Christians are facing extinction in Iraq after ISIS forced 125,000 people to flee their homes, the Archbishop of Irbil has warned.
Rt. Rev. Bashar Warda said the Christian community had been reduced by 83 per cent between the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime and 2014.
It then dwindled further when the so-called Islamic State invaded the country, Warda said at a speech in London, reports the BBC.
He said: “Christianity in Iraq, one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom.”
Although the jihadist group had been expelled from Mosul in July 2017, many Christians have not returned because their homes and churches were destroyed.
ISIS’ last stronghold in Baghuz, Syria, was defeated in March.
Warda also claimed that many fear speaking out about the persecution of Christians because they do not want to be accused of Islamophobia.
He accused Britain’s Christian leaders of bowing to ‘political correctness’.
Warda added: ‘Friends, we may be facing our end in the land of our ancestors. We acknowledge this. In our end, the entire world faces a moment of truth.
“Will a peaceful and innocent people be allowed to be persecuted and eliminated because of their faith? And, for the sake of not wanting to speak the truth to the persecutors, will the world be complicit in our elimination?”
Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, agreed with Warda, saying ‘political correctness’ has stopped people speaking out, and that it may also have something to do with ‘a reluctance borne of post-colonial guilt’. (DailyMail)