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Patriarch Sako: Global threat of IS demands global response

Patriarch Sako: Global threat of IS demands global response

(Vatican Radio)  As NATO leaders gather in Wales to discuss if and how they can respond to the Islamic State onslaught in Iraq and Syria, the leader of Iraq’s ancient Chaldean Catholic Church Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako has issued a stark warning: act now, because the Islamic State is a threat for everyone, not just Iraq’s minorities.

The Patriarch says the suffering  of  the  displaced  Christians  and  other  minorities  is  mounting while the international community is silent “either because it approves or because it is incapable of acting”.  He states that this serves to encourage IS to move forward with its ferocious war. 

And he concludes: “What these peaceful Christians and loyal citizens have experienced is a real genocide. Everybody should know this is a threat for all!”.

Both the U.S. and Britain are deeply concerned about the potential threat to their homelands that could come from the foreign fighters who have joined the violent Islamic State group.

Ahead of Thursday’s NATO leaders summit in Wales, both President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron appear to suggest that NATO should play a role in containing the militants, but were not specific in what action they would seek from the alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he believes the broader international community “has an obligation to stop the Islamic State from advancing further,” but noted that the alliance hasn’t received any request for help.

A compilation of government estimates shows more than 2,000 people with European passports have fought or are fighting in Syria and Iraq _ with most looking to join the Islamic State group.

On the ground the United Nations says death toll from a month of violence in Iraq stands at 1,688, as the country’s forces continue fighting against the IS terrorists.

More and more information is emerging about atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. These include the massacre of an estimated 770 men in Tikrit and the harrowing testimonies of residents and after the recapture of the town of Amerli on August 31, where at least 13 civilians,  including newborn infants, died from lack of food, water or medical treatment during the 80 day siege.

Below the full text of Patriarch Sako’s letter:



A  whole  month  passed  after  the  plight  of  Iraqi  Christians  and  Yezidis  and  other minorities, as if it was meant to be. The curtains have been drawn on the painful events, and 120.000 Christians are uprooted from their historical homeland because the Political Islam does not want them there, and the world is silent, standing still, either because it approves or because it is incapable of acting. This encourages ISIS (which has nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and fertility  ISIS) to  move forward with its ferocious war  against  culture  and  diversity  and  threatening  the  intellectual  and  social  security.  The suffering  of  the  displaced  Christians  and  other  minorities  is  mounting:  their  needs  are escalating and their fears of an unknown future of their shocked children, seized towns, and looted  houses  keep  them  sleepless!  These  people  were  living  in  their  hometowns  in prosperity,  pride  and  dignity;  in  the  blink  of  an  eye,  they  were  ousted  from  their  homes, terrified and fleeing on foot in search of a shelter. It is a scene that takes us back to the dark centuries of the past although it has become a horrific reality of our present civilization!

What these peaceful Christians and loyal citizens experienced is a real genocide, a sad ending,  and  a  proof  of  the  privation  of  the  religious,  human,  moral,  and  national  values.

Therefore, it is a shameful stain in history. Everybody should know is a threat for all!

Few days ago we saw the 13 year old girl on Ishtar satellite channel, screaming: “I want to go back to my own town, Qaraqosh. I am tired of this  life here; I would  rather die for it rather than living here in humiliation”. It’s a loud call to the conscience of the world!

(From archive of Vatican Radio)