An open letter to the Prime Minister concerning Iraqi Christians
Thu 31 July 2014
Dear Prime Minister,
I write this ‘open letter’ on behalf of Anglicans across southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory to express our deep distress and dismay at the creation of a new wave of refugees by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS); a situation about which, I am sure, you are fully cognisant.
In my opinion, the violence directed at Christians throughout Iraq because of their religious identity is catastrophic for the region, the nation and individuals caught in its web. The displacement of Christians from Mosul and other towns will greatly burden neighbouring centres struggling to meet the needs of those displaced by earlier conflicts. The prospect of another generation of children, women and men enduring years of insecurity in temporary camps is intolerable.
To this end, I would respectfully ask, ‘what kind of action is the Australian Government taking via the United Nations Security Council concerning this matter?’ Prime Minister, will the Australian government extend or increase its intake of refugees to assist those caught up in such religious violence?
Sir, I urge you, your Ministers - our Government, to consider how we might offer the opportunity of peace, security and stability to a new generation of Iraqi people displaced by a maelstrom of violence not of their own making. The strength that such compassion shows will not only make our nation stronger, but it will, please God, lay the foundations for Iraq’s transformation in the future.
Prime Minister, if I or my staff and colleagues can assist in facilitating any of the above, please do advise me at your earliest convenience.
BISHOP STUART ROBINSON
A copy of the open letter is available for download.
EDITORS NOTE: The symbol associated with the story is the letter ‘N’ in Arabic which has been used by ISIS to mark homes in Mosul belonging to Christians. It represents Nazarene or Christian and has become a symbol of the global protest movement. These people were subjected to ISIS’s ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay ‘Jizya’ or die.