Iraqi Government to Provide More Aid to Persecuted Christians, Chaldean Church Says

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By Michael Logan
(Photo: Reuters/Ahmed Jadalla)
A Christian family who have taken refuge after ISIS swarmed the Christian city of Mosul.
Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church has announced that the Iraqi government has made a commitment to provide displaced Christians in the region with more aid where they have been persecuted by Islamic State militants.

Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis I Mar Sako, who led the Christian delegation at the November 2 meeting, said that Prime Minister Haider al Abadi felt responsible for the exodus of Christians from the northern Iraq region, where many regions are now under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS).

“With much realism he acknowledged that military action will not be enough to solve the problem and that, in the long run, a process that removes the roots of the phenomenon, and brings out the true face of Islam open and respectful of all rights should be encouraged,” the patriarch said according to Fides News Agency.

The two also talked about some Christians who have been kidnapped and attacked in their homes by criminals.

“The Prime Minister has promised that he will enhance the presence of military units in the neighborhoods, and also said he was willing to co-opt another Christian minister in the government,” he added.

More than 120,000 Christians fled the largely Christian city of Mosul after ISIS militants invaded in June and left Christians with an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, or face death by the sword. The militants have declared cities in Iraq and Syria as their “Islamic Caliphate.” In total, about 1.2 million people have been affected by the conflict in Iraq.

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