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The situation of Christians in Iraq continues to worsen by the hour

· Patriarch of Babylon for Chaldeans asks that Muslims respect the non-violent prescriptions of the Quran ·

The condition of Christians in Iraq continues to worsen by the hour. Hundreds of families have been forced to flee and abandon their villages and homes due to the threat of the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). And now in an attempt to wound the people of Mossul and other areas in the northern Iraqi province of Ninive, the extremists suddenly cut off water, electricity and gas to the people who remain. In various areas of Ninive, which is controlled by the Islamic extremists, the internally displaced persons are increasing. Among these are Christian families, who have been forced to abandon their belongings due to the ultimatum of the jihadists (convert to Islam or die) and due to the lack of basic services.

On Sunday afternoon, the jihadist militants seized the ancient monastery of Mar Behnam, located 10 minutes from the city of Qaraqosh, which is mostly Christian. Until Saturday the monastery was managed by Syro-Catholic munks. “The international community”, said Fr Nizar Semaan, a colleague of Archbishop Yohanna Petros Moshe of Mossul for Syrians, “is disturbingly passive in the face of what is happening. Concrete measures are necessary on the humanitarian and political level”.

In an open letter addressed to “all men of good will and to those who are concerned about the nation of Iraq”, the Patriarch Louis Raphaël Sako i of Babylon for Chaldeans recalls that recent acts of violence are contrary to the Quran and damage the great common history of commitment of all Iraqis for the country.

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