France ready to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians

Recent demonstration in Iraq

France is ready to welcome Christians fleeing the area of Iraq controlled by Islamic State group's fighters, with two ministers saying the country is 'outraged' by their persecution, reports Al Jazeera/Ucanews.

Islamic State (IS) fighters seized large areas of northern Iraq last month, prompting hundreds of Christian families in Mosul to flee a city which has hosted the faith since its earliest years.

'France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness,' Laurent Fabius, France's Foreign Minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, the Interior Minister, said in a joint statement this week.

'The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region,' they added, referring to the Islamic State's former name of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

'We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil. We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them,' both ministers said.  

FULL COVERAGE

France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians (Ucanews)

French cardinal calls for solidarity of ‘flesh and blood’ with Iraqi Christians (The Tablet)

Agency seeks donations for emergency aid for Iraqi Christians (CNS/The Catholic Herald)

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