» 04/26/2012, 00.00
"Building bridges of peace", a project that unites Christians and Muslims in Kirkuk
The Chaldean archbishopric holds a reconciliation forum today. Some 50 political, religious and cultural leaders attend the event. Mgr Sako presents a seven-point proposal, signed by participants, as a "joint commitment" to dialogue. A committee is set to see to its implementation.
(AsiaNews) - The Chaldean Archbishopric of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, organised a
reconciliation forum today on "Building bridges of peace", on the initiative of
Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of the city. The meeting brought together Christian
and Muslims leaders, altogether some 50 people, including politicians like the
provincial governor, lawmakers, party chiefs and tribal sheiks; religious leaders
from the Shia, Sunni and Christian communities; and representatives of the Kurdish,
Arab, Turkmen and Assyrian-Chaldean communities.
The forum comes
a few days after a series of attacks left a trail of blood and destruction in
Kirkuk as well as the rest of the country. Despite the departure of US troops,
the situation has not improved and peace and security remain as elusive as
is "an opportunity for all parties" to sit around a table to talk "in a
civilised manner", Church sources in Kirkuk said. This way they can try to
solve problems and bridge divisions, thus "reducing tensions rather than make
it worse with threats."
various speeches and interventions, Mgr Sako presented a seven-point proposal
that participants signed as a joint "commitment" to dialogue and peace. An ad
hoc committee made up of individuals from various backgrounds will be set up to
evaluate the application of its principles and directives.
In his address,
Mgr Sako reiterated the principle of dialogue with Islam so that people can
live together and overcome theological issues that today are unsolvable.
For Christians, this
means adopting a language that can be "understood" by the Muslim community. At the
same time, a "secular civil society" is necessary based on "shared Iraqi citizenship."
A number of
plans are on the drawing board to achieve these goals. They include a
kindergarten for 80 children (10 per cent Muslim) and an elementary school that
should open in September.
As those behind
these initiatives note, coexistence begins in infancy.
Mgr. Sako’s Message for Ramadan in Kirkuk
The Chaldean archbishop asks Muslims that this sacred month be a time of prayer and reconciliation. He calls on Christians to observe the Muslim fast, not to eat in public and to dress modestly. In recent years in Mosul and Baghdad bombings occurred even during Ramadan. Fears for the population and Christians.
In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim leaders for dialogue and reconciliation
At the invitation of Msgr. Sako, 50 religious leaders are meeting during Ramadan to launch an appeal to political leaders for an end to conflicts and divisions. "We are all brothers, sons of the same God we must respect and cooperate for the good of the people and our country."
Kirkuk: young Christian teacher is freed thanks to help of Muslims
Joint intervention of army and tribal leaders led to the release of Namir Nadhim Gourguis, kidnapped on May 14th last. No ransom was paid. Decisive the mediation between Imam and tribal chiefs. Msgr Sako: “the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.
Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded
Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was the father of three children. He was abducted three days ago. Negotiations for his released failed. This morning police found his body, which bore “horrific marks of torture”. In voicing his outrage, the archbishop of Kirkuk slammed this “inhuman act,” urging everyone to work together to “protect defenceless citizens”.
Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
The appeal was launched by the Archbishop of Kirkuk, 12 days on from Msgr. Rahoo’s abduction. To the Bishops and Christians of the world: “do not remain indifferent to this suffering, do not leave us alone to face this trial”. Amid increased fears, today in Kirkuk 15 Muslim leaders ask once again that the prelate be released.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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