Mosul now emptied of Christians, says Archbishop

Vatican Radio
12 June 2014

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Chaldean Archbishop Amel Nona, said he thought Mosul’s last remaining Christians had left now a city which until 2003 was home to 35,000 faithful.

The Christians are among 500,000 thought to have fled Mosul whose overthrow yesterday is now followed by news today (Wed, 11 June) of militant attacks on the Iraqi city of Tikrit 95 miles north of the capital, Baghdad.

Describing reports of attacks to four churches and a monastery in Mosul, the archbishop, 46, said: “We received threats… [and] now all the faithful have fled the city. I wonder if they will ever return there.”

The archbishop, who in the ensuing crisis sought sanctuary in Tal Kayf, a village two miles from Mosul, described how the local community were doing their best to provide for crowds of people flooding out of the city and into the surrounding Nineveh plains, where there are a number of ancient Christian villages.

“Up at 5am yesterday [Tuesday, 10 June] morning we welcomed families on the run and we have tried to find accommodation in schools, classrooms and empty houses.”

He said: “We have never seen anything like this – a large city such as Mosul attacked and in chaos.”…

 

 

The article continues at Vatican Radio.

 

 

Related:  Iraq’s Vulnerable Christians Further Imperiled by Jihadist Advance

…While hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are affected by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s takeover of key cities including the Ninawa (Nineveh) provincial capital, Mosul, minority Christians – some of whom trace their origins to the earliest years of Christianity – are among those with the most to lose.

In previous years, Christians fleeting violence in Baghdad or elsewhere in the south often headed for the Mosul area. The Nineveh Plain formed the historic homeland of Assyrians, an ancient non-Arab ethnic group in Iraq. Main Christian denominations include Chaldean Catholic, Assyrian, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian and evangelicals…

 

 

FLASHBACK—Obama: ‘We’re Leaving Behind a Sovereign, Stable and Self-Reliant Iraq’

 

 

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 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), issued a rare audio message back on January 21 in which he flatly stated his group’s intention to march on Baghdad and move into “direct confrontation” with the United States.

“Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day,” Baghdadi said. “So watch, for we are with you, watching.”…

 

 

Update: Q&A: What You Need to Know About ISIS in Iraq

…In an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation’s expert in Middle Eastern affairs, James Phillips, breaks down the basics of ISIS, explains how they came to power, and discusses the threat they pose to Americans both at home and abroad…

 

 
Update 2: The Iraqi Shi’a Mobilization to Counter the ISIS Offensive

…The current Shi’a mobilization, however, differs from that of 2006. It is faster. It took six weeks in 2006 for the Mahdi Army to mobilize, but the Shi’a groups have rallied within a week of the fall of Mosul. There are a number of reasons why militia and defense force mobilization is proceeding so quickly…

 

 

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