Bishop of UK Armed Forces Demands End to Persecution of Christians, Minority Groups in Iraq

Calls for Humanitarian Aid, Diplomatic Efforts to Counter Crimes Which Are 'Heinous in the Extreme'

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) Staff Reporter | 850 hits

The Bishop of the Forces, Mons. Richard Moth, has called on military chaplains to “offer Mass for those persecuted for their faith" on Sunday 31 August.

In Bishop Moth’s pastoral letter, timed to coincide with military personnel returning from summer leave, he makes an appeal that everyone across the Bishopric of the Forces community join him “in redoubling our prayers for those who are victims of this persecution.”

He adds, “We remember those who have lost their lives, those who have been kidnapped and all who face uncertainty having been driven from their homes.”

“The crimes being committed against our brothers and sisters,” Bishop Moth states, are "heinous in the extreme” and that they call for “continuing humanitarian aid and increased diplomatic efforts from the world community that stability can be brought to the region.”

Below is the pastoral letter:

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Pastoral Letter for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Conscious of the situation in Iraq I ask you to make this following statement available to all in your pastoral care this coming Sunday.

Prayers for Peace

During the last weeks, events in the Middle East have continued to grow ever more serious. The Conflict in Syria continues and the situation in Iraq grows worse by the day.

I take this opportunity to add my voice to those of Church Leaders across the world in calling for an end to the persecution of Christians and all other minority groups in Iraq.

The crimes being committed against our brothers and sisters are heinous in the extreme and demand continuing humanitarian aid and increased diplomatic efforts from the world community that stability can be brought to the region.

I call on everyone across our Bishopric community to join me in redoubling our prayers for those who are victims of this persecution. We remember those who have lost their lives, those who have been kidnapped and all who face uncertainty having been driven from their homes.

Bearing in mind that many people are returning from summer leave at this time I ask all chaplains to offer Mass for those persecuted for their faith on Sunday 31st August and to ensure that this intention be included in the prayers of the faithful.

With many thanks and the assurance of my prayers,

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Richard Moth
Catholic Bishop of the Forces