Pope Francis took to social media platform, Twitter on Friday, September 5, 2014 to share a powerful image on the humanitarian efforts of the Catholic Relief Services in Iraq.
In the tweet, the Pope showed solidarity with the suffering families of Iraq. The image which was originally tweeted by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), shows two Yazidi children whose families are taking cover under a highway over-head bridge outside Erbil to escape the violence unleashed on Yazidi by the Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
The Pontiff urged that his 4.4 million followers join him in prayer for the suffering in Iraq.
I pray every day for all who are suffering in Iraq. Please join me. pic.twitter.com/10d1EpV4zg
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 5, 2014
Roughly two million people have been displaced in central Iraq — one million, alone, since the beginning of 2014, according to CRS reports.Many of them are Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities who the Islamic State has targeted with its attacks.
Pope Francis spoke on his “dismay and disbelief” over the atrocities in Iraq, saying in an August address, “Hatred is not to be carried in the name of God! War is not to be waged in the name of God!”
On August 19 the pope personally called Fr. Behnam Benoka, a priest working in an Iraqi shelter, to offer his support and prayers. “Know that I am with you in prayer always,” the pope reportedly said. “I never forget you.”
Pope Francis took his message a step further on September 3 to address Iraqi Christians directly in his weekly general audience. Francis called Iraq’s persecuted Christians the “heart” of the church and said the Catholic Church would “defend her defenseless and persecuted children” like a mother.
“The church suffers with you and is proud of you,” Pope Francis said.
(Hattip to HuffPost)