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Najaf takes in Christians displaced by Islamic State

The religious authorities in Najaf and Karbala showed their support to displaced minorities, notably Christians from Mosul, and expressed their readiness to offer their help.
Shiite Muslim Ahmad Safi, the representative of Iraq's Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, gives a sermon at the Imam Hussein mosque during the Friday prayer on June 20, 2014 in the Shrine city of Karbala in central Iraq. Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the country's next government to be "effective" and avoid past mistakes, in an implicit criticism of the embattled incumbent premier.     AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED SAWAF        (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED

NAJAF, Iraq — After Christians were forced to leave Mosul and other areas that fell under the control of the Islamic State (IS), Kurdish and Shiite dominated cities opened their doors to receive them. Religious authorities adopted stances supporting Christians, as they called on residents to host and help their brothers in the country.

The Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, one of the prominent religious institutions in Najaf, issued on July 30 a statement in support of Christians and minorities in Iraq. An excerpt of the statement reads, “We announce our readiness to receive the displaced Iraqi families, be they Christians or Muslims. We call on all Iraqis to offer aid for the displaced families and protect them from the aggressors, in accordance with the principles of humanitarian and national fraternity.”

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