Flight of from Mosul, home of believers since dawn of Christianity, is lamented by churches body

Peter Kenny
A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. There had previously been reports on social media that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would make his first public appearance since his Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) changed its name to the Islamic State and declared him caliph. The Iraqi government denied that the video, which carried Friday’s date, was credible. It was also not possible to immediately confirm the authenticity of the recording or the date when it was made.Photo: REUTERS / Social Media Website via Reuters

GENEVA – The Word Council of Churches has reiterated a call to United Nations Agencies to ensure that all vulnerable communities in Iraq and the surrounding region receive appropriate humanitarian assistance.
“We are deeply shocked and distressed by the recent events in Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of people have fled the second largest city in Iraq,” the WCC said in a statement released Tuesday.
It followed the meeting of its main governing body, its Central Committee.

The people were fleeing “because of the violence and raids by the “Islamic State,” a terrorist group formerly known as the “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” (ISIS).

“This radical group is imposing its terror on the whole population, specifically targeting minority groups, including Christians, who have remained steadfast in the city after several waves of displacement.”

Mosul, in northern Iraq, is some 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.