Kirkuk (Agenzia Fides) - The militiamen of the self-jihadist Islamic Caliphate have expelled 10 elderly Chaldean Christians and Syrian Catholics from Mosul and temporarily housed in the second largest city in Iraq, after refusing to renounce the Christian faith and to convert to Islam. On Wednesday, January 7 the group of elders - some with serious health problems - was welcomed in Kirkuk, after spending two days in the cold in "no man's land" in the villages occupied by the militiamen of the Islamic State (IS) and the area under the control of the Kurdish Peshmerga.
"They had thrown us out from our villages and our homes to occupy them - says Rachel, one of the elders, contacted by Agenzia Fides - and then we were all clumped together in a residence in Mosul. We managed to survive thanks to the assistance of some Muslim families, who brought us food and what we needed. Then, at some point, those of the Caliphate told us we could stay there only if we converted to Islam. I refused. If you want, send me away".
Once expelled from Mosul, the elderly entered Kirkuk thanks to the intercession of Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis I, who convinced the civil authorities to suspend the blockade at the check points of entry to the city put in place for security reasons. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/01/2015)