Friday, October 16, 2015

'This is genocide - and it must end'

A report presented to the House of Lords on Tuesday says Christianity is on course to disappear from Iraq, where Christians have lived for centuries, possibly within five years - unless emergency help is provided on a massively increased level.

The report, Persecuted and forgotten?, by the Roman Catholic group Aid to the Church in Need, says the church's survival in parts of Africa and the Middle East is threatened by religiously motivated ethnic cleansing by extremist Islamic groups.

Jean-Clement Jeanbart, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, writes: "My own cathedral has been bombed six times and is now unusable. My home has been hit more than 10 times.

"We are facing the rage of an extremist jihad; we may disappear soon. Truly we are 'reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.'"

The report says Christians are the world's worst persecuted faith group. Of 10 nations where persecution is extreme, persecution in nine of them has worsened in the past two years.

You can see details of the report here, and a report by Sheila Liaugminas here.

 The Pope has said that Christians in the Middle East are facing genocide - "and I stress the word genocide" - and it must end. 

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