Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

World

Global Protests Against ISIS Attack on Christians

By Deniz Serinci 2/8/2014
Iraqi Christians in Denmark. Photo by Deniz Serinci
Iraqi Christians in Denmark. Photo by Deniz Serinci

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Protests are ramping up around the world against Islamic extremists who have purged Iraqi Christians from lands they have inhabited for 2,000 years.

Demonstrations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have been held in England, Canada, Germany, France, Unites States, Sweden, Denmark and Australia since the militia began threatening Christians in Mosul to convert or be killed and blew up a tomb believed to be the burial place of the Biblical prophet Jonah last week. ISIS took control of Iraq’s second-largest city, where Christians have lived for the past 2,000 years, in June.

In many protests the demonstrators displayed the Arabic letter "N" for "Nasrani," which means Christian in Arabic. With slogans such as “Save the Christians of Iraq" and “Stop ISIS!” the protests have also attracted many Arab and Kurdish Sunni and Shia Muslims, Yezidis, Faylis and other minorities showing solidarity with persecuted Christians.

"I’ve come here to show that we all stand together and say no to discrimination, regardless of religion and ethnicity," Khalil Yassin, an Arab Sunni and leader of the Iraqi Cultural Centre in Copenhagen, told Rudaw.

"I show my support for my Christian brothers and condemn in the strongest terms ISIS’ threats and actions," Mossa Rashid, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Denmark, said.

The protests began after Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad and the leader of Iraq’s biggest church, issued a plea for international support.

“The control exercised by the Islamist jihadists upon the city of Mosul, and their proclamation of it as an Islamic State, after several days of calm and expectant watching of events, has now come to reflect negatively upon the Christian population of the city and its environs,” Sako maintained.

Copenhagen Catholic Bishop Czeslaw Kozon said more western leaders need to denounce ISIS’ attack on Christians.

"Once again we see that persecution of Christians is not historical, but is happening right now,” he said. “It is worrying that so few are aware of what is happening and that there is very little press coverage."

Most of those who fled Mosul in recent weeks are now in the Kurdistan Region. Mosul is the capital of Nineveh province, which was once home to around 60,000 Assyrians, Chaldeans and other Christians.

"We are grateful to anyone who provides assistance to Christians in need," Kozon said.

There are about 4,000 Iraqi Christians in Denmark. Despite the distance, they are impacted by the violence in Mosul and elsewhere, said Marcus Sabri, the organizer of the demonstration in Copenhagen and a leader in the Iraqi Christian Mar Abba parish.

"These are inhumane acts against Christians in Iraq. That is our country, where we have always lived. These are our historic buildings, heritage and churches that are being destroyed by ISIS," Sabri said.

Jens Juul Petersen, a Danish aid worker who works on Iraq, said Iraqi Christians are often wrongly viewed as "western lackeys … despite the fact that they are among the world's oldest Christian communities."

Christians in Iraq are splintered among different groups, aren’t closely tied to the Vatican and don’t have a unified stance that would help them lobby for western support. They also don’t have militias, making them more vulnerable to Islamic extremists, Petersen said.

Alan Pary, a poet originally from Sulaimaniya, is a self-described Chaldean-Kurdish-Christian living in Denmark. He also criticized silence of western leaders.

"It’s horrible that ISIS comes in and expels people from their homes. The west went into Iraq in 2003 to create freedom, but now there is terror and turmoil," he said.

In Paris, where two senior ministers offered asylum to Iraq’s Christians last week, 100 members of the French parliament joined demonstrators against ISIS. In addition, protests took place in Washington, outside of the British Parliament in London, and in front of the United Nations building in the Kurdistan Region capital, Erbil.

In Australia, the National Council of Churches urged the government to pressure the UN Security Council to address the plight of Iraqi Christians. The council has donated $30,000 to the Christian refugee camps in Erbil.

 

Comments

 
Data pager
Previous
Page size:
PageSizeComboBox
select
Hewler | 2/8/2014
They could thank and donate something for the Pesmerge the only force protecting them. But they not even show Kurdistan half of the loyalty that they showed Arabs who kill them. Why Kurds join their demonstrations?
From Berlin | 2/8/2014
Thank you for posting this story RUDAW editorial staff. There hopefully will be an interfaith sponsored security force, with UN, EU etc sponsorship to fight alongside & in coordination with the Peshmerga. Time for the Peshmerga, Kurdistan & all its minorities to get some serious sponsorship for security supplies & security suplemental staff. AKA mercenaries paid for by Europe to help if requested
Oppressed | 2/8/2014
Christian, Yezdi and others should leave the united Iraq/Kurdistan and move to West where they feel safe.. They are oppressed because of their religion since the birth of Islam.
oppressed | 2/8/2014
dd
Hizil | 3/8/2014
Kurdistan is land of kurds. Kurds are Muslim, why Christians are coming to Kurdistan? The should got to America. I as a Kurd don't feel safe with people that are not kurds.
24674 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Fex Pil | 12/9/2016 10:55:30 PM
Their first choice wasn't based on free will!, I hope their second choice is going to be based on free will.
Buddha | 12/10/2016 6:10:01 AM
@kurd in sweden what you are talking?Sweden democrats destroy nothing because they have no power and they will nit destroy.also 14% of its members...
More Muslims in diaspora, including Kurds, giving up their religion
| 7/12/2016 | (25)
Mohamedzzz | 12/9/2016 4:48:59 PM
The biggest bull shit I've ever heard
Jill | 12/10/2016 5:26:47 AM
In the US press the 'Junior Varsity' team only had 30,000 members. So far 50,000 have been killed. The Daily Mail in the UK has reported the ISIS...
At least 50,000 ISIS militants killed by coalition to date: US official
| yesterday at 12:03 | (3)
Gerbert d'Aurillac | 12/10/2016 3:19:25 AM
Possibly the author is right:-Perhaps the KDP government is acting accordingly to the Turkish script,while the PUK/Gorran are following the Iranian...
M Gonzales | 12/10/2016 3:37:05 AM
NO!! You #&+#@, Stay the course! Don't go running back too Baghdad or you will never be free and always getting the Arab's scraps as second class...
Will Kurds capitalize on Baghdad’s budget or splinter further?
| yesterday at 11:48 | (3)
TRUSTFUL FRIENDS | 12/10/2016 2:54:37 AM
Obama is denying freedom for the Kurds,and he is even reluctantant to pronounce the words " Kurds" and " Kurdistan". He does that because he fears...
THE KURD | 12/10/2016 2:57:17 AM
He is Kurd ,and he is speaking as a Kurd
Iraq has failed, it's time to fix injustices against Kurds, leaders tell world audiences
| yesterday at 09:35 | (5)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Iraqi army frees four more Mosul neighborhoods, as ISIS mortars continue 8 hours ago |

Iraqi army frees four more Mosul neighborhoods, as ISIS mortars continue

Army says it has now liberated 21 neighborhoods more
Istanbul decked out for New Year's eve 7/12/2016 |

Istanbul decked out for New Year's eve

The economic crisis is hurting vendors more
Mosul families prefer staying home to camp life 7/12/2016 |

Mosul families prefer staying home to camp life

"I won't go anywhere, the best place is my home more
0.422 seconds