona, 47, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul exiled in Erbil. The message is unequivocal: the only way to end the Christian exodus from the places that witnessed its origins in the pre-Islamic age is to respond to force with force.
Nona is a wounded, pain-stricken man, but not resigned.
French President Francois Hollande called on Wednesday for an international conference to discuss ways of tackling Islamic State insurgents who have seized control of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Hollande did not say when such a meeting could be held or who would be invited but said a global strategy was needed to combat the insurgents, according to remarks published in Le Monde newspaper.
“We can no longer keep to the traditional debate of intervention or non-intervention,” Hollande told Le Monde.
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Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.