Mideast Christians urge Arabs lead the fight against Islamic State

September 17, 2014
(Displaced Iraq Christians who fled from Islamic State militants in Mosul, pray at a school acting as a refugee camp in Erbil September 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

(Displaced Iraq Christians who fled from Islamic State militants in Mosul, pray at a school acting as a refugee camp in Erbil September 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

Middle East Christian leaders called on Muslim governments and religious authorities on Tuesday to condemn Islamic State for its assault on minority religious communities and to take the lead in efforts to destroy its power in Iraq and Syria.

They told a news conference that the reaction so far from Arab countries had been “timid” to the militant group’s killings and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Christians in mnassacres against all religious and ethnic minorities.

“The situation of Christians and other minorities amid the massacres and atrocities of (Islamic State) is dire and our future in the region is at stake,” said Patriarch Ignace III of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch.

“The leaders of Arab countries and the Arab League have to stand up and do something.”

Patriarch Sako I of the Chaldean Catholic Church said in Iraq over 10,000 Christians — who have had large communities in the Middle East for some 2,000 years — in Iraq had been killed by the militants and some 170,000 expelled from the north.

In areas under Islamic State control in Syria, around half a million Christians had been forced to flee areas where they had long lived at peace with their Muslim neighbours.

via Mideast Christians urge Arabs lead fight against Islamic State | Reuters.

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