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Vatican

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Vatican

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Pope Francis

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Iraqi bishop: ISIS is brainwashing a whole generation of children in fanaticism

2016-04-23

Northern Iraq has become a refuge for Christians, Muslims and minorities persecuted by the Islamic State. Iraqi Kurdistan, an area heavily punished under Saddam Hussein, is now virtually the only stable territory that works economically and administratively in a country overrun by the Islamic State.

Msgr. Rabban al-Qas is a Chaldean bishop in Ahmadiya and Zakho. He believes that militarily eliminating ISIS is simply not enough.

MSGR. RABBAN AL-QAS
Iraqi bishop
"Mosul, Iraq and Syria have prepared for their future. They have taught their ideology to a whole generation, even to the smallest children. They have been educated in a new fanaticism. If ISIS is eliminated today, others will come later. "

His diocese has received around 80,000 refugees, almost the same number of people living in that territory. Most come from places like Mosul, a city of about 3 million people, who are subjected to the radicals.

MSGR. RABBAN AL-QAS
Iraqi bishop
"When these people arrived, they thought they would return in 2 or 3 months, but now accept the situation with a little more hope. Many want to go to Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan and afterwards travel to America, Australia and other countries where they have family. Christians are leaving because they feel they have lost their churches, their homes and their history.”

While Syria is gradually driving out the Islamic State in many areas, in Iraq, advances against the Islamic caliphate have stopped. A possible solution for Iraq would be the creation of Kurdistan as an independent state. Above all, the bishop asks for a secular state that does not discriminate against Christians nor minorities.

MSGR. RABBAN AL-QAS
Iraqi bishop
"There is a constitution based on Sharia Law, the Islamic law, and not on civil principles. It should not be based on religion or ideology to say that some people are above others. We cannot live with a government that follows the Sharia, the Islam law, because according to that, Christians are second-class.”

Along with the Pope, he asks for open doors for refugees and hopes that someday Pope Francis will visit a peaceful Iraq, the land in which Thomas the apostle evangelized during the first century after Christ.


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