"We don't have much time left as Christians in this region," the archbishop told the Westminster gathering, according to the BBC. "As a Catholic I find it hard to say, but I want military action, there is no other way now."
Warda called for the deployment of British and other Western troops to compensate for the inefficacy of Iraqi forces. The likelihood of that actually happening is very slim. The cleric's plea echoes a wider desperation among Iraq's Christians, as well as other religious minorities, including the persecuted Yazidi sect, in the face of the chaos gripping their homeland.
"How bad, how evil this situation must be if this is the call of a Catholic archbishop," a British conservative peer remarked after hearing Warda.
Warda is hardly the only Iraqi Christian voice sounding these dire warnings. As WorldViews reported earlier, Chaldaean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako lamented last year how the past decade since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 has been a disaster for Iraq's religious minorities. The instability and sectarian violence that followed the ousting of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has led to a refugee crisis and paved the way for the Islamic State's emergence. The jihadists have terrorized Christian and other minority communities, massacred innocents, destroyed heritage sites and enslaved women and girls.
There's a deep history to Christian communities in this part of the world, one that belies the sense of civilizational struggle projected both by jihadist extremists and hawkish conservatives in the West.
"The current threat to all Christian communities in Western Asia," writes Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, "is a threat that seeks to deny something fundamental to the history of human civilization, that people of very different convictions can still build a culture together."