Pope Francis has phoned the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, to express his participation and closeness to the suffering of the Iraqi people.

He made explicit reference to Mosul Christians, expelled from the city by the self-proclaimed militants of the "Islamic Caliphate", Fides reports.

According to the Chaldean patriarchate, during the phone call, which took place on Friday morning, July 25, the Pope thanked Patriarch Sako for guiding the Christian people in this period, and expressed his affection for all Christians in Iraq, urging them to keep their faith alive.

Meanwhile, Fides reports that the Chaldean Church denies rumors that the militia of the Islamic Caliphate, after having destroyed the Mosque of Jonah in Mosul, also destroyed the Chaldean church dedicated to the Holy Spirit.

"In the difficult times that we are living, a further cause for concern and bitterness is represented by alarmism caused by unscrupulous people who spread false news that also touches the fate of Christians," the Chaldean bishop of Mosul, Amel Shamon Nona, told Fides.

"Statements and interviews in recent days that I have never released have also been attributed to me. It is a disturbing phenomenon,” he said.