Fighting against Islamic State driving more families from homes, Chaldean Patriarch reports

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Catholic World News –
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has issued a statement voicing his “deep concern” about the plight of civilians caught up in fighting between the Islamic State and the Iraqi army.
The Islamic State “is burning everything: human beings, stones and civilizations,” the Iraqi prelate reports. At the same time, the advance of the Iraqi army is forcing thousands of families to leave their homes, swelling the ranks of displaced people in the region. Relief agencies have not yet been able to organize help for the latest round of refugees, he said.

The Patriarch called upon the Iraqi government, and the international community, “to act as soon as possible to ensure the protection of innocent civilians and to offer them the necessary assistance in lodging, food and medications.”

The Christian population of Iraq, particularly in the region near Mosul and the Nineveh plains, has already experienced “a human catastrophe that cannot suffer any silence,” the Patriarch said. He pleaded for help with a situation that, he said, “threatens to deteriorate from bad to worse.”