As the ongoing instability in Iraq dominates the global headlines, The Prince of Wales has condemned the atrocities within the country, along with making a donation to the Catholic charity ‘Aid to the Church in Need.’
Prince Charles’s remarks came in the form of a strongly worded personal letter to Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans:
“You can have no idea how heartbroken I am to hear of the truly unbearable and barbaric persecution being suffered by not only the Christians in Iraq, but also some of their neighbours of other faiths alongside whom you have lived for hundreds of years,” he said.
He offered the Patriarch his prayers and “profound sympathy”, personally underlining the word ‘profound’ in black ink and stated that he felt “words seem hopelessly inadequate at such an unimaginable time of suffering.”
The Prince also used the phrase “diabolic evil” when describing the cause of the suffering that had spread and added that he hoped “peace would return to the cradle of civilisation.” The letter, signed by hand, ends: “Yours most sincerely, Charles.”
Responding to His Royal Highness’s letter, the Patriarch thanked him for his words and said he was moved by the gesture:
“We ask your Highness to encourage the international community to preserve the lives and the dignity of the huge number of people affected by this disaster.”
Levels of violence within Iraq have intensified since 2012, and armed groups within the country have been increasingly galvanised by the Syrian Civil War, in which both Sunnis and Shias crossed the border to help fight. Over the past few months, insurgents belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have seized control of several major Iraqi cities, including Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul. Hundreds of thousands of people have been internally dispersed as a result amid reports of atrocities carried out with ISIL fighters.
Image Credit: Dan Marsh via Photopin cc, UK Department for International Development (DFID) via Photopin cc