» 02/07/2014, 00.00
Chaldean Patriarch and Grand Mufti: Christians and Muslims together for Peace in Iraq
Mar Sako meets Sheikh Rafi Taha Al-Rifai in Sulayamaniyya, Iraqi Kurdistan. A “courtesy” visit to strengthen friendly relations between religious leaders and communities. His Beatitude speaks of the plight of Christians in reception centers and appeals for mutual "harmony".
AsiaNews) - A "courtesy" visit to strengthen relations of friendship
and "brotherhood" between the Christian and Muslim communities, as
well as to "broaden" the foundations of "joint action" to achieve the goal
of a "lasting
peace" in the country. This
was the spirit that animated the meeting between the Chaldean Patriarch Mar
Louis Raphael I Sako and Sheikh Rafi Taha Al- Rifai, the Grand Mufti of Iraq at
the Muslim religious leader's residence in Sulayamaniyya, the capital of the
governorate of al-
Sulaymaniyya, Iraqi Kurdistan.
meeting dates back to Jan. 31, but details only recently emerged on the
official website of the Chaldean
Patriarchate, describing the atmosphere of the face-to- face meeting
between the two religious leaders and common objectives that were set. The
Christian delegation also included the Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the
auxiliary bishop Msgr. Shlemon
Warduni and the three new recently ordained bishops of the Chaldean Church.
Beatitude briefed the Islamic leader on the sufferings of the Christian
community, past and present, also stressing "the common task " of religious
leaders, of "sacrifice, dialogue and mutual understanding " and
action aimed at "the common good" and
"charity " as prescribed by "the dictates of Islam and Christianity".
Violence adds Mar Sako, does not solve problems, "but it is a harbinger of
Patriarch spoke of the drama "of the exodus of Christians" and the
"pain" experienced during the visit to "reception centers in Kirkuk
and Erbil" in northern Iraq. He
finally appealed to "our Muslim brothers, Sunnis and Shiites, to judge
wisely the current reality" and promote "mutual coexistence and
Rafi Taha Al- Rifai thanked Mar Sako and the Christian delegation for the
courtesy visit and stressed from the beginning of his speech, the central value
"of the person" , an element common to both religions. The
Sunni leader described relations between Muslims and Christians as
"good", characterized by "sharing" with one another even
though today there are elements that foment "divisions".
meeting between the two religious leaders is a strong signal in the direction
of peace in a country often torn by violence and that in these first weeks of
2014 has already reached a level of serious concern. Hundreds
have died since the beginning of the year, in a series of bloody attacks, tension
has now reached the levels of 2005/6: in 2013 the official death toll was
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.
Kirkuk, thanks to the Iraqi Church, which promotes "Bridges for Peace"
50 political and religious leaders gathered yesterday at the Archbishop’s residence signed a seven-point document for the harmony and coexistence. An appeal to the central government and the governor of Kurdistan, to solve problems "rather than complicate them." Mgr Sako: the value of diversity the foundation of coexistence.
Kirkuk Christians and Muslims unite in prayer to Our Lady for Peace in Iraq
The initiative, launched by Archbishop Mgr. Sako, saw the participation of political and religious leaders and many faithful who packed the cathedral. Also present were the families of victims of attacks. The prelate speaks of the "value" of the meeting, at a time of "suffering." He adds, Christians work for reconciliation, but do not want ghettos or diasporas.
Kirkuk, Christian solidarity for the victims of the Taza mosque attack
Archbishop Louis Sako at the head of a delegation that met with the civil authorities and Muslim religious leaders, who "appreciate" the "gesture of solidarity." The prelate denounces a "volatile situation" and stresses the "fear of the people." The explosion of the truck-bomb has caused 74 deaths and more than 200 injured.
Archbishop Louis Sako: Muslims want us to promote national reconciliation
Imam Shiites and Sunnis have appreciated the Archbishop of Kirkuk’s invitation to mark Ramadan, calling it a "gesture of respect." They ask Christians, by history and tradition, to be "promoters of dialogue" between the different souls of the country and issue a "call for the liberation of the kidnapped doctor." In Mosul a Christian businessman of 65 is kidnapped.
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During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
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The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
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