Tuesday the 18th of May

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Knights CEO says Iran-backed militias threaten Iraq’s religious minorities

‘Christian towns in Iraq increasingly look neither Christian nor Iraqi – but Iranian’, the CEO of the Knights of Columbus has said.

‘The public identifies the threat against Christians in Iraq and Syria as emanating from Islamic State,’ Carl Anderson wrote in a 12th April op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. ‘After a hard-fought war, ISIS is no longer a territorial power. But the religious minorities persecuted under the caliphate remain in peril, thanks to the Iraqi government’s tolerance of Iranian influence.’

He said the threat to Iraq’s Christians is now coming from Iran-backed militias that are keeping minority groups from returning home or fleeing once again.

Before he visited Iraq in March, Anderson said, he met with Pope Francis. “A Middle East without Christians is not the Middle East,” the pope told him.

‘Baghdad’s ambassador in Washington often says that ‘Iraq is not Iraq without its minorities’,’ Anderson wrote.

He noted that five years ago, Daesh ‘swept through Northern Iraq, killing and displacing hundreds of thousands of Christians, Yezidis and other religious minorities’.

Picture: An Iraqi soldier carries an injured woman during a battle with Daesh in Mosul on 28th February 2017. (CNS photo/Goran Tomasevic, Reuters).