Coptic Bishop: We're Seeing 'Heinous Cleansing of Entire Christian Population in Middle East’

Bishop Anba Suriel, who was born in Egypt and leads the Coptic Orthodox Church in the diocese of Melbourne, Australia, denounced the “merciless and barbaric acts of genocide” against Christians in Mosul, Iraq, asked why most world leaders and the media were nearly silent about the killings, and stressed that if “we do not take a strong stance against these crimes against humanity, it is only a matter of time before such fundamentalism infects the entire world.”

“Mosul, the cradle of Christianity in Iraq since the first centuries, is now purged of its entire Christian population,” said Bishop Suriel in a statement issued last week. “The ruthless and purposeful savagery of the attacks by the fundamentalist Muslim terrorist organization The Islamic State (IS), formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is truly inconceivable.”

“Yet most world leaders remain silent in the face of the murder of innocent children and horrific beheadings of civilians,” said the bishop. “We question why the media has not highlighted the unprecedented systematic eradication of the city's entire Christian population.”

“In an age where world leaders are gifted with more power and global influence than ever before, I ask why the blaring silence and apathy?” he said.  “We are witnessing a heinous cleansing of the entire Christian population in the Middle East by an expanding extremist Muslim terrorist group.”

“Are we going to sit back and watch the disaster unfold, and in so doing, contribute to the crimes against humanity?” he said.  “The world's silence is fueling these extremist terrorist groups.”

The bishop went on to note that Christians in Australia are sheltered from the cruelty being perpetrated in the Middle East, but stressed that if the government did not act now, it would eventually have to face extremist Muslim terrorist groups.

“If, as a nation, we do not take a strong stance against these crimes against humanity, it is only a matter of time before such fundamentalism infects the entire world,” said Bishop Suriel. 

The Coptic Orthodox bishop also noted that at least two Australians  had joined IS terrorists fighting in Syria and Iraq and had posted photos of themselves holding severed heads on Twitter. “They proudly posted photos of themselves holding up the severed heads of fighters,” said Bishop Suriel.  “Is our apathy to terrorism creating a safe haven for the breeding of Islamic fundamentalists on our shores?”

In related news, Patriarch Louis Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, with headquarters in Baghdad, decried the treatment of Christians by IS in the town of Qaraqosh and nearby villages. “the Christians, about 100,000, horrified and panicked, fled their villages and houses with nothing but the clothes on their back,” he said, as reported by Catholic News Service.

The scene was “an exodus, a real ‘via cruces,’” or Way of the Cross, he said. “Christians are walking on foot in Iraq’s searing summer heat. They are facing a human catastrophe and risk a real genocide. They need water, food shelter.”

The Islamic jihadists are seeking “to impose their rule and terror,” said the patriarch. “There is a need of international support and a professional, well-equipped army. The situation is going from bad to worse.”

In an Aug. 13 statement, Patriarch Sako said the United States, "due to their prior involvement in Iraq, the European Union, and the league of Arab countries have the responsibility to act quickly for a solution."

"They must clear the Nineveh plain from all the elements of Jihadist Warriors and help those displaced families return to their ancestral villages," said Patriarch Sako. "If the situation does not change, the whole world should take the responsibility of a slow genocide of a genuine and entire component of the Iraqi Society and of losing its heritage and age old culture. ISIS tries to erase all traces!"

The letter was sent "with the full agreement of the bishops of Mosul from all churches" and signed by Chaldean Patriarch Sako.

Source: CNS News

Tasoni Demiana

Psalm 83 from our Father David, the prophet and the King

A song. A psalm of Asaph.

1O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God.
2See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
3With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
4“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
5With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you—
6the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelite's,
of Moab and the Hagrites,
7Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8Even Assyria has joined them
to reinforce Lot’s descendants.b
9Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10who perished at Endor
and became like dung on the ground.
11Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12who said, “Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God.”
13Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
like chaff before the wind.
14As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.
16Cover their faces with shame, Lord,
so that they will seek your name.
17May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.
18Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.