|In solidarity with our Persecuted Brethren in Iraq and Syria|
Nun (ن), the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of letter N in our Roman alphabet), is the first letter of the word Nasara (نصارى : Nazarenes), the way Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the Christian world in the 7th century -- Christians under Muslim rule never called themselves thus, since the intent of Muslims was to portray Christians as a contemptible and disobedient sect.
It is the same name of the equivalent letter (נ) in the Hebrew alphabet (also a Semitic language), and it reminds us of the words of Jeremiah, also crying for an exile of his people sent to Mesopotamia:
Nun. The yoke of my iniquities hath watched: they are folded together in his hand, and put upon my neck: my strength is weakened: the Lord hath delivered me into a hand out of which I am not able to rise. (Lamentations, 1)
In their genocidal physical elimination of Christians from the Mesopotamian city of Mosul, Muslim terrorists marked each Christian-owned institution and building with this letter, for the extermination of holdouts and expropriation of their belongings:
They mean it as a mark of shame, we must then wear it as a mark of hope: Yes, we are in the army of the Resurrected Nazarene, the Master and Lord of the Universe, the Man who is God Almighty, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. You may kill our brethren and expel them, but we Christians will never go away.
Note: Below, the full translation of the interview granted by the Syrian (Syriac) Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Ignace Joseph III Younan, to Sergio Cenofanti of Vatican Radio (in Italian).
Ignace Joseph III Younan – The latest news is disastrous. We repeat, with great affliction, that which we have always said: religion must not be mixed up with human or political relations, etc. If enmities exist between Shiites, Sunnis, or whoever else it may be, this must not be in any way a reason for attacking innocent Christians and other minorities in Mosul and elsewhere. Nor is it a reason for destroying places of worship, churches, Episcopal residences, parishes – in the name of a so-called terrorist organization which neither cares about nor heeds religion, having no regard for international conscience. We declare, with great distress, that our bishopric in Mosul has been completely burned down: manuscripts, libraries, etc. But they have already announced that all Christians must convert to Islam or else they will be executed. It is a terrible thing! And this puts the international community to shame!
Sergio Cenofanti – Are there still Christians in Mosul?
IJY – There are none left! There are none left! There were about ten families forced to flee yesterday, but they stripped them of everything. They wanted to go to Kurdistan, but were left alone at the frontier of the city, and only after being robbed of everything. They insulted those Christians and just left them in the middle of the desert. Unfortunately, that's the way it is.
SC – What is the current situation of these dispersed Christians?
IJY – They have taken refuge in Kurdistan, where they were received. But we have also heard that the Prime Minister of Kurdistan says that Kurdistan can no longer receive refugees, because not only Christian minorities have taken flight to Kurdistan, but also other minorities such as Shiites, Yazidi, etc. It is terrible!
SC – How can these Islamic fundamentalists be stopped?
IJY – They must stop being financed. Where do they get their weapons and all the rest? From these fundamentalist nations of the Gulf, with the “placet” of Western politics, because they need their oil! Unfortunately that's the way it is. It really is a shame!
SC – What appeal do you make?
IJY – We ask the international community to be faithful to the principles regarding human rights, religious freedom, freedom of conscience. We are present in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon: Christians were not imported. We have been here for millennia, and so we have the right to be treated like human beings and citizens of these nations! Look, in the name of their religion they persecute us, and not only do they threaten, but they carry out their threats: they burn and they kill. [Translation by Carmen McMaire]