Iraqi Archbishop urges international community to do more to defeat ISIS

  • Written by:

by Catholic News Service
Displaced Iraqi children stand in a classroom of a school used as a shelter in the city of Ramadi (CNS)
Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul said if western nations can’t help protect Iraqi refugees, they should ‘open their doors’ to them

A Syriac Catholic Archbishop called on the world’s government to oust ISIS militants from northern parts of the country so thousands of displaced Christians can return home.

Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul expressed concern over reports of the destruction of religious artefacts and historic buildings by the militants in the occupied Christian communities.

Speaking with the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need on the first anniversary of the ISIS’s takeover of Mosul, Archbishop Moshe said that forcing out ISIS forces was the “best solution” for the 120,000 displaced Christians who fled the city June 10 2014, and nearby towns and villages that were seized in early August.

The Syriac Catholic prelate also suggested that if western nations were unable to oust ISIS forces, they should welcome Christians and others seeking asylum.

He said: “I am calling on the international community: If they cannot protect us, then they must open their doors and help us start a new life elsewhere. But we would prefer to be in Iraq and be protected in Iraq.

“The only solution that will make them happy and give them dignity is to go back to their homes. We ask everyone to put pressure on the people who have the responsibility to free the (towns and villages) as soon as possible so the people can come back and live in peace in their … homes and continue their lives there.”

Archbishop Moshe, who also was forced to flee Mosul, asked for prayers for the displaced Christians and “especially for our political leaders to help them find the solution that will allow us to go back to our cities.”