Just ten years ago, there were more than 2.5 million Christians in Iraq. Now, the number has dwindled to an estimated 200,000. Under the threat of ISIS, the number is decreasing even more. Chaldean Patriarch, Raphael Louis Sako, spoke before a UN Security Council in New York to address the issue.
PATRIARCH LOUIS RAPHAEL SAKO
"The Islamic extremist groups refuse to live with non-Muslim. They are persecuting and uprooting them from their homes; and erasing all traces of their history. We are facing a cultural and ideological crisis which monopolizes power, disables institutions, and restricts freedom.”
The UN Security Council is looking into the challenges minorities face in the Middle East, hoping it will lead the international community to act. The foreign affairs minister of France, stressed that if action isn't taken soon, religious and ethnic minorities will simply disappear.
Foreign Affairs Minister (France)
"Ordinary citizens, are wondering how so many countries gathered here together, who call themselves the "United Nations", have so far been unable to tackle terrorism and eradicate it. These citizens are right.”
Along with Christians, Yazidis are another minority facing direct persecution from the Islamic State. An Iraqi deputy, who is also a yazidí described the nightmare families have gone through, since the arrival of ISIS.
"We are slaughtered, killed, our women are raped, our little girls are sold, our children are taken we don't know to what fate, we are sold and bought like merchandise in markets; for what offense? We don't know!”
Speakers also asked that International Criminal Court to look into the potential crimes committed in Syria and Iraq. The situation is so dire, it's being described as a genocide and a crime against humanity, especially against minorities, women and girls.