Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako has appealed for financial and spiritual aid for Christians in the Middle East, especially in Iraq. The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church made the plea in a letter on Friday, December 6. “Today, after two years of its liberation from ISIS, the Nineveh Plain area still needs the help of our brothers and sisters who can pray and give us a hand,” said Cardinal Sako.

In the letter, addressed to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social institutions, churches, and governments, Sako said that the Christians in the region “need your help so that all the people of the Nineveh Plain (can) remain in their homes, and those who have been displaced outside the region can return to it.”

Although ISIS was defeated, the need for assistance of all forms is still great, wrote Sako. Particularly, there is a “vital need” for healthcare services of all kinds, he said.

On the local level, Clancy said that parishes should work to provide “some sort of aid” to their brethren in the Middle East, either financial or spiritual. Without this aid, Christians will continue to flee their homelands or be at risk of terrorism. “We have to, as a Church, get the message out better, understand better that there are Christians there and then do something about it,” he said.

“We should be shocked by the fact that over 90% of the Christians of Iraq have left, perhaps for good,” said Clancy. “And that means that it’s going to take a concerted effort of the global Church to help Christianity remain in places like Iraq and the Middle East.” CNA


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