CWN - As the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces advanced on Mosul, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church met with other prelates and called for a true respect for religious freedom of Christians in Iraq.

Joined by Syriac Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, and Assyrian Church prelates, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said that “we expect to safeguard our rights and freedoms, and guarantee our protection with deeds, not speeches, so that we remain in our land and contribute to the revival of our country.”

They added: "The displaced Christians from Mosul and the towns of the Nineveh Plain want to return to their homes on condition of safety and compensation for what they have lost and the reconstruction of what was destroyed by Daesh [ISIS] … The priorities of the Iraqi State and the government of Kurdistan should be to ensure these guarantees."