Support for 31 Priests Expelled from Mosul, Iraq
Project Code: 319-04-39
The terror of the ISIS rebels in Iraq has emptied entire villages. In June 2014, this extremist Islamist group overran Mosul and other cities in Iraq and continues to threaten the lives of those left behind with their draconian and intimidating rules of behavior. All who oppose or resist their strict Islamist code face execution, and all religious minorities, including the Christians, are in mortal danger.
They have been pouring out of Mosul, Karakosh, Bartella and Baatshika by the thousands into the autonomous region of Kurdistan. Among these refugees there were also a number of priests. "They had to leave everything behind them and flee to Kurdistan with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They were scattered here and there, and now they are in need of everything – food, lodging, clothing and spending money.” Archbishop Petros Mouche is asking our help to provide basic support for the life and ministry of 31 Syrian Catholic priests who, as refugees from Mosul, are now living out their vocation in "difficult and exceptional circumstances," having themselves lost everything; yet they still remain there for the sake of the often despairing people around them. "It does not look as if there is any imminent solution or any plans to liberate the areas occupied by ISIS," the archbishop writes. On the contrary, "Everything seems to suggest that this will be a long-term crisis that will probably continue for years."
This is a dire and exceptional situation for everyone. "We priests feel a close bond of unity with our uprooted Christian people," said Archbishop Mouche, who also spoke of a "dark shadow" that has been cast over the lives of the priests and religious in the region. Up till now the archdiocese has used "every one of its modest resources" in order to support its priests and religious in their work, helping the other refugees. But now all these resources have dried up.
In the short letter from the archbishop it is quite clear that these priests are in urgent need of our help. ACN would like to support them with a contribution of $9,800. Will you give to help these priests facing persecution and poverty in Iraq?
pray for you all," writes Archbishop Mouche, "and for all those who
are helping to ease the difficult plight of these Christians and their
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