Pope Francis thanks Jordan for welcoming Christians escaping from ISIS persecution

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Czarina Ong
Pope Francis calls Iraqi Christian refugees as the ‘martyrs of today’ since they refused to give up their faith despite threats to their lives and properties.
Pope Francis used the first anniversary of the arrival of Iraqi refugees to Jordan to thank the country for opening its arms to people escaping from death, poverty, and violence in war-torn Iraq. The Pope also used the occasion to urge the international community not to remain indifferent to the plight of Christians and other minorities victimised by the Islamic State reign of terror in Iraq and Syria.

“Many times I have wanted to give voice to the atrocious, inhumane and inexplicable persecution of those who in many parts of the world – and especially among Christians – are victims of fanaticism and intolerance, often under the eyes and silence of all,” the Pope said in his letter addressed to Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem S.B. Fouwad Toual, and the Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan S.E. Maroun Lahham.

“They are the martyrs of today, humiliated and discriminated against because of their fidelity to the Gospel,” he wrote, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The ISIS started becoming more aggressive in June 2014, prompting over 2.5 million refugees, many of which are Christians, to flee from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain and go to neighbouring countries, Erbil, and other cities in the Kurdish area.

Pope Francis said the Church “doesn’t forget or abandon her children, exiled for their faith.” He expressed gratitude to the Jordanian government and people for showing the Christian virtue of welcoming people who have nowhere else to go into their country, no matter how difficult it might be to care for them.

“You announce the resurrection of Christ with the sharing of their pain and the fraternal help which provides aid to the hundreds of thousands of refugees; with your stooping down into their suffering, which risks suffocating hope; with your fraternal service, which also risks many dark moments of existence,” he said.