Pope Francis calls for protections of Christians in Iraq

Pope Francis is calling for governments around the world to protect Christians driven from their villages in northern Iraq and provide them with aid.

The pope’s appeal comes for the second time in two weeks and it came on Thursday as Iraqi militants from the Islamic State group overran a cluster of Christian villages near the border of the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing to their side. Many of these communities date from the earliest days of Christianity and have been settled by Christians since.

Francis appealed to the international community in a bold statement to “put an end to the humanitarian drama underway, adopt measures to protect those who are threatened by violence and assure them necessary aid, especially urgent for those who are homeless and depend on the solidarity of others.”