The Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, the Rt Rev Dr Robert Gillies, issued the following statement on July 25 in his capacity as Senior Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church:
“The forced expulsion of Christians by ISIS militants in Mosul and northern Iraq is a deep tragedy not just for the individuals concerned but also removes from that part of the middle east some of the most ancient Christian communities.
“This ISIS militants are perverting to a level of extremism the peaceable teaching of the Islam they profess and within which Christians and Moslems have lived together and cooperated together for centuries. Sadly, and within our own times, Christians have behaved equally badly.
“In the same week that Christians were fleeing the northern city of Mosul in Iraq Europe was recognising the nineteenth anniversary of the massacre of some 8000 Moslems by invading (Christian) Serb forces in Srebrenica, in Bosnia Herzegovina. This too we must criticise for it was the biggest genocide Europe has seen since the Second World War.
“Ethnic cleansing is wrong on all counts. Where it brings death and injury that wrong is magnified to appalling proportions. Where it is done in the name of religion (whatever the religion might be) then those who recognise this to be a perversion of the religious belief they hold must say so. And this I do.”
Church of England
The Church of England is joining calls to encourage its members to pray, act and give to those suffering in Iraq.
• Full details.