August 25, 2014

Why is it that to date, France is the only Western country that has offered asylum to the thousands of Christians who have recently had to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul? And what is the international community doing to cut off the weapons supply to the Muslim extremists who are responsible for this mass exodus?

According to a July 21 Catholic News Service story, 60,000 Christians were living in Mosul before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and 35,000 living there in June 2014. However, over the past month, all the Christians in Mosul have had to flee the city or be killed for not converting to Islam.

This persecution of the Christians in Mosul is reminiscent of the persecution of the Jewish people during the Second World War. At that time, Jewish people were required to identify themselves by wearing a yellow star.

In Mosul, the extremists are identifying Christian homes by painting a red "N" on them, which stands for the word "Nazarat," or Christian.

We in the Western world have a duty to pray and to urge our government leaders to do what they can to stop the atrocities in Iraq. To adapt a famous poem, which is attributed to pastor Martin Niemoller, to our present times:

First they came for the preborns, and I did not speak out – Because it was not my baby. Then they came for the Tutsi in Rwanda and I did not speak out – Because I was not black. Then they came for the Christians in Iraq, and I did not speak out – Because I lived too far away. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Mary-Ellen Robinson