Expulsion of Mosul Christians labelled 'religious cleansing'

Crime against humanity

Backed up by death threats and property seizures, the expulsion of the entire Christian community from Mosul is 'a crime against humanity' and amounts to 'religious cleansing,' said an archbishop from the city, reports the Catholic News Service.

Chaldean Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona said the Islamic State, which took control of Iraq's second-largest city in early June, is carrying out 'religious cleansing.'

'It's an ugly word, but it is what happened and is happening,' he told Vatican Radio on Tuesday.

Iraq's Christian leaders are tired of people making appeals and declarations about their plight without backing up their words with real action, the Archbishop said. 'Words do nothing today,' he said. Support and prayers are needed but 'we also expect all Christians to show solidarity with concrete action' and 'without being afraid to talk about this tragedy.'

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop, Shlemon Warduni, of Baghdad said: 'We need action first. The world is not bothering with what is happening to Christians in Mosul.'

The world's leaders, including those of the United States, must live up to stated commitment to promoting what is good, he told Catholic News Service by telephone July 23.

The international community must help those being displaced, not because they are Christians, but because they are human beings, he said. Because it overthrew Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the United States in particular must be asked: 'Where are the human rights? Where is the democracy?' he said.

Bishop Warduni called for a complete end to selling weapons to Islamic State fighters. 

Photo: A girl walks past the site of a bomb attack at a market in Baghdad's Sadr City

FULL COVERAGE

Expulsion of Christians a 'crime against humanity,' Mosul bishop says (CNS)

Christians forced to flee Mosul on foot after death threat ultimatum from Islamists (The Tablet)

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