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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VATICAN CITY - As he dispatches a top aide to wartorn Iraq this week, Pope Francis made his most impassioned plea yet for the world to halt the “slaughter” of Christians and other religious minorities by Islamic extremists.

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The following is statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins.

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BEIRUT - Mideast Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs denounced the "total international silence" on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and called for Muslim religious authorities to issue fatwas, or legal edicts, banning attacks against Christians and "other innocents."

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TORONTO - Dressed in shirts that proclaimed “I am Christian, I am Iraqi,” carrying signs pleading for protection of their families still in Iraq, 5,000 Iraqi Christians and their supporters marched on Queen’s Park August 10 to draw attention to the plight of their brethren back home.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.

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DETROIT - Shouting slogans such as “Obama, Obama, where are you? Iraqi Christians need you!” and “Stop the violence in Iraq!” about 150 protest-ers marched through the streets of downtown Detroit Aug. 1 to call awareness to the violent persecution of Christians in their native land.

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OTTAWA - The head of the Syriac Catholic Church is pleading for Western nations to intervene immediately with diplomatic and political clout to save the Middle East’s ancient Christian communities as they face “a kind of genocide.” 

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MANCHESTER, England - Iraqi Christian refugees braved temperatures as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit to demand that the United Nations intervene to protect them from persecution by Islamist militants.

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OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement July 22 denouncing the persecution of Iraqi Christians.

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VATICAN CITY - Backed up by death threats and property seizures, the expulsion of the entire Christian community from Mosul is "a crime against humanity," said an archbishop from Mosul.

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Updated 07/22/14

VATICAN CITY - As the last Iraqi Christians in Mosul fled the city, Pope Francis urgently called for prayers, dialogue and peace.

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WASHINGTON - Iraqi-American Catholic leaders, who have persistently advocated for the embattled Christian minority in Iraq, are now going to bat for a smaller ethnic group that likewise traces its origins to the troubled region.

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