|AP Wire Photo|
The following excerpts are from AINA.org:
- The Islamist overthrow of the Iraqi city of Mosul has emptied it of its ancient Christian population, who may never return, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul said.
- Archbishop Amel Nona said he had "never seen anything like" the attack on the northern city this week, which is part of an ongoing campaign to set up an Islamic state in northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who are also known as ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Group).
- Mosul, historically a Christian heartland, was home to 35,000 Christians before the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. In the 11 years since, its Christian population has drained to just 3,000. World Watch Monitor, which monitors Christian persecution, reported that up to a thousand Christian families had fled this week for safer areas.
- The archbishop told the Christian charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN): "We have never seen anything like this -- a large city such as Mosul attacked and in chaos." He went on: "Now there is probably no one left. We received threats... [and] now all the faithful have fled the city. I wonder if they will ever return there."
- Archbishop Nona said the city had been left "to the mercy of the attackers" after the Iraqi army and police suddenly withdrew. Mosul's last remaining Christians were among the 500,000 people to flee this week.
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Mosul's Ancient Christian Population 'May Never Return'