News from Grassroots conservatives
8 Aug 2014
Tom Coghlan; The Times August 8
The leader of Iraq’s Anglican community last night called on the British government to offer refuge to some of the thousands of Christians fleeing Islamist militants who have committed atrocities against them.
“The Christian community has few places to go. They have sadly got to get out of Iraq,” said the Rev Andrew White, who spent yesterday among exhausted Christian refugees sheltering near Irbil after fleeing to Kurdish territory. “At the moment Britain is refusing to take any. Britain must offer refuge to these people. The US, Sweden, Australia and Canada have all offered sanctuary to some Iraqi Christians.”
Mr White said that the atrocities being committed against Iraq’s minority communities seemed barely credible to some people because they were so extreme.
“There are many explicit examples. They have chopped off heads, chopped children in half, hanged people on crosses. The stories you hear are so bad they don’t sound true they are so extreme — but I am afraid they are extreme, and true.”
“People are being killed and their homes blown up. They are putting yellow on their houses and saying they are ‘Nazarines’ and not welcome,” Mr White said.
Tens of thousands of refugees fled ahead of the advance of Islamic extremists yesterday, bringing reports of panic and suffering in the latest onslaught by the Isis militant group.
Poeple in the Christian community of Tal Kayf were in bed when Islamist forces descended on the town on Wednesday night. “I heard some gunshots last night and, when I looked outside, I saw a military convoy from the Islamic State . . . shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest),” said Boutros Sargon, who reached the relative safety of Iraqi Kurdistan yesterday afternoon. The Shabak Shia minority in his town had also fled. There were huge tailbacks as refugees tried to pass Kurdish checkpoints on the road to Irbil.
The head of Iraq’s largest Christian denomination, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako, said that 100,000 Christians had been displaced.
“This is a humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down,” he told AFP, adding that 1,500 manuscripts had been burnt.
Support to help the Iraqi Christians can be sent through Barnabas Fund here:
Read also: Canon Andrew White: “You have got to be prepared to die for your faith” fromCranmer