Church leaders speak out against ‘demonic’ Islamists

Bp Fisher speaking out

Church leaders have called on Australians to stop turning a blind eye to the butchery of Christians, as well as Muslims and other groups, by radicals from Islamic State, reports The Australian.

The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, said church leaders had been reluctant to speak out for fear of adding fuel to fire. “But, as fellow Christians and fellow human beings, we cannot turn a blind eye to this persecution and religious cleansing,’’ Bishop Fisher said.

“The situation has deteriorated extraordinarily quickly. This is almost a classic case where intervention of some kind, such as the American strikes on extremists is warranted to defend innocent lives.’’

The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, said people should think about what social psychosis was driving some young Muslims to give their lives fighting “on the altar of the demonic’’ for the Islamic State.

“The situation needs prayer, action and deep reflection,’’ he said. “The extremists’ barbarism seems apocalyptic. It has nothing to do with real Islam or God and is blasphemy of a kind.’’

Australia’s newly consecrated Anglican Primate, Melbourne's Archbishop Philip Freier, praised the Abbott government’s “rapid response in providing aid to the displaced thousands in Iraq.’’ Archbishop Freier said the persecution of Christians facing forced conversion or death “was in danger of becoming genocide.”

Bishop Fisher said that while focussing on the atrocities against the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, Australians had seemed “largely indifferent’’ to the beheadings and hangings of Christians, including children, by Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria. He called on Christians to launch a 21st-century “prayer crusade.”

FULL STORY Bishops unite against ‘demonic’ Islamists (The Australian)

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