ASIA/JORDAN - Archbishop Laham: 4 thousand displaced Iraqi Christians all want to emigrate to the West

Monday, 20 October 2014

Amman (Agenzia Fides) - There are already three thousand Iraqi Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain who have fled due to the offensive of the jihadists and have found refuge in Jordan, and in the next few days the arrival of a thousand others are expected. This is confirmed to Fides Agency by Archbishop Maroun Laham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The vast majority of Christian refugees - mainly Catholics - are distributed in 10 Latin parishes, Greek-Catholic, Syrian Catholic and Armenian. For 2 thousand of them assistance is provided directly by Caritas Jordan, while others are supported by a network of charities and voluntary organizations with both local and international profile.
In addition to asking for help for the basic needs of survival, refugees families also seek to obtain the inclusion of their children in schools, while university students ask to be able to attend courses and exams at the universities of the Hashemite Kingdom. "Two traits - says to Fides Archbishop Laham – are shared by the vast majority of Christian refugees: nobody wants to go back to Iraq and everyone is trying to get a visa to Australia or America. In this sense, the choices of Western embassies risk in their own way, to heavily contribute to the disappearance of the Christian presence in the Middle East. The Chaldean Patriarch – stresses Mgr. Laham - has recognized that every Christian must decide according to their conscience what to do". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 20/10/2014)