IRAQI KURDISTAN URGENT ACTION: Alert your networks to the humanitarian catastrophe facing Iraqi minorities


8 August 2014
IRAQI KURDISTAN URGENT ACTION: Alert your networks to the
humanitarian catastrophe facing Iraqi minorities

[Note: The Iraq team has spent all of today in a church with sixty-five
Christian refugees from Qaraqosh, who fled with nothing but the clothes on
their backs.  One man walked
thirteen miles in his pajamas and slippers.  All churches in Suleimani are packed with refugees.  The UK government has ordered its
citizens to leave Erbil.  The
situation on the ground is changing by the hour, and the Iraqi Kurdistan team
will attempt to provide a nonviolent perspective on what they see.  Check its Facebook page for updates.]

Refugees at the Erbil checkpoint

The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraqi
Kurdistan and has reached catastrophic proportions.  Tens of thousands of Yazidi people (a religious minority in Iraq) are trapped by
ISIS, which refers to itself as the, “the Islamic State” (IS) forces in the Sinjar
Mountains without food or water.  According to reports, seventy children have died so far of
heat and dehydration.  Hundreds
more are likely to die in the coming days.  An estimated 100,000 Iraqis—Christians, Shabak, Yazidi, and other
minorities—have fled their homes.  They
are attempting to enter the area of northern Iraq controlled by the Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG), a region already stretched beyond capacity with more
than one million internally displaced persons from the conflict with IS and
refugees from Syria.  Those who
cannot leave their homes risk forced conversion, kidnapping, rape, torture, and
gruesome death. 

While Western media
has covered some of the persecution of Iraqi Christians, IS persecution of
Yazidi, Shabak, Turkmen and Shia Iraqis has largely gone unnoticed.  In the weeks to come, the Iraqi
Kurdistan team will be putting out a daily piece of information about refugees
the team is encountering, peacemakers who are working to alleviate the
humanitarian crisis or other news the team thinks the public needs to
Doing so may mean not only posting it on your Facebook page, but
specifically asking twenty friends to share it on their Facebook pages.  Putting it out on Twitter, e-mail and
other social networks are also vitally important, if we want, our religious
communities, the general public and our governments to be moved to action. 



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