Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan. Credit: Charfet Seminary via Wikimedia Commons.
(JNS.org) Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State terror group’s actions in Iraq “pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide” following a visit to the region.
Younan was in Iraq this week as part of a delegation of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs who visited the Kurdistan capital of Irbil to give moral and spiritual support to hundreds of thousands of displaced Christians and other minorities there.
“What we, the five patriarchs, saw in Ankawa, Irbil, and other cities of Kurdistan was something indescribable in terms of the violation of human rights and the threat of disappearing of various communities among the vulnerable minorities of Northern Iraq,” Younan said, the Catholic News Service reported.
Younan added that he saw “hundreds of families still living on the streets, exposed to an unbearable heat wave, lacking the basic needs and primarily fearing for their future.”
The delegation of patriarchs is set to attend the Sept. 9-11 In Defense of Christians (IDC) Inaugural Summit for Middle East Christians in Washington, DC. At the IDC summit, the patriarchs hope to press international leaders to commit themselves to the survival of Christians in the Middle East.
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