Social Issues & Action

Patriarch Sako: Refugee Situation Escalating, U.S. Military Action Disappointing

Says Iraq’s Christians Face Hard Dilemma: Emigrate or Stay

By Staff Reporter

VATICAN CITY, August 11, 2014 (Zenit.org) – The Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon has highlighted the extent of the refugee situation in northern Iraq, warned of “escalating” humanitarian needs, and said the hardships facing Iraqis should stir consciences into action.

In a statement issued Sunday, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako said the “level of disaster is extreme” and that more must be done to “dry up the sources of manpower and the resources of these Islamic terrorists.” 

He added that in the Christian villages around Mosul up to the borders of Kurdistan Region “the churches are deserted and desecrated.”

Specifically, he noted, “five bishops are out of their bishoprics, the priests and nuns left their missions and institutions leaving everything behind”. He said families have “fled with their children abandoning everything else!”

The situation facing Iraqi Christians has deteriorated as the forces of Islamic State (IS) have expanded across the Nineveh Plain. In July, the terrorist group issued an ultimatum demanding Christians convert, pay an “infidel” tax or be killed. Thousands of Iraqi faithful fled Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.  

In his statement, Patriarch Sako decried how children and elderly in the region are sick and dying, along with the thousands of refugee families spread over the Kurdistan Region who lost everything.

As IS militants are still advancing, humanitarian aid is insufficient, he claimed. 70,000 displaced Christians and other religious minorities have fled to Ankawa, a suburb of Erbil, where they are seeking refuge in churches, schools or living in “deplorable” conditions on the streets and public parks. 

As humanitarian needs escalate, the Chaldean Patriarch criticized the international coordination as slow and therefore limiting the effectiveness of helping thousands awaiting immediate support.

Although the churches are doing all they can, he said more must be done by others. President Obama’s decision to only give military assistance to protect Erbil “is disappointing,” he said, as they are not going to attack the IS in Mosul and in the Nineveh Plain.

Although Obama has said he is interested in preventing the Islamist militants from establishing a caliphate in Iraq, many await concrete military and humanitarian action.

Despite an increasing number of US air strikes, many claim the operation is insufficient to destroy Islamist extremist forces.

Patriarch Sako also criticised the Iraqi government. “While the country is under fire, the politicians in Baghdad are fighting for power,” he said.  

The BBC reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has been criticized for sectarian policies. His push to serve a third term is also adding to tension. 

The Patriarch expressed concern that “in the end, perhaps Mosul will not be liberated neither the villages in the Nineveh Plain,” as other Islamic extremists continue to join IS from around the world.

The choice of the refugee families, he said, is either to migrate or to stay. If they migrate, he asked, “do they have the necessary documents and money?” If they stay, he wondered what their fate will really be, whether their schools will be reopened, and if they will be able to retain their property, jobs and belongings. 

He closed by calling on all people and organizations to reflect on these questions and to take action to help the Iraqi people.

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Adopt a Christian in Mosul – I just did!

by Steve Ray on August 9, 2014

Visit Asia News at http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Adopt-a-Christian-from-Mosul-to-respond-directly-to-Iraq’s-emergency-31845.html

Our brothers and sisters in Christ who now have no Mass, no home and no food.

AsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis’s urgent appeal “to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid – to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others.”

More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.

Click here to go to news and donation site

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Hobby Lobby Wins; Religious Freedom Wins!

by Steve Ray on June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby just got a victory from the Supreme Court. This is a HUGE legal decision which punches Obamacare right in the face. It is a ruling which defends religious liberty. Any business that objects to abortion and birth-control no longer has to pay it in their health insurance.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Hobby Lobby

In 5-4 Decision, Court Says Family Businesses May Claim Religious Exemption from Mandate on Contraception Coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Religious groups in the United States are celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court decision today which has ruled that closely held companies can claim a religious exemption from the requirement that they offer contraception coverage in their worker health plans.

The justices voted 5-4 in favour of family-run businesses, including the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., saying that on religious grounds they do not have to mandate the free provision of contraception to their employees, according to Bloomberg News.

The court majority concluded that the Obama administration failed to prove that the so-called HHS mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing the provision of free access to contraception in health insurance plans.

It also said the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires that closely held companies receive the same accommodation the administration has already granted to nonprofit organizations that object to the mandate on religious grounds.

The ruling is a significant advance in the expansion of corporate rights, showing that for-profit companies as well as individuals can claim religious freedoms under federal law.

Safeguarding the religious rights of corporations “protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

Bloomberg News said the case divided the court along ideological lines. Alito’s majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.

The case centered on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says the U.S. government may “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” only when it meets a demanding test.

The Obama administration argued that the law doesn’t cover corporations and that the government’s interests outweighed any religious rights the corporations possess.

Responding to today’s decision, Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet said the full implications of this decision are not yet known, but this appears to be “at least some good news in the fight for religious freedom.”

“What many found deeply disturbing about this case was not only the assault on religious freedom, but the manipulation of scientific facts in order to support a radical political agenda promoting abortion,” he said in a statement.

“There’s scientific consensus that when sperm meets egg and fertilization occurs, a new human life begins. Yet we see our own government and pro-abortion lobbyist groups like American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) play games with the words ‘fertilization,’ ‘conception,’ ‘pregnancy,’ and even ‘abortion’ to make it seem as though the drugs and devices in question in the Hobby Lobby case don’t kill innocent human life-when it’s scientific fact that they can, and do destroy new life in the womb.”

Fr. Boquet said not only does the “HHS contraception/sterilization/abortifacient mandate seek to undermine our God-given freedom to practice our faith, the mandate furthers U.S. government support for the greatest human rights abuse in history, using taxpayer dollars to kill preborn human life.

“There’s no doubt that legal action will continue on this mandate, and the many other troubling provisions of Obamacare,” Fr. Boquet said. “The American people must make clear to our elected representatives that we will not allow our religious liberty to be violated by our own government, especially in pursuit of an immoral agenda that furthers the erosion of human rights, and ends human lives.”

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Making the Case for Tea Party Catholics – recommended reading

June 12, 2014

ROME, December 11, 2013 (Zenit.org) – In his latest book Tea Party Catholic, Dr. Samuel Gregg develops a Catholic case for the values and institutions associated with the free economy, limited government, and America’s experiment in ordered liberty. He underscores the moral and economic benefits of business and markets, addresses the welfare state’s problems, and [...]

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Lawyers Team Up to Resist the Gay Mafia

June 11, 2014

A team of lawyers is being assembled to make sure there are no more cases like that of Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla. He was forced out of his position for contributing – years earlier — $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign in California in which voters themselves decided to define marriage in their [...]

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Prepare for a New America – Using Detroit as a Model

June 9, 2014

By Frosty Wooldridge (Frosty Wooldridge (born 1947) is a US journalist, writer, environmentalist, traveler). (I ,Steve Ray who is posting his article, was born in Detroit. My ancestors lived there since the 1700′s.)   For 15 years, from the mid 1970′s to 1990, I worked in Detroit, Michigan I watched it descend into the abyss [...]

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How you can push back against Mozilla/Firefox’s gay marriage thuggery

April 22, 2014

National Catholic Register  Sunday, April 06, 2014 5:15 PM, by Jimmy Akin Brendan Eich is the creator of the JavaScript programming language and the co-founder of the Mozilla Corporation, which makes the popular web browser Firefox. Several years ago, he made a donation to support Prop 8, a California ballot measure designed to protect true marriage by definining [...]

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The Salvation Army is Ringing Bells for Abortion This Christmas

December 18, 2013

“It’s a sight and sound so commonplace, Advent almost wouldn’t seem the same without it. UPDATE TO THIS STORY “In so many of the stores we visit to do our Christmas shopping, we see the ever-present volunteers ringing bells soliciting donations for one of America’s best known charitable organizations: The Salvation Army. “Many of us [...]

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Save Syria, Church on it’s Knees Petition Drive

December 5, 2013

   America is supporting the “rebels” who are not rebels at all but radical Muslim insurrectionists mainly from other countries like Iran. They are routinely kidnapping and slaughtering Christians. Just last week a convert full of nuns were all kidnapped.  As a country to we should be defending the Christians and doing all we can [...]

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Pope Francis On Poverty Warrants Scrutiny: Samuel Gregg

November 30, 2013

Pope Francis has released his first apostolic exhortation,Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). An apostolic exhortation …is published to encourage the faithful to live in a particular manner or to do something, e.g., post synodal documents offered to the church in summary of a previous synod and hoping the faithful will do something helpful for the [...]

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US Bishops Defiant

November 14, 2013

I am proud of our Bishops who today unanimously decided to issue a “Special Message” at the conclusion of their fall General Assembly in Baltimore. “Beginning in March 2012, in United for Religious Freedom, we identified three basic problems with the HHS mandate: it establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries [...]

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What is Real Tolerance?

October 29, 2013

This video deserves a Million views. Watch it, like it, share it.  

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A Tea Party Catholic (Count Me In)

October 11, 2013

Catholic World Report just published an article entitled “What is a Tea Party Catholic?” I’d have say it is me. I think you’ll enjoy this interview with a brilliant Catholic theologian and philosopher. Hope you join the Tea Party sanity in contrast to the socialist insanity. read the whole article here. Excerpt from Samuel Gregg’s [...]

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Immoral Silence regarding Slaughter of Christians Around the World

October 8, 2013

Janet and I have been to parts of the world where it is dangerous to be a Christian: India, southern Philippines, Muslim countries, China, Egypt and more. It is distressing that the free world is silent about this massive persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope their plight is made known and [...]

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Want To Be A Rebel? I Do! My Kids and Grandkids Do Too!

July 17, 2013

“In the age of relativism, orthodoxy is the only possible rebellion left” (Peter Kreeft).   Count me in!!!  I’ve always been a rebel at heart!  My theory of child-rearing, which I have successfully done now with four great adult kids and eleven grandkids, it that we need to RAISE REBELS.  Want to be counter-cultural? Be an [...]

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In Light of the Zimmerman Acquittal – Self-Defense?

July 14, 2013

There will be many opinions and the discussion and wrangling will go on for quite a while, I suppose. Unhappily, this promises to further divide our country, especially along racial lines. However, I am not getting into that discussion here. Rather, it is important to understand the teaching of the Church on the matter of [...]

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