Lobby for the Christians of Iraq

FAO The Prime Minister and All Senior Parliamentarians
Dear Friends,
I enclose the appeal by Archbishop Toma Dawod of the Syriac Orthodox Church, made in a Mass for the Christian victims of the violence in Mosul in october. The mass was held in Cardiff on the 25th october and organised by the Iraqi Christian Association in Wales.
  The following tuesday, in the House of Commons, Archbishop Toma made a similar appeal at a meeting organised by ourselves and sponsored by David Drew MP. Deacon Ghattas explained how his familly had escaped the genocide of 1915 . Many Iraqi Christians also have the same story and are now persecuted in Iraq.
Lord Alton then agreed to ask some questions in the House of Lords.
  We appeal to you to hold the government to account for their responsibilities for the Minorities of Iraq.We appeal to you to persuade the government to open the doors of these countries of the UK wide open to these people who are suffering as a result of our actions in Iraq.
  I asked a representative of the Assyrian Aid Society how much the government has contributed to help them, and was shoked to hear that this, the main Assyrian Relief Society has received nothing from the UK government . Any help in persuading the government to contribute or in persuading the Home Office to be more lenient with visa applications would be most welcome.
  The core issue though is the security of Christians in the Nineveh plain.The Iraqi army is clearly unwilling, or unable to protect them. Surely a debate in parliament is in order. Are we to leave Iraq dishonourably, leaving the Christians to suffer as the result of our interference, as we did 75 years ago, resulting in the massacre of 3,000 Assyrians?
Eilian Williams
Appeal by Archbishop Toma Dawod
My Dear Brothers & Sisters,
  We the descendants of the Ancient Church of the East. Our forefathers were the Aramaic – Assyrians – Chaldeans and our presence in Iraq goes back more than 5000 years. Our people were amongst the first who believed in our Lord Jesus Christ in the first century through St. Thomas the Apostle and his brother St. Adai the preacher. We were the builders of ancient Iraq and the surrounding region (what is called Mesopotamia) and the makers of its his civilisation and heritage. Unfortunately, our number started to dwindle due to wars, diseases and emigration. Despite that, we are still contributing to the world’s civilisation. Until now, the Christians of the East are well-developed people. A significant percentage of them are highly educated and usually doing well. They are zealous about their Christian faith and proud of it. Our ancestors suffered torture and death and would not betray the name of Jesus. We are the children of the martyrs and our eastern churches are called the Martyrs’ Church.
  With deep sorrow and sadness our Eastern Christian Church in Iraq especially in Mosul have bade farewell to its loyal Children who were murdered by the bullets of the criminals and terrorists who continue to persecute the Christians. Recently, thousands of innocent people had fled away from Mosul towards the Christian villages seeking refuge and safety. This happened after they were openly threatened by loud speakers that they should leave with only the clothes they were wearing. They were threatened not to take or remove anything else from their homes. Some Christians were forcefully evicted from their homes and their houses were blown up in front of their eyes. Some terrorists had killed their sons or a father and his son. By doing so, they have succeeded in petrifying the innocent and peace-loving people forcing them to flee and to be subjected to the elements. All that happened in front of the eyes of the Iraqi government. Its own police force were standing few metres away in some cases and never intervened to help the victims.
The worse thing is the Christians were and are accused of being servants to the Americans and the British. In fact these two governments have never given any help towards our Christian people in Iraq who are constantly being persecuted and despite the fact that tens of people get killed daily and several hundreds of thousands have escaped to Syria, Jordan, etc seeking safety following the 2003 occupation.
The arms of the terrorists in Iraq are still strong and innocent Christian people are being massacred. The terrorists have also destroyed several symbols of the church. Just two years ago they slaughtered our martyr priest reverend father Pulous Iskandar by beheading him just because he was a Christian priest. They also shot dead the reverend father Raghid kani and three deacons who were accompanying him just upon leaving their church after a Mass. Eight months ago they murdered His Grace the Bishop Mar Boulos Faraj Raho together with the three people who accompanied him. Six months ago they shot dead another martyr priest reverend father Yousif Abbodi who has left behind a very young widow and very elderly helpless parents.
We are all now asking the question why are they doing this? Why have they made our beloved country a place for terrorism? And, why do they kill in particular the Christians although we do not deny that all our people in Iraq of various races and religions are facing similar dangers? However, we, the Christians, because of our comparatively small number suffer the most. Why have they attacked, damaged and demolished churches? Why have they forced people to abandon their homes by force and without mercy?
The Christians as testified by their brothers in humanity the Muslims to be the original inhabitants of this country with their great civilisations.
The Christians are not part of the struggle for leadership of the country, nor do they strive to make enemies with anyone. We also question why the UN and the Western Governments do nothing to rescue the Christians from death?
Today and from this church we ask with a loud voice and say please save all the innocent people of Iraq who became victims to terrorism and especially the Christians. Please save the Christians because they do not carry arms and bombs. They do not seek revenge from anyone. They have no party nor any army. When they are slapped on their faces they turn the other cheek as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ. They forgive and pray for their killers. They adhere to true Christian teachings and values. Is it because they are kind, meek and peaceful that they are neglected and no one bothers to come to their aid and defend them?
We are now demanding that their rights be preserved. We stand by their side and speak on their behalf so that the civilised world may know about their plight and hear their voices and in particular the British government. Please open your doors. Please help those persecuted people and welcome them into your land. Please extend the well-known hospitality of your kind people to them.
We pray to the Lord that he may have abundant mercy upon our martyrs with all the saints and martyrs in his heavenly kingdom.
We ask the government in Iraq to act towards spreading peace and stability in Iraq and help to protect the life of its people and not fight to score points, grip hold of positions and benefit from Iraq’s fortunes.
We pray to God; to support our people in Mosul so they can bear this deliberate persecution, to awaken the conscious of those in places of responsibility so they may start to protect their citizens, to provide the Iraqi government with wisdom, patience and good conscious and for the people of Iraq to live in peace, security and harmony.
We also pray to God for Her Majesty our Queen Elizabeth II, for the royal family, and for Her Majesty’s government. We pray for the prosperity of the hospitable and generous British people especially at this difficult time.
Finally, we would like to thank all our distinguished guests who have attended this service. May God bless you all.