Pro-Christian demonstration in Lyon
About five hundred people came out to demonstrate their concern for Iraqi Christians on Saturday July 26 in Lyon. Several religious dignitaries were present including Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon.
Le Salon Beige reports:
During the rally a letter dated July 24 from His Beatitude Louis Raphaël 1st Sako, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, to His Eminence cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon and primate of the Gauls:
"To His Eminence Cardinal Philippe Barbarin
Archbishop of Lyon
Your Eminence, dear Father,
as my thoughts today turn to the situation in Iraq, Syria and Gaza-Palestine, my heart bleeds for the innocent who are dying or are being driven from their homes, and I am sad for the timidity of the civilized world towards us.
your courage, prayer, and the closeness of those who are around you in this march of solidarity, keep alive in us the confidence and strength needed to hope.
Eastern Christianity must not disappear. Its disappearance is a mortal sin and a great loss to the Church and humanity. It must survive or better, it must live in freedom and dignity.
In this storm, may you and those who are with you accept the expression of my gratitude.
Forget us not!
Raphael Louis Sako
Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans
Baghdad, 24 July 2014"
Note: I have posted the English version of the letter as it appears at AsiaNews.
Read about Louis Sako (above) at Wikipedia.
Also read the latest article from Patriarch Sako at AINA.
The organizers of the pro-Christian rally in Lyon sent this communiqué:
"On the initiative of the Assyro-Chaldean community of Lyon and of the Christians of Lyon, a crowd of more than five hundred persons gathered to alert the public authorities and the media about the dramatic situation of the Christians of Iraq.
Father Annis Hanna, op, an Iraqi dominican, described the condition of the places affected by EIIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) policies. Since the decree of July 17, the Christians have four choices: to convert to Islam, to pay the tax owed by dhimmis (several times the average wage), to leave the country and leave behind all goods, or to die. At the border checkpoint, baby bottles, wedding rings, everything is confiscated. Christians who fled Mosul by the thousands these past few days lost everything. Only sixty-five families remain in Mosul.
Present today were archbishop Barbarin, primate of the Gauls, Camel Kabtane, grand mufti of the great mosque of Lyon, representatives of the Assyro-Chaldean community of Lyon, Vaulx-en-Velin and the Rhône, and representatives of other churches. Letters from Louis Sako, patriarch of the Chaldeans and professor Joseph Yacoub, specialist on human rights, and rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities, were read.
He then names the political dignitaries who were present, and closes:
The situation of the Christians of Iraq is sincerely moving and contrary to the great principles of Human Rights. France and Europe cannot remain insensitive and must act in the interest of these populations and in their own interests before it is too late."
Note: The last line above implies that France had better act soon, prompting one Le Salon Beige reader to write:
- Is it not evident from the speed of events in Iraq and the Mideast, that it is we who should now be preparing mentally to fight - now for our own children here in France, where the secular government, totally complicit, doesn't move a finger to stop the criminal impulses of Islamists both in and out of our country, as we can see in the latest violence during demonstrations that were banned…!!!??
While Valls and other authorities, on the right, on the left, break the ramadan fast, how many Mohamed Merah are being indoctrinated in the mosques of France by imams taking advantage of republican opportunities!!!??? And again, without mentioning the innumerable crimes that we read about every day, you'd think we were in the Camp of the Saints. It's revolting. It's time to open our eyes. After Iraq, what comes next? Jihadists are at the gates of Europe, make no mistake!