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


How we react to criticism and opposition

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Have you ever noted how we spontaneously react to a perceived threat? Faced with a threat, our primal instincts tend to take over and we instantly freeze over and begin to shut all the doors opening to warmth, gentleness and empathy inside us.

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land


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September 20, 2014

  • Saturday, September 20

    San Fernando Region Congress, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Bishop Alemany HS, 11111 Alemany Dr., Mission Hills; $. (818) 365-5123.

    “Day of Reflection: The Word Is in Your Heart,” led by Bob Hurd, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Anthony Church, 2511 S. C St., Oxnard; $. (805) 469-6293.

    Centering Prayer, introductory workshop, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. (818) 784-4515.

    “Learn Natural Family Planning,” course presented by Couple to Couple League (also Oct. 11, Nov. 8), 9:30 a.m., St. Charles Borromeo Church, North Hollywood. (818) 994-2110.

    Holy Name of Jesus School90th Anniversary, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 2190 W. 31st St., L.A. (323) 731-1830.

    “Lyrics & Laughter,” benefit dinner-auction for Little Sisters of the Poor, 6 p.m., Norris Pavilion, 501 Indian Peak Rd., Rolling Hills Estates; $. (310-548-0625.

     “Lyrics & Laughter,” benefit dinner-auction for Little Sisters of the Poor, 6 p.m., Norris Pavilion, 501 Indian Peak Rd., Rolling Hills Estates; $. (310-548-0625.

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