Istanbul (Agenzia Fides) – In the exodus of Christians from Iraq - who after the recent violence seek refuge in Europe, America and Oceania - hundreds of Chaldean Catholic families have taken refuge in Turkey in recent days, until they reach countries where there are large communities of faithful Chaldean Catholics in the diaspora who are ready to receive them.
The Patriarchal Vicar of the Assyrian-Chaldeans in Turkey, Monsignor François Yakan, announced that his community is welcoming the Iraqi Christian refugees and is helping them to go through the legal and administrative procedures at the UN High Commission for Refugees, which will lead them to third countries. To coordinate the reception of Iraqi Christians refugees in other nations is the “Association for Solidarity with Emigrants and Refugees”, which welcomes the Chaldean-Assyrian faithful worldwide. Mons. Yakan remarked that “the Chaldeans have migrated all over the world and the whole world has opened doors for us,” stressing that the Chaldean community have worked for a collection of solidarity for their brethren who are suffering.
Hundreds of Christian families are also moving into Iraqi Kurdistan, remaining in Iraq and returning to the category of “internally displaced”. Kurdistan regional authorities announced, however, that they had not received any support from the international community, nor from the central Government, despite the increasing presence of Christian immigrants in the region. The Christians are getting a good reception, but if the exodus continues, the region could well be caught in a humanitarian crisis. That is why, according to observers, the exodus should be guided and controlled, and financial support be given to ensure their welcome and basic social services. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/12/2010)