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    » 08/05/2014, 00.00

    IRAQ


    Baghdad patriarch tells pope that the Iraqi Christian tragedy is rooted in superpowers' selfishness



    In a letter to Pope Francis, eastern patriarchs and the presidents of bishops' conferences around the world, Mar Sako calls on the international community to come to grips with the situation and take "concrete actions". The survival of the Christian minority is at stake and a strong stance is needed, even by Muslims. He appeals for help and solidarity.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The international community and the world's superpowers must realise the need for "concrete actions of solidarity" for Iraqi Christians because the "very survival" of the minority in the country and in middle East is at stake, said Raphael Louis I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, in a message to Pope Francis, eastern patriarchs and the presidents of Bishops' Conferences, which was sent to AsiaNews for wider dissemination.

    His Beatitude calls for an "appeal to your heart," looking for a "solution" that is "only in the hands of the international community", in particular of the "superpowers" who have a "human and moral responsibility."

    In Iraq, for Christians the situation is getting worse as they flee their homes from Mosul, and now from other cities of the north, in the plain of Nineveh, like Sinjar, Telkef, Batnaya and Telleskuf.

    Sunni Islamist militias have imposed strict sharia rule and a de facto Caliphate, forcing minorities to flee or pay jizya, the poll tax normally exacted from "infidels".

    Faced with a never-ending tragedy, the patriarch of Baghdad addresses directly world powers, asking them to drop their "self-interest" and join together to achieve a "peaceful political solution" that alone can put an end to the conflict.

    These "powers", which Mar Sako does not mention directly, should " vigorously exercise their pressure" on those who provide "economic support" and entertain "military ties" with the Islamists. The objective is to "cut the roots of violence and radicalisation."

    Mar Sako also appeals to the Islamic world, saying he was "shocked and outraged" by the lack of a "strong stance" by Muslims and their leaders against the terrorist movement, which he warns is a "threat to Muslims themselves."

    His Beatitude notes that Iraqi Christians have a "vital need for emergency humanitarian aid" as well as "real, effective and permanent protection".

    In his letter, the Chaldean patriarch sadly points to the lack of "cooperation between the central and the Kurdish regional governments," which favours ISIS's advance and compounds the problems caused by the new government's lack of experience.

    Lastly, Mar Sako calls on "all our brothers and sisters throughout the world" to be "very supportive" during this difficult time.

    He also calls for "a communion of hearts and prayers" and reaffirms once again his "belief in dialogue, exchange and peaceful and civilised co-existence".

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    See also

    06/09/2013 IRAQ - VATICAN - SYRIA
    For Patriarch Sako, the tragedy of war unites Iraq and Syria, calls for fasting and prayers for peace
    Speaking to AsiaNews, Mar Sako urges bishops, priests and the faithful to heed Pope Francis's appeal. The Chaldean Patriarch has already seen the sufferings of a people victim of a terrible conflict. He told Caritas to be ready to receive and help refugees. He is grateful to Syria, "which welcomed Iraqis in recent years," pledging reciprocity when the "need" will arise.

    04/07/2016 17:09:00 IRAQ
    For Patriarch Sako, Baghdad massacre rooted in IS’s desire to rule the world

    This morning, the Chaldean Patriarch visited Baghdad’s Karrada district, scene of the latest Jihadi attack.  So far the death toll stands at 165 with at least 225 wounded. Other sources claim more than 200 deaths. Government unity is needed to counter extremist violence. The Muslim world must realise that IS is a cancer eating away at Islam itself. Pope Francis prays for the victims and their families.



    11/07/2013 IRAQ - ISLAM
    Patriarch Sako: Greetings of peace to our Muslim brothers and sisters for Ramadan
    His Beatitude Mar Raphael Louis Sako I sends a message to the Islamic community at the start of the holy month of fasting and prayer. He hopes it will be a time for doing good and for reconciliation in a country ravaged by ten years of war and violence. Patriarch calls for dialogue in order to create "one community" in the "diversity" of its various components.

    13/06/2013 IRAQ
    Chaldean Synod: revitalising the Christian presence in Iraq and freedom for Syrian bishops
    This is the thrust of the paper that marked the end of the meeting held in Baghdad on 5-10 June. The Fathers call for the creation of a "competent" Christian political class, urging the faithful to be "a bridge between cultures." The Synod also stressed the importance of the ecumenical movement and calls for an "honest dialogue" with the Assyrian Church of the East. It issues special thanks to Pope Francis.

    23/01/2016 13:15:00 IRAQ
    Patriarch Sako: the ministry of lector for 40 men and women, a sign of a living Iraqi Church

    Yesterday, 40 men and women received the lectorate in Baghdad’s Cathedral of St Joseph. The Chaldean Patriarch emphasised women’s role in the community. For Mgr Yaldo, more than 600 people came together "in an atmosphere of serenity and sharing”. The celebration is part of planned events for the Year of Mercy.





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