06/10/2015, 00.00
IRAQ
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A year after Mosul’s fall, Baghdad patriarch says only reconciliation will save the country

by Louis Raphael I Sako*
Mar Sako issues a message of solidarity to the Christian community, victim of the barbarity of the Islamic State group. In it, he urges people to keep hope alive and pray for the country's future. He appeals to the government, the international community and religious leaders to resolve the humanitarian and political crises. Only reconciliation among Iraq’s various groups can ensure its future.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - A year after the Islamic State group launched its offensive and seized the city of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, the Chaldean Patriarch issued a message to displaced Christian families.

In one single sweep, hundreds of thousands of people lost all their possessions and were forced to flee abroad or live as refugees in their own land.

In a letter to AsiaNews, Mar Sako urges people to keep alive the "hope" for a "rapid return home," reiterating once more that Iraq is "the land of our fathers and grandfathers, our history and our memories."

At the same time, he calls on the government, the international community and Christian and Muslim religious leaders to undertake steps to resolve the crisis. For him, only through true "reconciliation" among the country’s various groups is everyone a winner without a loser, except for “the devil, as we say.

Here is Mar Sako’s message to AsiaNews:

A year after the tragedy of Mosul, we turn towards our beloved people to tell them that we join them in prayer and in the hope of a close salvation and a rapid return home, because it is the land of our fathers and grandfathers, our history and our memories.

We repeat our appeal to the international community and the religious authorities for a serious work to contain the crisis, humanly and politically. If the situation continues as it is now, then we're going to the worst. Unemployment and poverty, displacement, death and destruction are almost everywhere! 

We also urge Iraqi politicians to realize a real reconciliation and radical political reform because with reconciliation we're all winners, and there is no loser, but the devil, as we say.  

Reconciliation means to take the responsibility wholeheartedly, wisely with a vision and to make concessions to establish peace, stability and prosperity in the country.

Let us reconcile so as to prevent the killing of even one more Iraqi because of his religion or doctrine, language or gender.

Let us reconcile so as not to let one more child die because of hunger, thirst and loss of medication.

Let us reconcile so as to prevent the displacement of one more Iraqi family.

Let us reconcile so as to prevent the humiliation, violence, or captivity of Iraqi women. 

As a Church, we strive to perform our humanitarian and spiritual mission, serve internally and externally displaced people as well as encourage them, raise their morale and immunize them against the big challenges.

A miracle, certainly can only be accomplished by GOD, to subside the waves and silence the storm.

Amen.

* Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Iraq

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