Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch

Last week, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai of Lebanon visited Christian and Yazidi refugees in Erbil, in northern Iraqi Kurdistan.Photo courtesy of Piotr Rymuza (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The patriarchs and church leaders of Eastern Catholic churches have denounced as “crimes against humanity” the violence committed by the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

In a statement issued Friday (Aug. 29), the patriarchs condemned the persecution and killing of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, saying Christians in the region were being threatened by what was described as the jihadi group’s campaign of terror.

Meeting outside the Lebanese capital Beirut, the patriarchs called on the international community to stop the “criminal actions” of the Islamic State militants and urged Islamic institutions to forcefully condemn the extremist group.

Last week, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai of Lebanon visited Christian and Yazidi refugees in Erbil, in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. He joined calls from Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako to stop the massacre of innocent civilians.

Earlier in August, the Eastern patriarchs issued a statement saying Christians in countries of the Middle East are suffering from harsh persecution and being kicked out of their homes and lands by extremists.

“We call upon the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the U.N. Security Council and the International Criminal Court to take swift, effective and immediate salvaging action,” the statement said.



  1. Sister Geraldine Marie, R.N.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the patriarchs. No extremist groups should be allowed to exist to harm others whose beliefs are different.

    Respect and love are true religion. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

    • I guess I simply don’t understand religious people.

      If God is real and if Jesus is true,
      why is it wrong to follow such a religion 100% ?

      “bring to me those enemies…execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

      If Allah is true why is it wrong to follow Allah 100% ?
      “Slay them” – Surah (Q’uran)

  2. Where are the protest against the horrible genocide of Moslems and Christians ?

    Shame on you EU and the world for turning a blind eye to this new evil; when they are finished with us your next by then there will be no one to help you.

    This is what happens when you forget/change history. Where are the street protests? In NYC, Paris, The UK ? Shane on you all !

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