OTTAWA - Religious leaders, including two Imams, denounced the barbarism of the Islamic State and urged the protection of Iraqi Christians and other minorities during a Parliament Hill rally on Sept. 6. 

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TORONTO - Mahir Aboudi’s aging mother and father — on the run from the Islamic State and holed up with thousands of refugees in Irbil, Kurdistan — can’t join their son and his family in Canada as refugees because they haven’t yet crossed an international border, Conservative cabinet member Jason Kenney told Aboudi and his family. 

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OTTAWA - The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is giving $1 million to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to help displaced Iraqis.

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VATICAN CITY - Iraqi Christians are true and courageous witnesses of Christ's message of hope, forgiveness and love, Pope Francis said.

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WASHINGTON - In the days that followed Pope Francis' Aug. 18 remarks on U.S. airstrikes earlier in the month against Islamic State, the buzz was about whether the Pope had actually given his consent to them.

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Even as some prominent Christians are calling on the United States to take more forceful military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, more than 50 mainly Catholic and Protestant leaders are telling President Barack Obama to halt American airstrikes and pursue solely peaceful means to resolve the conflict.

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August 28, 2014

Just War and Iraq

Should Christians be pleased that the expansion of the “Islamic State” in Iraq has apparently been slowed? Should they be pleased that this was the result of American air strikes? 

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BEIRUT - Returning from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion "pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide."

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VATICAN CITY - Although Christians, Muslims and Jews have struggled for hundreds of years to live peacefully alongside each other in the Middle East, "we have never seen the kind of 'religious cleansing' we are witnessing today," said the head of the region's Franciscans.

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Despite her comfortable life in Hamilton, Ont., fourth-year MacMaster University student Sherly Kyorkis comes from a long line of refugees.

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MANCHESTER, England - A typical day for many Iraqi Christians encamped at Ankawa, near Irbil, would probably involve another round of struggle against desperation, frustration, anxiety, boredom and fear.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis wrote to the president of Iraq, calling for an end to the “brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities” and urging political leaders to end the humanitarian crisis in the country.

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VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Fernando Filoni said Pope Francis "was really taken" by the cardinal's description of Christians and other minorities forced from their homes in northwestern Iraq by militias belonging to the Islamic State terrorist group.

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BEIRUT - A delegation of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs visited Irbil, Iraq, to show their support and solidarity with the more than 100,000 Christians and minorities displaced in the country by the advance of Islamist militants.

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The crisis in Iraq and Syria is pushing Canada to accept more refugees. Canada will take another 5,000 Iraqis and Iranians from refugee camps in Turkey in coming months and years, said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

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