The History of Earth­quakes In New York Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The History of Earth­quakes In New YorkBy Meteorologist Michael Gouldrick New York State PUBLISHED 6:30 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:30 AM EDT Sep. 09, 2020New York State has a long history of earthquakes. Since the early to mid 1700s there have been over 550 recorded earthquakes that have been centered within the state’s boundary. New York has also been shaken by strong earthquakes that occurred in southeast Canada and the Mid-Atlantic states.

Courtesy of Northeast States Emergency ConsortiumThe largest earthquake that occurred within New York’s borders happened on September 5th, 1944. It was a magnitude 5.9 and did major damage in the town of Massena.A school gymnasium suffered major damage, some 90% of chimneys toppled over and house foundations were cracked. Windows broke and plumbing was damaged. This earthquake was felt from Maine to Michigan to Maryland.Another strong quake occurred near Attica on August 12th, 1929. Chimneys took the biggest hit, foundations were also cracked and store shelves toppled their goods.In more recent memory some of the strongest quakes occurred On April 20th, 2002 when a 5.0 rattled the state and was centered on Au Sable Forks area near Plattsburg, NY.Strong earthquakes outside of New York’s boundary have also shaken the state. On February 5th, 1663 near Charlevoix, Quebec, an estimated magnitude of 7.5 occurred. A 6.2 tremor was reported in Western Quebec on November 1st in 1935. A 6.2 earthquake occurred in the same area on March 1st 1925. Many in the state also reported shaking on August 23rd, 2011 from a 5.9 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia.

Earthquakes in the northeast U.S. and southeast Canada are not as intense as those found in other parts of the world but can be felt over a much larger area. The reason for this is the makeup of the ground. In our part of the world, the ground is like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together. If one piece shakes, the whole puzzle shakes.In the Western U.S., the ground is more like a puzzle that hasn’t been fully put together yet. One piece can shake violently, but only the the pieces next to it are affected while the rest of the puzzle doesn’t move.In Rochester, New York, the most recent earthquake was reported on March 29th, 2020. It was a 2.6 magnitude shake centered under Lake Ontario. While most did not feel it, there were 54 reports of the ground shaking.So next time you are wondering why the dishes rattled, or you thought you felt the ground move, it certainly could have been an earthquake in New York.Here is a website from the USGS (United Sates Geologic Society) of current earthquakes greater than 2.5 during the past day around the world. As you can see, the Earth is a geologically active planet!Another great website of earthquakes that have occurred locally can be found here.To learn more about the science behind earthquakes, check out this website from the USGS.

North Korea is not a nuclear threat

Observers should not mistake the absence of direct engagement between Washington and Pyongyang for disinterest in the fate of US-North Korea relations, State Department representative Ned Price said in a recent press briefing.

Price stressed that the administration’s “strategic goals” with the Kim Jong Un regime will be “focus[ed] on reducing the threat to the United States and to our allies as well as to improving the lives of the North and South Korean people. And, again, the central premise is that we remain committed to denuclearization of North Korea.”

The Biden team’s workmanlike approach is an expedient change from their predecessors’ photo-op diplomacy. But this continued insistence on denuclearization as the primary goal in US-North Korea engagement is incredibly counterproductive.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviews a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in an undated photo released by the Korean Central News Agency, November 30, 2017. Reuters

If Biden and his team are serious about making headway on their first two strategic goals — threat reduction and humanitarian gains on the Korean Peninsula — they must drop the third. For progress with North Korea, forget denuclearization.

We can do that safely for three reasons. First, as Price himself noted, “the United States, of course, remains the most powerful and strongest country in the world.” Even with nuclear weapons, North Korea’s military might is miniscule by comparison. In nuclear and conventional weaponry alike, the US advantage is overwhelming, as the Kim regime well knows.

This is not to say Pyongyang couldn’t do real damage. It could — the South Korean capital of Seoul, a city of 10 million, is only 30 miles from the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas, well within North Korea’s strike range.

But Kim is unquestionably aware of the consequences unprovoked aggression against a US ally (let alone the United States proper or our military, which has an extensive South Korean presence) would bring. He would not finish the resultant conflict in power; he might not finish it alive.

That glaringly obvious truth creates a powerful deterrence for the United States, and it is a deterrence which maintaining the nuclear status quo indefinitely will not obviate.

Kim at what was said to be a missile test site at an undisclosed location in North Korea, May 15, 2017. KRT via AP Video

Second, Price repeats the longstanding claim that denuclearization is itself a goal. This is not — or, at least, should not be — quite correct. The proper goal is avoidance of horrific, world-changing, history-altering nuclear war.

Denuclearization is one means of accomplishing that avoidance. But it is not the only way, and the mere existence of North Korea’s nuclear weapons does not mean they will be used.

The United States is already securely coexisting with a nuclear North Korea. We are stably coexisting with other nuclear powers, too, including several (chiefly China and Russia, but also Pakistan, if conventional wisdom is correct) that are hardly reliably friendly to America.

Russia’s nuclear arsenal is of a similar strength to our own, and China boasts a far more powerful military and economy than North Korea ever could. Yet complete denuclearization of these countries is not standard US policy, not only because it is an unachievable aim for Washington but because it is not necessary to avoid nuclear war.

We can likewise avoid nuclear conflict involving North Korea without attaining denuclearization — indeed, we have done it for decades.

Finally, forgetting denuclearization for now may ultimately get us to denuclearization, and it will certainly help us toward the administration’s other two goals of de-escalation and improved quality of life for the Korean people.

Biden, then vice president, with Joint Joint Security Area soldiers in Panmunjom, December 7, 2013. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

If we set aside denuclearization — a concession Pyongyang will not make so long as it perceives any risk of forcible, US-orchestrated regime change like that in Iraq and Libya — a multitude of more practical and feasible goals become accessible to us.

Working-level diplomacy by the Biden administration could accomplish a nuclear freeze, regular inspections of Kim’s arsenal, or even some reduction of his nuclear stockpile or missile systems. It could produce, seven decades late, a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War. It could bargain for concessions from Pyongyang by offering cessation of US sanctions that harm ordinary North Koreans. It could permit expanded, Korean-directed engagement between North and South Korea, including trade and reconnection of divided families.

It could take steps toward making North Korea a far more normal country, opening the “hermit kingdom” to the global culture and economy and giving its people a shot at deprograming themselves from their government’s sadistic brainwashing. And it could ultimately lay the groundwork for a new era in North Korean foreign relations, one which might mature someday, probably long after this administration is over, into a denuclearized and even democratic Pyongyang.

None of that is possible, however, if the Biden administration insists on denuclearization now. A shortsighted demand for Kim to concede what he views as his sole guarantee against American invasion will ensure Biden leaves office just like former President Donald Trump, having moved the needle on US-North Korean relations not an inch.

Bonnie Kristian is a fellow at Defense Priorities, contributing editor at The Week, and columnist at Christianity Today. Her writing has also appeared at CNN, NBC, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Defense One, among other outlets.

Biden Extends a Peace Flag to Iran

Biden withdraws Trump’s restoration of UN sanctions on Iran

19 Feb 2021 08:00AM

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with army’s air force and air defense staff in Tehran, Iran on Sunday, Feb 7, 2021. Iran’s supreme leader said the US. must lift all sanctions if it wants Iran to return to its commitments to the nuclear deal with Western powers. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

(Updated: 19 Feb 2021 08:04AM)

UNITED NATIONS: The Biden administration on Thursday (Feb 18) rescinded former president Donald Trump’s restoration of UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that could help Washington move toward rejoining the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at reining in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Acting US Ambassador Richard Mills sent a letter to the UN Security Council on behalf of President Joe Biden, saying the US “hereby withdraws” three letters from the Trump administration culminating in its Sep 19 announcement that the US had re-imposed UN sanctions on Tehran.

Mills said in the letter obtained by The Associated Press that sanctions measures terminated in the 2015 council resolution endorsing the nuclear deal with six major powers, but restored by Trump in September, “remain terminated”.

Trump pulled the US out of the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, in 2018, accusing Iran of serious violations.

Biden has said the US wants to rejoin the pact and the State Department said on Thursday the US would accept an invitation from the EU to attend a meeting of the participants in the original agreement – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran.

The Trump administration’s decision to invoke a provision in the 2015 council resolution allowing the “snapback” of sanctions because Iran was in “significant non-performance” with its obligations under the accord was ignored by the rest of the Security Council and the world.

The overwhelming majority of members in the 15-nation council called Trump’s action illegal, because the US was no longer a member of the JCPOA.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN would not support re-imposing sanctions on Iran as the US was demanding until he got a green light from the Security Council. He said there was “uncertainty” on whether or not former secretary of state Mike Pompeo had triggered the “snapback” mechanism.

Iran Has Been Spinning Away: Daniel 8

Exclusive: IAEA found uranium traces at two sites Iran barred it from, sources say

VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog found uranium particles at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of stonewalling, diplomats say, and it is preparing to rebuke Tehran for failing to explain, possibly complicating U.S. efforts to revive nuclear diplomacy.

The find and Iran’s response risk hurting efforts by the new U.S. administration to restore Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, which President Joe Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump abandoned.

Although the sites where the material was found are believed to have been inactive for nearly two decades, opponents of the nuclear deal, such as Israel, say evidence of undeclared nuclear activities shows that Iran has not been acting in good faith.

Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kazem Gharibabadi, declined to comment, as did the IAEA itself.

A senior Iranian official said: “We have nothing to hide. That is why we allowed the inspectors to visit those sites.”

Iran has set a deadline of next week for Biden to lift sanctions reimposed by Trump, or it will halt snap IAEA inspections under the deal, which lifted sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme. Next week is also when the IAEA is expected to issue a quarterly report on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Seven diplomats told Reuters the agency will use that opportunity to rebuke Iran for failing to explain to its satisfaction how the uranium particles wound up at two undeclared sites. The rebuke could come either in the quarterly report or in an additional report released the same day.

OBLIGATION

U.S. intelligence agencies and the IAEA believe Iran had a secret, coordinated nuclear weapons programme that it halted in 2003, which Iran denies. The 2015 nuclear deal effectively drew a line under that past, but Iran is still required to explain evidence of undeclared past activities or material to the IAEA.

The material was found during snap IAEA inspections that were carried out at the two sites in August and September of last year, after Iran barred access for seven months.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that radioactive material was found in the samples taken by inspectors at the two sites, although the newspaper did not specify what the material was.

Four diplomats who follow the agency’s work closely told Reuters the material found in those samples was uranium.

Identifying the material as uranium creates a burden on Iran to explain it, as enriched uranium can be used in the core of a nuclear weapon. Iran is obliged to account for all uranium so the IAEA can verify it is not diverting any to a weapons programme.

Two of the sources said the uranium found last year was not enriched. But nevertheless, its presence suggests undisclosed nuclear material or activities at the sites, which Iran would have had to declare.

The IAEA’s full findings are a closely guarded secret within the agency and only a small number of countries have been informed of the specifics.

Five diplomats said that after the IAEA confronted Iran with the findings it gave unsatisfactory answers. Two of them said Iran told the agency the traces were the result of contamination by radioactive equipment moved there from another site, but the IAEA checked and the particles at the sites did not match.

One diplomat briefed on the exchanges but not the detailed findings said Iran had given “implausible answers”, describing Iran’s response as “typical delaying tactics”.

The agency has said it suspects one of the sites hosted uranium conversion work, a step in processing the material before enrichment, and the other was used for explosive testing.

The seven diplomats said they expect the agency to call Iran out for having failed to explain the traces found at the two sites, as well as over its continued failure to explain material found previously at another site in Tehran, Turqazabad.

Diplomats said it remained unclear whether the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, which meets the week after the quarterly report, would take action condemning Iran. Several said the focus was on efforts to salvage the 2015 deal by bringing Washington back into it.

“Everyone is waiting on the Americans,” one diplomat said.

Reporting by Francois Murphy and John Irish; Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Francois Murphy; Editing by Peter Graff

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Palestinian Child Soldiers Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Why Are Palestinian Child Soldiers Ignored?

Tzemach Yehudah Richter

Feb 19, 2021, 7:49 AM

It’s a familiar story. Ahmed Mansara, 13, and his cousin Hassan Mansara, 15, went on a stabbing spree in Pisgat Ze’ev. They injured two civilians, one a boy their age, before they were stopped. Ahmed was injured and Hassan killed. It’s just one story among countless terrorist attacks, battles, and riots in which Palestinian children served on the frontline. It’s not hard to see the pattern. There is a system that has been constructed by Hamas, the PA, and other authoratative Palestinian organizations that creates and uses child soldiers. Yet despite this system of child militancy being so flagrant, human rights organizations refuse to acknowledge it. They don’t care that Palestinian children are being used as soldiers. They don’t care for the same reason that PFLP or Hamas uses them: They’re useful.

The Paris Principles defines child soldiers as anyone under 18 that is used by an armed force, state or non-state, in any military capacity. The term child soldier is not limited to direct combatants, but also other positions that contribute to the military objective, such as cooks, messengers, spies, and porters. The use of children for warfare is abhorrent for many reasons. Children lack the ability to give informed consent, to take responsibility for themselves, to understand their best interests and pursue them in a reasonable fashion. Consequently, we generally do not let them wed, vote, and to imbibe certain substances. Child soldiers lack the capacity to fully understand why they are fighting. It cannot be considered a consensual decision. They do not understand what it means to take a life, the sanctity and irreplaceability of the light snuffed out, and how it may weigh on their soul in the future. They do not foresee the consequences of their actions, what will happen to their families, and themselves, as a result of combat. Death is not the only thing that can happen to a soldier. Therefore, to force or encourage children to fight others, to kill civilians in an act of terrorism, to unknowingly risk life and limb, is one of the worst forms of child abuse. Almost as bad is to enable it. Which is exactly what the international human rights regime is doing by ignoring and even facilitating systemic Palestinian child militancy.

The system of Palestinian child militancy is extensive. Palestinian kids are educated, trained, activated, and recruited in many ways. School textbooks and lessons engage in militarization, radicalization, and racism to prime children for combat operations. Kids are taught to aspire to jihad and martyrdom, and are even given examples in math and sciences like those about launching stones at soldiers. Posters, songs, poems and memes extol child soldiers, pressuring kids to join their ranks. They are deployed through public commands by Palestinian authorities calling for them to take action through violence. This has led directly to waves of stabbing attacks by teens, which is openly supported and praised by terrorist organizations. Teens that are arrested, injured, or killed in the course of terrorism are paid a bounty under pay-for-slay policies. It is well known that these policies exist, creating a state of open-ended recruitment for lone-wolf cub terrorists.

There is also more direct organization of these children. While the education and propaganda system encourages Palestinian kids to engage in rock-throwing and other violent actions of their own accord, kids are also utilized in organized mass riots. Children are sent to the frontlines to throw stones, pipe bombs, and Molotov cocktails. They also act as human shields, protecting adult perpetrators as they operate.

Then there are the more overt military operations. Palestinian child soldiers are relied on for transportation of weapons, and in the case of IEDs, their placement. They are used as lookouts to spot approaching IDF forces, and messengers between cells. At least nine minors have been killed in cave-ins while digging terrorist tunnels, though it is difficult to ascertain just how many have been killed in this fashion. It is likely that there are many more child tunnel diggers than those killed. Hamas doesn’t run a very transparent operation. However, researchers do uncover many of the under-age combat soldiers they enlist and send into battle. Some of those that are killed, like 15-year-old Wasim Rida Salhia, are revealed through casualty counts. The stories of these child soldiers, like the Mansaras, are well documented. Palestinian Child Soldier Week’s official Twitter account lists them out by name, age, action, and consequence. There are dozens of additional ways child soldiers have been used by Palestinian terrorist organizations, and each violation is worth an exploration in an article in its own right. Given the amount of documentation, human right organizations should be working hard on dismantling the Palestinian child militancy system. Given all the talk of the ICC and war crimes, one would be forgiven in thinking that this issue was at the forefront. Instead those that claim to champion human rights have chosen to ignore the problem, letting it flourish.

UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, and other groups claim that they have not been able to identify the use of child soldiers by Palestinian organizations. When it comes to Palestinian child militancy, they hide behind stricter definitions and greater burdens of proof for violations than they hold for other parties. Even in the same conflict, they do not hold such high standards of evidence for alleged Israeli actions. An example of their evasiveness, as detailed by Palestinian Media Watch, is how UNICEF refused to consider the paying of children to throw Molotov cocktails and transport weapons recruitment, because they could not verify exactly which party was doing the recruiting. Recruitment was happening, but it actually wasn’t recruiting because UNICEF couldn’t see the child soldier payslips from Hamas. Similarly, human rights NGO reports are full of complaints about deaths, injuries, and arrest of minors, but they conveniently leave out why these tragedies occur. These are consequences of the use of child soldiers. Acknowledging this inconvenient truth would complicate the bottom line of their reports, and would interfere with their interests.

There are many reasons why this failure is happening. For one, the employees of human rights groups are not impartial arbiters that apply a set of objective principles of human rights fairly to all. They are political activists, acting according to their interests. Take Omar Shakir, a BDS activist that works for Human Rights Watch. When his visa was rejected because of his BDS activity, he used the shield of his HRW position to claim that he was being rejected due to his human rights work. To these actors, their political activity and human rights work are not just indistinguishable in practice, the legitimacy of the latter is cover for the former. BDS seeks the dissolution of the state of Israel, making common cause with the very organizations that maintain the system of child militancy. BDS’ strength is not as an economic power, but as a public diplomacy force slowly altering perceptions of foreign publics through simple emotional narratives. Dead children are a powerful tool for BDS activists, and one they use with relish. It is difficult to argue with a raw number of minors killed, injured, or arrested. If one does, then they’re accused of hating Palestinian children. It requires additional research to reveal that the cases in question are largely connected to riots, terrorism, or combat. Few check, many accept the numbers at face value. It is therefore in the political interest of BDS activists in human rights organization to ignore child militancy, and to instead continue to load their BDS kits with the bodies of Palestinian child soldiers.

Many of these human rights organizations also have overt ties to terrorist groups. According to NGO-Monitor, The Palestinian Center for Human Rights had several employees that moonlighted as PFLP operatives. An organization that has terrorist operatives within its ranks is unlikely to report child soldier violations by their terrorist organization. It is not just employees that guide policy, but donors as well. Groups like Amnesty International and HRW are not transparent about their funding. Despite claiming that they receive no government funding, both have been shown to receive funding from various governments. Further, in 2012 HRW accepted private funding on the condition that they would not do work on LGBT rights in the Middle East. We can’t expect that their government and other private donations don’t come with strings attached as well. Given the obsessive focus on Israel, and the way important issues like Palestinian child soldiers are ignored, its not unreasonable to suspect that there have been other missions and conditions placed on these organizations. There are few propaganda pieces for attacking your geopolitical enemies better than the claim they are murdering children. For their blatant pursuit of political, personal, and monetary interests, human rights organizations can no longer be trusted unquestionably when it comes to issues like Palestinian child soldiers.

Palestinian child soldiers are useful. In life, terrorists use them to physically strike Israelis in battle, terrorism, and riots. In death, they are used by dishonest NGOs for political propaganda that satisfies their donors and staff. The real losers of this deal are Palestinian children.

February 14th-19th is Palestinian Child Soldier Week 2021. It is as good a time as any to call for an end to this system of abuse. We must call for reform, both of the system of Palestinian child militancy, and the international regime of politically corrupt human rights NGOs that enables it.

Antichrist Won’t Sign Fraternity Doc With Pope Francis

A damaged cross is pictured atop St. George Monastery in Mosul, Iraq, June, 9, 2019. Pope Francis plans to visit Iraq March 5-8. (Photo: CNS/Marcin Mazur)

Iraqi Official Says Top Shi’a Cleric Won’t Sign Fraternity Doc With Pope Francis

By Elise Anne Allen

ROME (Crux) – Despite widespread speculation that Pope Francis and top Shi’a cleric Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani will sign a document on human fraternity during their meeting in Iraq next month, an Iraqi state official has said the rumors are false.

According to the Iraqi Kurdish news site “Rudaw,” in comments made during a media roundtable, Senior Undersecretary of Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nizar Al-Khair Allah called the Holy Father’s scheduled visit with Al-Sistani “historic.”

A visit like this “has not been witnessed in the history of the Hawza,” he said, referring to a prestigious seminary for Shi’a clerics, “but it won’t include any signings or agreements.”

Pope Francis is set to meet Al-Sistani March 6 as part of his 4-day visit to Iraq, during which he is expected to make stops in Baghdad, Erbil, Qaraqosh, Mosul, the Plain of Ur, and Najaf, where Al-Sistani lives.

For some weeks it has been rumored that during his private meeting with Al-Sistani, the two would sign the Document on Human Fraternity, originally signed by Pope Francis and the Gran Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, during the pope’s visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019.

However, Khair Allah’s statement that there will be no agreements made or document signed appears to debunk that rumor. Al-Sistani himself, who is 90, does not usually leave Najaf and rarely receives visitors, making his conversation with the pontiff even more significant.

In his remarks to state media, Khair Allah also said the pontiff would be provided local security, saying, “The Vatican would like Pope Francis to come via an Iraqi plane with the provision of Iraqi protection.”

Although the trip is less than a month away, some have speculated whether the visit will actually take place, with security being one of the top concerns in addition to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially an alarm was raised in January when two ISIS suicide bombers at a crowded market in Baghdad claimed dozens of lives. Since then, there have been periodic rocket strikes in residential areas of Erbil, raising concern that more attacks could take place as the papal visit gets closer.

The latest of these rocket attacks took place Feb. 15, when a barrage of rockets targeted the main military base inside Erbil’s airport. Among other things, the base hosts foreign troops deployed as part of the US-led coalition helping Iraqi forces to fight ISIS.

However, not all of the rockets hit their target. Several struck portions of Erbil’s northwestern sector, killing one foreign civilian contractor and wounding at least nine others, including an American soldier.

A group that calls itself “Awliya al-Dam,” meaning “Guardians of the Blood,” claimed responsibility, saying it would continue to attack the American “occupation” forces in Iraq.

After the incident, senior Iraqi Shi’a cleric and leader of the country’s Sadrist Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, said he believes the rocket strike was launched in a bid to either cancel or postpone Pope Francis’s March visit, which would mark the first time a pope has ever set foot in the country.

Sadr said it is now the government’s task to deal with any security concerns with “caution and wisdom.”

Immediately after Monday’s rocket attacks, rumors began circulating in local media that the papal visit would be postponed, however, the Vatican’s ambassador to Iraq, Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, denied the reports, saying in a statement that “in some Arabic media is circulating a fake news that Pope Francis is delaying his visit to Iraq. The truth is that it remains scheduled from 5-8 March 2021.”

Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also quickly put out a statement promising action, saying, “the government will take all means to fight the remnants of terrorism in any form and under any name and is determined to continue the war against these groups.”

In an interview with Vatican News, Bishop Basel Yaldo, an auxiliary bishop in Baghdad and general coordinator of the papal trip, said Iraqis are awaiting the pope “with all our hearts.”

“For decades, we have been waiting for a pope. For us, it will be a truly historic event,” he said, adding that after decades of war and violent conflict, the people want peace, “and we are sure that Pope Francis’s visit will bring hope to all Iraqis, not just Christians.”

Pope Francis’s visit comes at a time when many experts and observers fear that it is only a matter of time before Christianity disappears from the Middle East entirely.

In Iraq alone, hundreds of thousands have left in recent years as a direct result of war, discrimination, violent persecution, and poverty. As of 2003, there were roughly 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, while today that figure is closer to just 300,000.

In his comments, Yaldo said that when the pope visits the villages burned and pillaged during the ISIS insurgency on the Nineveh Plain, he will bring the solidarity of the entire Church with him, and a prayer for unity.

All papal events, he said, will show that the pope is coming “for all the people of Iraq, without any distinction.”