Dominican justice promoters urge protection of Christians in Iraq
Members of a U.S. Dominican social justice committee that focuses on Iraq have asked the Catholic Bishops to use their influence in Washington to insist on protection for Iraqi Christians. In past weeks violence against Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul has increased. Many presume it is an attempt to keep the Christians from voting in the national elections, which took place March 7.
Writing to Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Dominican Iraq Coordinating Committee quotes the top Vatican official in Iraq, Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, who called for urgent help, saying it is especially necessary "that the pressure of world opinion not fall, so that all the violence and discrimination [against Iraq's Christians] ends immediately."
Signatories to the letter include three Michigan residents: In Adrian, Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, co-promoter of Justice and Peace for the Order of Preachers in North America and Father James Barnett, OP, an itinerant preacher who resides at the Friends of God Dominican Ashram; and in Detroit, Sister Beth Murphy, OP, who is the community outreach coordinator for the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The Dominicans have requested that the bishops "Urge our administration, and through it the Iraqi government, to secure rights and protection for the long suffering people of Iraq."
In addition to the letter to the U.S. Bishops, members of the committee have issued an action alert to the 10,000 members of the Dominican Order in the United States, calling on them to fast, pray, and advocate with U.S. officials for protection of Iraq's minority populations. Those to be contacted include Michigan Senator Carl Levin and Michael Corbin, head of the Near East Area at the U.S. Department of State.
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