Ask a Priest

Fighting in Iraq

Jul 21, 2014

I have been reading about what is happening in Iraq. I know it is very complicated, but it seems from what I understand that the Christians are caught in the middle of the conflict and as a result their lives are in danger.

My question is, even though we should avoid war and aim for peace as Christians, is it ok for Christian countries to get involved in this conflict and potentially kill people, if the ultimate aim is for the protection of those in danger in Iraq.

Asked at 11:44 pm on July 21st 2014

Dear Sammy:

You speak about Christian nations invading Iraq. I think we have to be very careful when dealing with issues of religion and politics. Yes, there are countries with substantial Christian populations, but we have a separation of religion and politics and to propose a situation of Christian countries invading Islamic countries brings with it many dangers and we have to be careful.

Then, the Church is more concerned about doing all it can to bring about a peaceful resolution of conflicts. There is a right for legitimate self-defence, but the conditions needed to justify invading another country are very difficult to meet.

Clearly it is very unjust and totally contrary to religious freedom that the Christians in Iraq are being persecuted and forced to leave their homes and no doubt all of us wish something could be done to stop this. Yet, finding the right solution is very difficult. After all there have been two invasions of Iraq in recent times and now look at the situation.

Replied at 01:35 am on July 22nd 2014

Fr. Flynn:
Please read over your answer, in the context of what has happened to the thousands of Christians since the question was posed to you. I believe “action” needs to be taken. Just wishing something could be done, will lead us to perdition as our Lord will judge our lack of a response.

Replied at 11:49 am on October 05th 2015