SA Catholics angry at Iraq persecution

Johannesburg - Christianity in Iraq is a tradition that goes back 2000 years and the "utter destruction" of dioceses, parishes and families because of their loyalty to faith is a crime against humanity, the Catholic Church of Southern Africa said on Monday.

"It is absolutely abhorrent that the Christian community of Iraq, a tradition that goes back almost 2000 years, is suffering expulsion from their country and martyrdom," the church said in a statement.

"As Catholic bishops of Southern Africa, we beg for religious tolerance in Iraq. We assure our Christian brothers and sisters of our deepest concern and we assure them that we have not and will never forget them."

The church said it admired many of the great religious teachings of Islam, particularly their care for the poor and needy.

"We call on faithful Muslims who believe in our common humanity to plead with those driven by extremism to cease their oppression of deeply religious communities and to seek that peace which Islam itself endeavours to promote."

On Monday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that air strikes aimed at halting the advance of Sunni Islamic State militants in Iraq had been effective and the US was open to further requests for help.

The United States has conducted three days of attacks by jets and drones on jihadists in northern Iraq whose onslaught has displaced 200 000 people since 3 August, including all the residents of Iraq's largest Christian town, Qaraqosh, according to the AFP report.

US military planes have also been dropping food and water for civilians besieged by jihadists, with France and Britain on Sunday joining the desperate race to save them from starvation.

Read more on: catholic church iraq
Bradly Minnaar 2014-08-12 06:33:42 AM
Our prayers are with you brothers and sisters of the north.
PointBlank 2014-08-12 06:34:08 AM
The silence from Muslims over this is deafening..
John Greystoke 2014-08-12 06:43:32 AM
Another plea that is going to fall on deaf ears!
Cyberfriend 2014-08-12 06:54:14 AM
Muslims are ordered not to kill people unjustly and also not to force people to convert, so the people are committing these acts are not muslim, Here is the verse Quran (2.256)"There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path""this verse is acknowledged to belong to the period of Quranic revelation corresponding to the political and military ascendance of the young Muslim community. ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ was not a command to Muslims to remain steadfast in the face of the desire of their oppressors to force them to renounce their faith, but was a reminder to Muslims themselves, once they had attained power, that they could not force another's heart to believe. There is no compulsion in religion addresses those in a position of strength, not weakness. The earliest commentaries on the Qur'an (such as that of Al-Tabari) make it clear that some Muslims of Medina wanted to force their children to convert from Judaism or Christianity to Islam, and this verse was precisely an answer to them not to try to force their children to convert to Islam.
Sudesh Jagernath 2014-08-12 06:56:26 AM
No protest march in support in SA?
Raeesa Sayed 2014-08-12 07:09:45 AM
The below letter requires no explanation.  It provides credence and comfort that Muhammad truly celebrated his Christian friends. (The original letter is now in the Topkapi Museum in Instanbul)"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."English translation from 'Muslim History: 570 - 1950 C.E.' by Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq, ZMD Corporation
Alfred Karius 2014-08-12 07:27:26 AM
ISIS is far worse than Saddam Hussein. This could be the start of a christian-muslim world war.
Joe Bat 2014-08-12 07:36:11 AM
It's disgusting and a disgrace for those who do not accept tolerance of other's religion! Just paging all the way down I see no comments from the Muslims...Lo and behold let it be Israel they all come out of the woodwork! To those Christians suffering in Iraq shall overcome and strength to you all. Long live Israel defend the holy land, you shall never be defeated!
Louis van Ryneveld 2014-08-12 07:46:31 AM
Dear Catholics, you certainly have the support of all Christians of whatever church denomination in our country. My God grant you success in this.
Painted Canvas 2014-08-12 07:48:37 AM
I thought the Catholic Church was dead. Haven't heard a peep out of them for ages. Where are they in condemning violence and poverty? The church leaders are too busy with young boys and leading a luxurious life completely out of touch with their congregation.