Middle East

Pope to Iraqi Christians: You are church's heart

Pope Francis delivers his blessing at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican September 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has sought to encourage Iraq's beleaguered Christians under threat from Islamist militants, saying they are the "heart" of the church and that the church is proud of them.

In comments translated into Arabic during his weekly Wednesday general audience, Francis said the Catholic Church is like a mother, and like any mother will "defend her defenseless and persecuted children."

Thousands of Christians have been forced from their homes by ISIS militants who have carved out a self-styled caliphate in the large area straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border that it now controls.

Francis has said it was legitimate to use force to stop the militants, but that the international community should decide how to do so.

He said: "The church suffers with you and is proud of you."





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here