Petition calls on UN to stop Christian genocide in Iraq

United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/John Isaac.

Following the expulsion of Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul by ISIS jihadists, a new petition calls on the United Nations to intervene in the country.

“The last Christians have left Mosul, after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria gave them a choice between conversion to Islam, ruinous taxation, exile, or death,” said the petition, posted to the website

Posted on July 24, the petition had gained more than 133,000 signatures within five days.

“We must not be silent while another genocide occurs,” the petition said. “We must push for the international community to act on behalf of the Christians in Iraq.  Their survival depends on it!”

Christians have been in Iraq for more than 1,500 years. Over 1 million Christians lived in Iraq before the 2003 U.S. invasion, but their numbers have now plummeted, and observers fear that they could soon be eliminated from the area altogether.

Extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – known as ISIS or ISIL – have taken over and imposed a strict version of Islamic law in territories they control.
“We are speechless, because what has happened is really unbelievable,” Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Syroub of Baghdad told Fides news agency. “Christians have lived in Mosul for centuries and these families have suddenly been yanked out of their cities, their homes, their lives. We are very concerned about the future of Christians in this country.”
Pope Francis has called for peace in Iraq, and offering prayers for the situation of “our persecuted brethren” in the country.

“They are persecuted; our brothers are persecuted, they are driven out, they have to leave their houses without having the possibility of taking anything with them,” the Pope lamented in his July 20 Angelus address.
Many Christians have had to flee to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, whose governor Nawzad Hadi has promised them protection. However, according to U.N. estimates, there are some 2 million refugees fleeing the violence.
For this reason, the petition, created by the Catholic news site, asks the United Nations and the Arab League to “act immediately to save the Christian community in Iraq.”

“Please do not remain silent while genocide occurs right in front of your own eyes,” the petition says.

The petition can be found at


Things beyond our imagination

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently, at an academic dinner, I was sitting across the table from a nuclear scientist. At one point, I asked him this question: Do you believe that there’s human life on other planets? His answer surprised me: “As a scientist, no, I don’t believe there’s human life on another planet.


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October 4, 2015

  • Sunday, October 4

    Gerard Thomas Straub Book Signing, 9 a.m.- 1p.m., Holy Family Bookstore, 1519 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Straub will discuss his newly re-released book, “The Sun and Moon Over Assisi.” (626) 403-6133.

    St. Kateri Mass, 11 a.m., St. Marcellinus Church, 2349 Strong Ave., Commerce. Everyone is welcome to honor and follow in the footsteps of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Potluck and raffle immediately following – bring a favorite dish to share!

    Faith Support on Our Cancer Journey, 2-4 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. This afternoon of reflection will explore ways for those struggling with cancer can nurture their spirits and seek divine guidance and support. $25 ($20 if paid in full by September 25). (310) 377-4867.

    “Come and See” Vocation Event, 2-7 p.m., Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, 2927 S Greenville St., Santa Ana. Single women of high school and college age are invited by Sacred Heart Sisters to learn more about religious life. Dinner will be provided. RSVP by Oct. 3 at (714) 557-4583 or 

    Once Upon a Time: Stories to Awaken the Mysteries of the Heart, 3-5 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. $25. (310) 377-4867.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965.

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