A militia leader in Iraq who has called for revenge against the Islamic State has no right to “make such statements involving Christians” and “does not represent them in any way,” the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has announced.
The Baghdad patriarchate quickly issued that statement after a militia leader who claims to represent Christians vowed to exact revenge on Islamic jihadists. The militia leader, Ryan Salem, said that his fighters would take reprisals in Mosul; in a televised address, he stood with Sunni Muslim prisoners held by his group, who are suspected of collaborating with the Islamic State.
The Chaldean patriarchate said that the call for revenge “has nothing to do with Christ’s moral teachings.” The statement added that such dramatic calls for revenge fuel sectarian tensions, and could prompt further attacks on Christians by Islamic extremists. The patriarchate said that in the campaign against the Islamic State, all rules of moral combat should be followed.