Pope Discusses Persecution of Christians With Jewish Leaders: First it Was Your Turn Now it’s Ours
Pope Francis drew a parallel between the past persecution of Jews and the current victimization of Christians by Islamist terrorists in the Middle East during a meeting with Jewish leaders on Wednesday, The Telegraph reported.
“[Pope Francis] said ‘first it was your turn and now it is our turn,'” said World Jewish Congress head Ronald S. Lauder, who attended the meeting. “In other words first Jews suffered savage attacks that were met with the world’s silence and now it is Christians who are being annihilated and the world is silent.”
The leader of the Catholic Church met with the group of 40 at the Vatican as the plight of Christians in Syria and Iraq continues to deteriorate rapidly as the bloodthirsty Islamic State (ISIS) terror group expands the territory under its control.
Lauder said, “Pope Francis [also] told us privately that he believes we are in World War Three. But unlike the first two world wars, instead of happening all at once this war is coming in stages.”
Lauder said the Islamic State has been painting the letter N, standing for the Christian sect Nazarene, on the houses of Christians, according to The Telegraph. He said the marking “is not different to the yellow Star of David that the Nazis forced Jews to wear to separate them from others.”
Pope Francis has championed the need to stop the advance of ISIS fighters, The Telegraph reported. “In cases like this, where there is an unjust aggression, then it is licit to halt the aggressor. I stress ‘halt,’ I don’t say bomb, or make war, but rather stop him,” he has said.
Such comments have made the Pope a target for ISIS supporters, Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican Habeeb Al Sadr said on Tuesday.
“What has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear – they want to kill the Pope,” he said. “The threats against the Pope are credible.”
The warning came ahead of Pope Francis’s one-day trip to Albania on Sunday. The Vatican said it has not received reports of a threat to the Pope during the visit and that the trip will proceed as scheduled.