» 08/29/2009, 00.00
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 (AsiaNews) – A strong appeal for national peace, reconciliation and end to violence from religious leaders, Christians and Muslims, in Kirkuk. Gathered in the Cathedral at the invitation of the Archbishop Louis Sako, 50 Christian and Muslim representatives will have dinner together. The archbishop explains that this is "a gesture of closeness to our Muslim brothers. We are all brothers, sons of the same God we must respect and cooperate for the good of the people and our country. " "Iraq - said Msgr. Sako - needs reconciliation and dialogue”.
The participants include representatives of Ali Sistani and Muqtada al Sadr. The message, of which AsiaNews publishes a translation, will be distributed to media and policymakers in the city.
"On the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, we would like to express our warmest and sincere greetings to our Muslim brothers, so this may be a distinct and strong time for prayer, forgiveness and reconciliation, so it may create a safe environment in which our wounds may be healed and our concerns may recede, so that we can live in a climate of peace and joy.
We are men of religion, Christians and Muslims, from all seven parts of Kirkuk, and without interfering in politics and controversy, but based on our humanitarian and religious commitment, we call on all parties concerned to solve the problem of Kirkuk, to adopt the language of reason and to sit together and engage in dialogue in order to find a political solution which safeguards the security of the people of the city and its unity. Allowing all components of the city brotherhood and coexistence.
Factious words could lead to conflict, which leads to disaster for everyone, and does not resolve the issues. Therefore we ask all who have the power to take responsibility for finding the best way to solve existing problems and make the country safer and more stable, which contributes to the unity and cooperation. Iraq needs to be brave and responsible to its history. ... No more wars and violence, we want peace and stability.
For our part, we recognize our ties. We are waiting for your prayers and good offices, and the construction of your dialogue to consolidate peace and promote stability. "
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.
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.
Muslim solidarity towards Iraqi Christians
A delegation of Arab tribal chiefs visit the archdiocese of Kirkuk following the attacks against Baghdad cathedral and Egyptian Copts in Alexandria to voice their concern and express their closeness to their Christian “brothers”. A Christian woman who survived the slaughter in Baghdad’s Syriac-Catholic cathedral on 31 October is murdered.
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Archbishop of Kirkuk awarded for his struggle for human rights
Archbishop Louis Sako has been recognized by the Stephanus Foundation, in Germany. It is the third prize for the Iraqi archbishop, after the Defensor Fidei in 2008 and Pax Christi in 2010. In his acceptance speech he stresses the importance of Christian-Muslim dialogue and calles for greater commitment to peace.
"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.
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