Letters
Is the Pope Standing Up for Iraqi Christians?
By Tiffany Tryniszewski

While Pope Francis focuses on climate change and normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, the Christians of Iraq are left with no ally, no protector, and no spokesperson.

For the first time in history, Iraq is becoming entirely Islamic. The Islamic State has beheaded hundreds of innocent civilians, forced young girls into sexual slavery, crucified Muslim apostates who converted to Christianity, destroyed priceless manuscripts and sacred artwork, annihilated Christian churches, and forced Christians to flee from their native lands.

Yet the pope delivers little more than generic rhetoric in support of Iraqi Christians.

Pope Francis is intentionally vague regarding military action against the Islamic State, stating that the objective is not to "bomb" or "make war", but to "stop" the aggressor; he does not specify how this should be accomplished.

Fortunately, the Christians have now taken matters into their own hands and have formed the Nineveh Plan Protection Units, a militia designed to defend civilians from the Islamic State.

Iraqi Pastor Michel Youssef tells the website Act for America that forming Christian militias was the "only way to protect our families and friends from attacks, because we are tired of awaiting an action from the government which is preoccupied with politics and never looks after us."

The Pope seems to echo the sentiments of various world leaders when he insists that Islam is a religion of peace, while concurrently advocating dialogue, in lieu of combat, to create peace in Iraq. However, to claim that dialogue will be of any use during a conflict with Islamists is nothing more than elevating a hope into a reality, and leaves the Iraqi Christians without a strong leader to stand up for them.


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