Esteemed Religions for Peace Colleagues:
Adding to the great sufferings of peoples in the Middle East-North Africa Region are the currently unfolding events in Iraq.
H.E. Sheikh Majid Hafeed, an Iraqi Kurdish Muslim and Honorary President of Religions for Peace International, has contacted our International Secretariat strongly calling for intervention and support to protect the Yazidis in the town of Sinjar, northern Iraq.
They are currently undergoing an attack by the ISIS / ISIL terrorist group. Sheikh Majid reports to us that thousands have been massacred, hundreds of thousands have fled and their homes and shops have been looted and burned. You will find Sheikh Majid's appeal (in Arabic) here.
His Holiness Louis Raphael Sako, the Christian Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon and a Co-President of Religions for Peace International, has also contacted us with an urgent appeal for the 100,000 Christians who have fled their homes toward the Kurdish cities of Erbil, Duhok and Soulaymiya. You will find Patriarch Sako's appeal here.
In response, Religions for Peace is transmitting these appeals to the President of the United Nations Security Council, urging that the Security Council take appropriate measures to protect these innocent people.
In addition, allow me also to request that all members of Religions for Peace around the world hold these suffering peoples in their prayers. Let each of us pray in accord with her or his own tradition in solidarity with all across this region who are struggling to bear unbearable suffering.
Yours in solidarity for Peace,
Dr. William Vendley
Religions for Peace
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE--the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition-advances common action among the world's religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; five regional inter-religious bodies and ninety national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.
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The Network's Note:The area of the warfare mentioned above is in one of the oldest parts of human history in the world. War has diminished and eradicated much of this evidence. Readers will remember the looting of the National Museum of Iraq in 2003. Readers will also recalled the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyah in 2001. The heritage of these ancient civilisations are not only informative and precious to the peoples in whose regions they are situated. They are precious to all of us. The references used in the production of these antiquities are references to all of humanity. Human life to-day is of vital importance to all of us. So is our shared and ancient histories.