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Jan De Volder
As the Islamist group Boko Haram is said to be surrounding the city of Maiduguri in the latest stage of its campaign of violence against Christians and Muslims alike, an expert on the country considers why the authorities are powerless to halt its progress
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The Bishop responsible for international affairs in England and Wales has called on Catholics to take part in an international day of prayer for Iraq’s persecuted Christians on Wednesday.
Bishop Declan Lang urged Catholics to join with Christians in Iraq in a global day of prayer for “an end to the violent persecution that threatens to extinguish the ancient Iraqi Christian community.”
Wednesday, the Feast of the Transfiguration, is a major feast in the Chaldean Catholic Church calendar.
Referring to the on-going persecution of the ancient Christian community in Mosul as an act of “religious and ethnic cleansing”, Bishop Lang urged the Government to act.
“I call on our government and those of other states to prioritise action to save the Christian and other persecuted communities of Iraq and to offer them the help and support they need urgently,” he said.
This Sunday [10 August] has also been designated a day of prayer for Iraq’s persecuted Christians in England and Wales.
In an earlier statement the Bishop condemned the Islamic State’s actions in Iraq as “crimes against humanity”.
“This threat to Iraqi citizens is a sin against God and a violation against life,” he said in a statement days after the last Christians fled the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.