Iraq’s Christians Facing a Human Catastrophe


Praying rosary in Iraq“They are facing a human catastrophe and risk a real genocide. They need, water, food, shelter…” These were the words of the leader of Iraq’s biggest Catholic community as he made an impassioned plea for help to the international community following the fall of Iraq’s largest Christian town on the night of August 6th-7th.

In an open letter, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako described the humanitarian crisis that followed the seizure of Qaraqosh by jihadist group ISIS (now calling itself the Islamic State) after Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers withdrew.

Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of BaghdadPatriarch Sako said, “The Christians, about one hundred thousand, horrified and panicked fled their villages and houses [with]nothing but with the clothes on their backs.”

Describing the event as “an exodus, a real via crucis” he went on to add, “Christians are walking on foot in Iraq’s searing summer heat towards the Kurdish cities of Erbil, Duhok and Soulaymiyia, the sick, the elderly, infants and pregnant women among them.”

Patriarch Sako called on the international community to intervene in the current crisis as he accused the Iraqi government of being unable to restore security in the Ninevah Plains.

He said, “We appeal with sadness and pain to the conscience of all, and all people of good will and the United Nations and the European Union, to save these innocent persons from death. We hope it is not too late!”

Not only did the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church state that “the Central Government is incapable of enforcing law and order in this part of the country” but expressed “doubts about the capacity of the Kurdistan Region alone to defend the fierce advance of the jihadists”, describing a lack of cooperation between central government and the Kurdish regional authority.

Patriarch Sako also said “international support and a professional, well equipped army” was key to protecting citizens from ISIS attack.

Pope Francis echoed the patriarch’s plea for the international community to help Iraq’s Christian refugees.

A statement issued by Vatican spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi: “His Holiness urgently calls on the international community to protect all those affected or threatened by the violence, and to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid – to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others.”

Aid to the Church in Need has provided $134,200 in emergency aid to help displaced families on the Nineveh Plains.


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  • j

    Update… “Death and sickness are grabbing refugees” – Patriarch

  • goral

    The poultry sum of 134K shows just how little attention the Roman Pontiff has directed towards this Christian and human catastrophe caused by satanic forces whom the Pope refuses to even mention, much less condemn. That puts him on par with the muhammadan from the White Hut who is quivering like the reeds on his golf course ponds in the face of the evil he engineered. As I recall, they shook hands and agreed to work toward social justice. Yeahh!


    This is not the 1st genocide of the Assyrian Chaldean Christians. Over 250,000 were killed (along with over 1 million Armenians) by the Turks during WW1. Since that time the Assyrian Chaldean Christians, without success, have been attempting to establish their own nation in the Nineveh plains, their traditional homeland east of Mosul and the Tigris River. The Kurds are also vying for independence. Once these peoples have their own independent nations they will be free of the endless carnage of Iraq. Only the US government can enforce this solution and ever since the US invasion both the Bush and Obama administrations have been strongly opposed to both the Kurds and the Assyrian Chaldean Christians. At some point our government must realize that it is important to support your friend rather than arm your enemies.