Protecting Victims of Persecution

Experts, bishops and missionaries, witnesses and victims will present their testimonies at the UN and in subsequent events in New York City throughout the weekend.

The Luxonomist. 29/04/2016

The United Nations was the site for an international conference addressing the persecution of Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities. During a press briefing held on Tuesday at The Rossevelt Hotel in New York, Álvaro Zulueta, General Manager of CitizenGO, one of the organizers, was accompanied by Father Douglas Al-Bazi (Chaldean Catholic Churchparish priest of Erbil, Iraq) and Father Rodrigo Miranda (missionary in Syria), two speakers attending the Congress.

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Canterbury, England. (Photo: Carl Court)

They spoke to the media about the intense agenda of the Congress and their expectations for this event. “There is a will of systematic extermination,” said Fr. Rodrigo. “Day by day I can see how my people are losing hope. But I remain knocking doors. I hope the international community does something”, remarked Fr. Douglas.

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A Swiss Guard stands in front of St Peters’ basilica during the Easter Mass in Vatican. (Photo Filippo Monteforte)

The meeting, sponsored by the Holy See Mission to the United Nations, will attract witnesses and scholars concerned about the plight of religious minorities. Experts, bishops and missionaries, witnesses and victims will present their testimonies at the UN and in subsequent events in New York City throughout the weekend.

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Iraqi Christians, who fled the violence in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, pray during a Christmas mass (Photo: Safin Hamed)

Christians account for 80% of persecuted minorities. They are victims of the deliberate infliction of conditions of life that are calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. They are being murdered, beheaded, crucified, beaten, extorted, abducted, and tortured. They have been victims of summary executions. They have been enslaved and forcibly converted to Islam.

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Iraqi Christians, who fled the violence in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, pray during a Christmas mass (Photo: Safin Hamed)

Women and girls in particular have been subjected to forms of sexual violence such as rape, and have been victims of forced marriages and human trafficking. Children have been transferred to other groups and forcibly recruited. Christian churches and religious and cultural sites have been vandalized. Christian towns, villages, and districts have been devastated. Christians have suffered the interruption of humanitarian aid supplies and the bombardment of their homes by the so-called “ISIS/Da’esh”.

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An Iraqi Christian woman who fled the violence in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, tends to her baby in a tent. (Photo: Safin Hamed)

The European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the United States Congress (by unanimous vote of 393 members in favor and 0 against), Pope Francis, and Christian leaders from a broad array of faith traditions have called ISIS/ Da’esh’s actions against Christians and other religious minorities acts of genocide.

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Iraqi Christian children who fled the violence in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul (Photo: Safin Hamed)

The WeAreN2016 Congress will take place in New York from April 28th to April 30th. The event will bring together experts and witnesses of the atrocities and exodus suffered by Christians and other religious minorities in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and other countries. These witnesses will be invited to speak at the United Nations headquarters in order to address world leaders and call them to take action on this important issue.

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