Trócaire’s commitment to Christian minorities

Dear Editor, In relation to the article ‘Solidarity with persecuted Christian minorities’ (IC August 14), Trócaire is gravely concerned about the suffering being endured by Christians and other religious minorities across northern Iraq and Syria.

Trócaire has committed humanitarian aid to respond to the urgent needs of civilians from minority communities in northern Iraq, including Christians, Turkmen and Yazidi, who have fled under threat from Islamic State.

We are working with our Caritas partners in northern Iraq to assess the needs of these people, the most pressing of which are food, water and essential living supplies. We have committed an initial €300,000 to support our partners in responding to these vulnerable people.

Over the past two years we have also increased our support to people affected by war in Syria and Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, amongst whom are Syrian Christians, spending €1,748,172 on our emergency response to date. It is with the generous support of people in Ireland that we have been able to do this.

We strongly support the call of Pope Francis in a letter to the UN Secretary General on August 13 calling on the international community “particularly through the norms and mechanism of international law, to do all it can to stop and prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities”. We support also Pope Francis' call on all religious leaders and people engaged in inter-religious dialogue to take a clear and courageous stance, and to condemn “unanimously and unambiguously”the crimes being committed by Islamic State and 'denounce the invoking of religion to justify them.  

Trócaire strongly condemns the violence being perpetrated against all minority populations in Iraq and the wider Middle East, who have the right to live and to flourish free from persecution.

Yours etc.,
Eamonn Meehan,
Director of Trócaire,
Co. Kildare.