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May 23, 2017. After the deadly terrorist attack at Victoria Station in Manchester, England, the pope has sent his condolences to the victims and their families.

Priests from Iraq and Syria: ISIS is committing genocide


Two priests from Iraq and Syria said that Christians in their country are becoming the martyrs of this century. Their remarks came during the Rimini Meeting, which is organized by the Communion and Liberation Movement. They had been invited to share testimony about what life is like in two of the most dangerous countries in the world. 

Douglas Al-Bazi is a parish priest in Erbil, Iraq. Thousands of refugees who fled from the Islamic State in Mosul and other parts of Iraq have joined his parish. He speaks eloquently about what his flock is going through.

Erbil (Iraq)
"Someone who still thinks that ISIS does not represent Islam is wrong. ISIS represent Islam, 100 percent. If someone says that, 'No we have Muslims that are nice.' Yes they are nice here. But there they are killers.”

Thousands of people fled from the Islamic State and are left with nothing. He says that there isn't a war happening in Iraq. Instead, people in his country call it something else.

Erbil (Iraq)
"And what happens now to my people is another a genocide. So I beg you. Don't call what happens in my country a conflict. It is genocide.”

The Islamic State has also devastated parts of Syria. Father Ibrahim Alsabagh is a parish priest in Aleppo, which has been torn by the civil war.

Aleppo (Syria)
"It seems as if we are in the Book of Revelation. I read and think about it every day. Because for us Christians in the Middle East, I speak especially about Aleppo, it is an apocalyptic environment.”

Dozens of militant groups have torn apart the city, where few buildings are left standing and it's difficult to acquire even the most basic necessities.

Aleppo (Syria)
"It is very difficult to eat meat, very difficult to think about drinking milk, to eat cheese or butter. FLASH For a month and a half, there has been no water. And some jihadists bomb the city's water supplies while others shoot at the river, so no one can drink.”

These are the conditions that Syrian Christians live under. He explains that it is, of course, hard to convince them to stay in the country. Still, he says that his testimony is strong because it is rooted in the same land where Christianity was born.

Meeting Rimini