'The situation is dire for all groups' Patriarch Sako says about Iraq

2014-07-28 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako says the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate quickly. He said the country has suffered tremendously at the hands of the ISIS militant group, also known as Islamic State—extremist Muslim rebels, who one month ago declared a caliphate on the border with Syria and Iraq.  

With ISIS pledging to expand its control over the region, there is very little relief from the attacks in sight.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Patriarch Sako explained the situation in Iraq is dire not only for Christians,  but for all ethnic groups, including for Muslims. A mosque was recently destroyed in Nineveh. The danger, he said, extends to the whole world.

The ISIS militia has a very strong ideology, which makes negotiations difficult.

Patriarch Sako is not optimistic about the upcoming elections for the prime minister. “The walls between the factions are too high,”  he said

Patriarch Sako also questions the source of funding for these extremists.  “From where are they getting their funds? Who is funding them?” he demanded.

In the meantime, the United Nations has announced it may add ISIS militants to their list of war criminals.

Patriarch Sako added that Friday’s phone call from Pope Francis offered encouragement to the suffering Christian community in Iraq. 

Listen to the report by Andrew Summerson: 

(From archive of Vatican Radio)