New York, NY - August 8, 2014
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) calls on the global Church to pray for Christians and other minorities who are being persecuted by militant Islamists in Iraq. The WEA also calls on the international community to intervene in light of the continuous and ever-increasing violent attacks on and targeted killing of Christians and others in recent weeks by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS).
“We condemn the awful evil being committed against minority communities in general and Christians in particular by militant Islamists in IS,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA. “There can never be any justification whatsoever for this indiscriminate persecution of a community which has lived in the region since long before the arrival of Islam, and which has consistently contributed to the welfare of its neighbors, whatever their religious convictions.”
“This is a moment when people of all faiths must stand together against such inhumane and violent oppression,” he added.
For centuries, Christians have lived in the Middle East as second-class-citizens with a defined legal status, being able to hold on to their Christian identity but having no equal rights. In Iraq their position was comparably safe during the autocratic regime of Saddam Hussein and in many cases, Christians and Muslims have lived peacefully side by side.
However, it is reported that in the last ten years the Christian population in the country has dramatically decreased from 1.5 Million in 2003 to only a few hundred thousand today, as they have increasingly come under pressure and become subject to willful revenge and killing.
The WEA stands in solidarity with these fellow Christians, and urges the whole international community, as well as the global Church, to stand with them, not only in words, but also in action.
“Most urgently they need protection, security, and humanitarian aid for the many thousands who have fled with little more than the clothes they were wearing.” Dr. Tunnicliffe said. “And please join us in continued prayer for our brothers and sisters in Iraq and in the whole region, that there be peace and religious freedom for all.”
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.