VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis’ personal envoy to the suffering people of Iraq joined the Chaldean Catholic patriarch in launching an appeal to the international community Aug. 18, pleading for help to liberate villages controlled by the Islamic State terrorists and to provide the displaced with international protection.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who has been in Iraq since Aug. 13 at the pope’s request, and Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad said international action is necessary to provide the displaced with basic necessities like food and water, but also to guarantee the possibility of their survival in Iraq.
In their appeal, the cardinal and patriarch asked nations to “take their moral responsibility seriously” by helping to liberate villages in northeastern Iraq captured by the Islamic State militants.
The Christians, Yezidis and other minorities forced out of their villages because they would not convert to the militants’ idea of Islam just want to return to their homes and live in peace, the cardinal and patriarch said. “The hope of these people must not be allowed to die!”