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» 11/04/2010
IRAQ
Archbishop Sako, security and tolerance necessary for future of Iraq’s Christians
An appeal of the Archbishop of Kirkuk: civil authorities must strive to ensure security, all Muslim religious condemn attacks and encourage texts that promote peaceful coexistence. Sentences of hatred towards other religions must be removed from the school books of all Islamic countries.

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - To ensure security schools, religious sermons, and media must fight against the spirit of intolerance and hatred towards followers of other religions.  This is the appeal that Mgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, launched in the aftermath of the massacre in the Cathedral of Our Lady, in Baghdad.

"Our ordeal – the Archbishop tells AsiaNews - is hard and it seems unending. The carnage that took place in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Baghdad, with 58 deaths, including two young priests, and 67 wounded, has deeply shaken us. We are losing patience, but not faith and hope. What is most striking is that an event of this magnitude came immediately after the holding of the Synod for the Middle East and its appeal for a harmonious coexistence between Christians and Muslims. "

"What we need is prayer, moral support and fellowship. Without it we feel alone and isolated”.

"It is true - says Mgr. Sako - that Islam recognizes Christians and Jews and the Sabians, because they are the People of the Book. They cite the verse Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans - those who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve (62 of Surat Al-Baqara), but against this the extremists use other verses such as the following “If anyone desires anything other than Islam as a religion in the hereafter he will be among the losers” (Al-Imran 85).

The Archbishop offers some "practical and immediate measures":

"1 - It 's the duty of the security authorities in Iraq to provide protection for places of worship for Christians, especially on Sundays.

2 - Muslim religious leaders of all faiths have a duty to condemn these terrorist attacks in public and highlight the religious texts, which support the spirit of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between religions.

3 – A change in the curriculum at all levels and in all Muslim countries in particular the withdrawal of all the words of hatred against the followers of other religions.

4 - A spirit of tolerance and coexistence must be spread by the media and themes should be introduced to promote cooperation among citizens with the elimination of religious intolerance, such as the principles of sociology, philosophy, history and comparative religion".


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See also
09/11/2010 IRAQ
Kirkuk: "Burn the Koran" campaign strengthens friendship between Christians and Muslims
03/11/2008 IRAQ
Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
09/10/2010 ISLAM - PAKISTAN
“Burn a Koran” campaign suspended but not called off. Fear for the Christians of Pakistan
11/22/2010 IRAQ
After the attacks on Christians in Baghdad, 40 families emigrate North
by Layla Yousif Rahema
09/02/2009 IRAQ
Archbishop Louis Sako: Muslims want us to promote national reconciliation

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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