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Remember the Nazarenes: An Interview With Bishop Warduni

According to the latest available figures, no fewer than two million Iraqis, many of them Christians, have been chased out of their homes by the militiamen of the Islamic State, and now their tragic plight may fall into oblivion amid the indifference of international public opinion, especially in the West.

But there are men who will not allow this to happen—notably two senior prelates of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic hierarchy, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and Auxiliary Bishop of Bagdad Mar Shlemon Warduni, who are decrying the terrible predicament of their displaced flock in numerous conferences, meetings, and interviews around Europe.

At a meeting in Vienna of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Patriarch Sako denounced the silence of the world’s Islamic leaders in the face of the “barbaric” violence of the Islamic State, which included thousands of innocent people killed, women enslaved, and families driven from their homes: He found it “shocking” that these leaders, at best, “only denounced these acts by shy and helpless statements, showing the absence of a real role in raising the awareness of the public about the impending danger of ISIS in the name of religion.”  The extremism embodied by the Islamic State, he went on, is “a plague on the human race.”  The Patriarch called on Islamic...

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