WATCH: Iraqi Archbishop Says Military Operation Is Only Way to Save Country’s Christians from ISIS

Archbishop Bashar Warda
Archbishop Bashar Warda

A full-blown war against the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters is the only way to keep radical Islamists from destroying Christianity in Iraq, according to an archbishop in the country’s Kurdish-controlled north.

“For me, Daesh [another name for ISIS] is a cancer,” Archbishop Bashar Warda in Erbil tells “60 Minutes” in an excerpt of his interview released Thursday in advance of the Sunday CBS program.

“So sometimes you take some hard measures, unfortunate measures, to deal and treat this cancer.”

The Chaldean Catholic prelate says the situation for thousands of Iraqi Christians forced to flee their homes is dire.

He tells “60 Minutes” that about 60,000 Christian refugees have fled Mosul and the surrounding villages on the Nineveh Plains in the wake of ISIS’ insurgence last summer.

In all, it’s believed 200,000 Christians have been displaced by ISIS, “60 Minutes” reports.

Asked if the military should crush ISIS, the prelate replies: “Please God.”

“60 Minutes” also interviews an Iraqi refugee who, along with his entire family, chose to convert to Islam rather than be killed.

About a month later, however, ISIS militants advised him 10-year-old girls, like his daughter, should be married.

“As soon as they left, my wife and I shut the door,” the man tells “60 Minutes.”

“We looked at each other and she started to cry — and pray.”

The family escaped to Erbil, declaring at each ISIS checkpoint that they were Muslims, he tells “60 Minutes.”

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SOURCE: Cathy Burke

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