Says he is willing to visit nation where Christians are under siege.
Pope Francis supports international intervention in Iraq and is willing to go to there personally if it will help end the violence against Christians and other religious minorities, Catholic News Agency reports.
“In these cases where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor,” Pope Francis told reporters on his flight back from South Korea. “I underscore the verb 'stop.' I don't say 'to bomb' or 'make war,' (but) 'stop it,'” the Pope said.
The UN Security Council adopted on August 15 resolution 2170 (2014) condemning gross, widespread abuse of human rights by extremist groups in Iraq, Syria. The text, adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, places sanctions on individuals associated with those organizations.
Calling on all United Nations Member States to act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, the Security Council this afternoon put six persons affiliated to those groups on its terrorist sanctions list.
ISIS’ barbarism in Syria and Iraq has gotten so bad that even the Vatican has signaled that military action may be necessary. And Down Under, Bishop Anba Suriel, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the diocese of Melbourne, denounced the terrorist group in no uncertain terms and urged Australia, and the world, to act before “such fundamentalisms infects the entire world.”
“The world watches in silence as the last Christians are expelled from Mosul, Iraq in one of the most merciless and barbaric acts of genocide we have seen in the 21st Century,” Suriel, who was born in Egypt, said in a statement last week.
Beyond the urgent humanitarian crisis lies a cultural and linguistic emergency of historic proportions. We may be watching the deliberate destruction of Aramaic, unfolding in real time.
Qaraqosh, Tel Kepe, and Karamlesh are just three of the Iraqi towns on the Nineveh plains captured in early August by the Islamic State (IS), but they represent the last major concentration of Aramaic speakers in the world. Pushing northeast of Mosul towards Kurdistan, the jihadist army now occupies the ancient heart of Christian Iraq. According to U.N. officials, roughly 200,000 Christians fled their homes on the Nineveh plains on the night of Aug. 6, justifiably fearful that IS fighters would expel them, kill them, or force them to convert. A local archbishop, Joseph Thomas, described the situation as "catastrophic, a crisis beyond imagination."
Turkey allowed jihadi volunteers to cross its border to fight in Syria and served as a hub for rebel forces
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis but transformed into the Islamic State since it declared its caliphate at the end of June, has turned into a strategic threat of the first magnitude, writes David Gardner. What looked like a black-shirted horde of jihadi fanatics, taking opportune advantage of a demoralised army in a dismembered Iraq, is a movement of a qualitatively higher order than al-Qaeda, dwarfing anything the followers of Osama bin Laden were able to throw at the Middle East and the world.
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Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.