News from Europe

Persecution of Christians in Iraq: The Speech of Yousif Thomas Mirkis in France

About two hundred and fifty people participated in the conference of Fr. Yousif Thomas Mirkis, delivered in France on the 17th of August. Thomas Mirkis is the Archbishop of Kirkuk and Suleimanieh in Iraq. In his talk, he outlined the situation of persecuted Christians in Iraq.


In her introduction, Agnès Loin told listeners that the Archbishop is a  religious, holds a doctorate in theology and religious history, is the co-founder of the Faculty of theology and philosophy at Babel College in Baghdad, and founder of the Academy of Human Sciences , also in Baghdad.


In his speech, Mirkis addressed the issue of persecution by the Islamic State. According to him, the whole world must fight against the “eradication of  Christians and other religious minorities by the Daesh.” Fr. Yousif continued, “I am the fifty-fifth bishop of a diocese, which was founded in the year 130”,  thus underlining the historic presence of Christianity in Iraq.


He went on to say: “Christianity survived many difficult periods in the history of Iraq, but the number of Christians was painfully reduced. Daesh brought eight million Christians back  to the Stone age.”


The Archbishop was still very hopeful. He talked about his work in aid of students and refugees. He also spoke about the building of schools and hospitals in the country.


He criticised the policy of immigration saying: “It is better to help the refugees in situ, in Iraq, where life costs €100 per month,  which is a good deal cheaper than in France.” Despite the troubles, Fr. Yousif is still optimistic. “Hundreds of people can do nothing, but one person can often do the work of hundreds. I believe in miracles”, he said.

Source: Le Telegramme

Photo: Wikipedia

Translator: Ildikó Ungvári


Leave a reply