Report: Al-Rahi Heads Delegation to Kurdistan to Show Solidarity with Persecuted Christiansإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is expected to travel to the Iraqi region of Kurdistan next week, in a show of support with the persecuted Christians in the area, reported Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) on Friday.
Bishop Samir Mazloum told the radio that al-Rahi will head to Iraq on August 18 at the head of a delegation of patriarchs from the East.
“We will visit the capital Baghdad if the security situation permits us,” he added.
He said that the delegation would seek to hold talks with officials there before heading to the city Kurdish city of Arbil.
An Nahar daily Friday said that the delegation of patriarchs from the East will include Syrian Orthodox and Catholic patriarchs.
Islamic State militants in Iraq have been waging a campaign against minorities in Iraq, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.
U.S. President Barack Obama last week authorized air strikes against the militants, warning that thousands of members of the Yazidi minority risked genocide as they fled to the mountain under pursuit from extremists.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis called on the international community and the United Nations in particular to do all they can to stop the "systematic violence" against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq.