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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August 21, 2014

Aid to Iraq is vital

The crisis in Iraq will shift from desperate to beyond rescue unless world leaders respond swiftly and decisively to help install order in one of Christiantiy’s most ancient homes. 

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MANCHESTER, England - A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians — including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer — defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SEOUL, South Korea - Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' personal envoy to the suffering people of Iraq joined the Chaldean Catholic patriarch in launching an appeal to the international community Aug. 18, pleading for help to liberate villages controlled by the Islamic State terrorists and to provide the displaced with international protection.

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WASHINGTON - Western leaders pressed their governments to increase humanitarian efforts on behalf of persecuted Christians and other minorities in northern Iraq.

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VATICAN CITY - The one thing Iraqi Church leaders and aid workers, foreign charities and governments cannot do for the displaced and terrorized people of northeastern Iraq is answer their question, "What will become of us?" said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Pope's envoy to the region.

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A coalition of more than 50 U.S. religious leaders, led by mostly conservative Catholic, evangelical and Jewish activists, is calling on President Barack Obama to sharply escalate military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq. They say “nothing short of the destruction” of the Islamic State can protect Christians and religious minorities now being subjected to “a campaign of genocide.”

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.

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OTTAWA - Canadian Catholic charitable agencies have put out urgent appeals for assistance to help Iraqi Christians fleeing for their lives from Islamist extremists from the Islamic State (ISIS}.

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BEIRUT - The memory of that brutal June evening in his home near Mosul, Iraq, brought 48-year-old Joseph, now a refugee in Lebanon, to tears.

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