the persecutions in Iraq and killings in Palestine

the persecutions of minorities in Iraq
and the indiscriminate bombings
and the resultant killing of Civilians in Palestine

[ Fr.Sunil De Silva - 21.08.2014 ]

The persecution of religious minorities in Iraq, mostly Christians is increasing. The region of Mosul, which is the ancient city of Nineveh mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, has been the scene of mas­sacres and mass displacement. The Christians who fled their homes are now part of the more than two million refugees gathered in the Kurdistan region in Eastern Iraq, including many from Syria.

Until recently, only a few hundred Christian families out of the 35,000 Christians who were there earlier were still remaining. The attacks on Christians have come from the group called ISIS'- Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Christians were given the choice of converting, fleeing or dying, and those who did not comply with the order were brutally massacred. ISIS is said to be plan­ning to turn the country into a fundamentalist Islamic State based on Shariah Law.

The actions of ISIS need to be condemned by the International Community in the strongest possible terms and may even warrant prosecution as a crime against humanity.

The plight of the Christians in Iraq must not be ignored. We must join them in a prayer of solidarity. We cannot be indifferent to these terrible events. Pope Fran­cis and United Nations' Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki Moon are among those who have already spoken out In fact, Pope Francis said that people have been mas­sacred, children have died of thirst and hunger in their plight, women were kidnapped and there was violence of every kind. "All this gravely offends God and humanity," the Pope said. "Hatred is not to be carried in the name of God. War is not to be waged in the name of God."

We also equally condemn in the strongest terms the indiscriminate bombings and the resultant killings of Civilians, specially Women and Children in the ongo­ing conflict between Israel and Palestine, we call upon the International Community to take serious note of these crimes against humanity and take adequate and immediate measures to stop it

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

Catholic Bishops’ Conference Sri Lanka

His Lordship Bishop Valence Mendis
Secretary General,
Catholic Bishops’ Conference Sri Lanka