REX/ZUMA

Christian peer urges more help for Iraq

Mon 08 Sep 2014
By Antony Bushfield

There's a call for the government to offer asylum to persecuted Christians who are being forced to flee Iraq.

Around a hundred thousand believers have had to escape Islamic State militants as they advance over parts of the country and Syria.

In an open letter seven peers have urged the government to offer more support to persecuted Christians including an offer of asylum.

The letter is signed by Baroness Cox, Lord Alton, Lord Dannatt, Lord Griffiths, Lord Curry, Baroness Hollins and Lord McColl.

It says: "There is an urgent need for a longer-term solution to ensure lasting safety and stability: either safe havens for those who wish to remain in their home land (which has been their home for 2000 years), or an organised mass exodus.

"Many countries have taken in Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Britain is conspicuous in its refusal."

The United Kingdom is dropping humanitarian aid in Iraq but has so far ruled out any military action.

House of Lords

Lord Griffiths

United States aircraft are currently involved in a campaign of bombing the extremists.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour one of the peers who signed the letter, Lord Griffiths, said we had to 'beat our breasts' that we haven't taken action sooner.

He said: "It's the plight of Christians as Christians, it's faith cleansing in the way it's applying.

"Of course the people doing this, how despicable can you get? Chopping people's heads off and then boasting about it."

He added the main aim should be keeping Iraqi Christians in their own land but if that wasn't possible they must be offered asylum.

"It's no good just crying aloud about the plight of Christians if we don't make some effort to offer them the hand of friendship," he said.

Hear more from Lord Griffiths:

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