Prayers and solidarity for churches in Northern Iraq
08 August 2014
In an open letter of solidarity to the member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Northern Iraq, Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, the WCC associate and acting general secretary, solicited prayers for the Christians, the church communities and the people on the Plain of Nineveh in northern Iraq, as well as the surrounding region.
In a letter, issued on Thursday 7 August, Phiri acknowledged reports confirming the forced displacement and indiscriminate killing of Christians, Yazidis and members of other religious and ethnic communities in Iraq by the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Phiri communicated about the WCC’s appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, when she has asked him “to ensure the physical protection of all people there and support for their human rights including the right to religious liberty”. She asked the churches to continue supporting the people of Iraq in prayer and advocacy.
“Churches and property belonging to religious communities are being desecrated and destroyed by ISIS, and ancient manuscripts have been burned as an assault on the people’s religious beliefs. According to the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah, Joseph Thomas, whole towns in Northern Iraq have been emptied of their populations,” said Phiri.
She invited the churches to “join in prayer and unite in action to restore these shattered communities, and to aid their people.”