Rorate Caeli

"An Appeal for the Christians of the Middle East"
French elected officials lead the way: will those elsewhere follow suit, or remain silent?

As in Turkey in 1915, a Christian Genocide is happening once again.

One week after the terrorists of the so-called "Islamic State" expelled all Christians from Mosul, no statement on the matter has been made by the heads of state or government of any major nation -- no permament member of the Security Council, no major world power... The only relevant exception was Prime-Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, for which he is to be thanked -- though the statement was terse, unlike the appeal below, and no additional concrete measures were taken by his government.*

France has had a tradition of defending the Christian minorities of the Middle East since the time of the Crusades and the first agreement of King Francis I with the Turkish sultan. Its silence when faced with the genocide is therefore even more preposterous. The accusations made below by French elected officials against the French government are the same that can be made against all Western governments.

Protests will take place tomorrow in London and Paris, and elsewhere. But the involvement of elected officials is essential. May the example of the Twenty elected officials below inspire many more in America, Britain, and around the world. Speak up! There is no way to go forward if first we don't speak up. 


Appeal of the Twenty: 
Silence, We are Eliminating Them!

People of France, it is time to rise up! It is time to mobilize, confronted with the horror faced by Christians of the Middle East, particularly in Iraq.

We are before a major risk: the disappearance of the direct descendants of the first Christians, who speak the language of Christ.

We appeal to the government to shatter the deafening silence behind which it is hiding, despite the requests of numerous elected officials and numerous concerned citizens.

We appeal to [Prime-Minister] Manuel Valls to cease his selective indignation! Wherever hatred and intolerance threaten civilian populations, our country, the great nation of human rights, must fight back!

If it does not act, its silence risks rendering our country an accomplice of the abuses, expulsions, and destruction of Christian places of worship. We cannot tolerate this much longer.

If the days in which we live are urgent, they are but the result of many years of an international policy that made the Christians of the Middle East the free variable of the geopolitical situation of the Near and Middle East.

We condemn this, and we appeal to the government to make France the leader of a new international politics of protection of the Christians of the Middle East.

France has supported these peoples for centuries, and has always based its diplomacy on the detailed and specific knowledge of their countries. This has allowed it to be active at the heart of the geopolitical stakes of this complex region, with its balance ceaselessly called into question. France, with its culture and experience, is considered by all of these peoples, believers of every faith or nonbelievers, as a great country that supports the causes of fragile minorities.

We have today a responsibility before History!

Following the fall of Mosul, last June 10, the elimination of Iraq's Christians has accelerated, with a gruesome choice: escaping, conversion, or death.

These past few days, the homes of Christians were marked with the "ن" sign, with the intention of identifying the last Christians present in Iraq.

And yet the Eastern Christians are home in this part of the world now called "the Middle East," where they have been present for two millennia.

We find there a civilizational issue of foremost relevance. These communities embody the cradle of Christianity, and consequently of our civilization. Iraq and the Middle East in general have a religious patrimony that is unequaled in the world.

What will we tell our children? That France was not concerned with the fate of the Christians of the Middle East? That it was an accomplice to the end of Christian presence in the Middle East? That France abandoned its tradition of safeguarding a persecuted minority?

Pope Francis recently said, "there are more martyrs today than in the first centuries of the Church." These words made explicit reference to the fate of Middle Eastern Christians.

We call upon [Prime-Minister] Manuel Valls, [President] François Hollande, to express themselves publicly on the matter, to refer matters to international institutions so that persecution may cease.

We ask them to favor humanitarian aid to pillaged Christians, to make use of all kinds of ways and all kinds of diplomatic and political means necessary to their protection.

France, a great diplomatic nation, having always considered the presence of Christians in the Middle East as a sign of stability, must act, and do it quickly.

Failing that, it is a part of our soul that we will abandon in Iraq.

Christine Boutin, former Minister

Rachida Dati, former Minister, Member of the European Parliament

Thierry Mariani, former Minister, Member of Parliament for French citizens abroad

Hervé Mariton, former Minister, MP for Drôme

Pierre-Christophe Baguet, former MP, mayor of Boulogne-Billancourt

Véronique Besse, MP for the Vendée

Valérie Boyer, MP for Bouches-du-Rhône

Xavier Breton, MP for Ain

Jean Dionis du Séjour, former MP, mayor of Agen

Philippe Gosselin, MP for la Manche

Françoise Grossetête, MEP

Philippe Juvin, MEP

Constance Le Grip, MEP

Marc Le Fur, MP for Côtes d’Armor

Laurent Marcangeli, MP for South Corsica

Yannick Moreau, MP for the Vendée

Jean-Frédéric Poisson, MP for Yvelines

Yves Pozzo di Borgo, Senator for Paris

Franck Proust, MEP

Bruno Retailleau, Senator for the Vendée

[Source: Valeurs Actuelles]
*Update (11:15 p.m.): A very special word of gratitude should be given to the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of the autonomous region of Iraq to which many (though not most) of the Christian displaced from ISIS-occupied areas moved. He met Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Sako on Wednesday, and had these beautiful words: "We will all either die together or we will live together with dignity."