Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, met with refugees from Mosul and the surrounding areas last year on a visit to Irbil. With a concerted push to liberate Mosul and other areas currently underway, Cardinal Nichols said:
My prayers are with the people of Mosul as efforts continue to liberate the city and surrounding areas from the tyranny of Daesh. It is vital that protection of civilians, respect for humanitarian conventions and support for those fleeing their homes are at the forefront of this operation.
It will undoubtedly take time for the physical liberation to be realised. Only then can the hard work begin to establish the rule of law and rebuild the region’s diverse social fabric of which the Christian community, many of whom I met in Irbil last year in the refugee camps offering them sanctuary from the violence, is an integral part. This rebuilding is a crucial step which will allow them and other refugees to return to their homes.
My prayers are also with people from across the Middle East region suffering from the continuing violence.