ISIL power threatens Christians in Syria, Iraq

Catholic World News
The growing power of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which now controls much of Iraq and Syria, has roused new fears for Christians in the region.

Two Chaldean Catholic nuns were abducted by Islamic militants in Mosul, Iraq, on June 28, along with three children from an orphanage they administered. Church authorities said that they had heard reports that the kidnap victims were in good conditions, but remained “extremely worried” about their situation.

In Aleppo, Syria, ISIL militants crucified nine people in the town square, AsiaNews reports. The victims were political opponents of ISIL, but the method of execution was particularly chilling to Christians.

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said that he had appealed to Muslim leaders “to issue fatwas against sectarian violence” as the Islamic world enters the season of Ramadan. Having visited villages in the area threatened by ISIL, the Chaldean prelate reported that Muslims as well as Christians were leaving their homes to escape the violence. He said that the situation is now confused and “we don’t know where all this is going to lead.”

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