24 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 08/27/2013, 00.00


    Patriarch Sako calls on Christians not to flee Iraq

    During a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Zakho and Emmadea (Kurdistan), the Chaldean patriarch urged all the churches to help families in difficulty. For the prelate, the Christian presence is crucial for the future of the country. Calling on Christians not to leave the country, he mentioned the story of Romtha (Mosul), a village reborn thanks to the efforts of 35 Christian families.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "Help Christian villages in the north of Iraq," pleaded Mar Rapheal Luis Sako I, patriarch of the Chaldean Church, during his pastoral visit to the Joint Diocese of Zakho and Emmadea on 15-23 August.

    Some 40 local villages and towns face a major crisis because of Shia-Sunni confrontation in Iraq and Syria. Already hampered by the lack of water and electricity, residents have almost no access to medical care in hospitals or clinics.

    "These villages are in dire need, and we call on our benefactors, from all the dioceses and Chaldean churches, to help the Christian population, because their presence is very important," the patriarch said.

    In recent months, the diocese of Mosul, Kirkuk, Zackho, Emmadea and Erbil have experienced first-hand the Shia-Sunni conflict in Syria, the confrontation between Iraq's central and provincial governments over oil resources and the attacks by Muslim extremists against civilians, including Christians.

    In recent years, hundreds of families have fled the country finding refuge in the West or in other countries of the Middle East. At the same time, many thousands of Syrian Muslim Kurds fled to Iraqi Kurdistan.

    In a pastoral letter to the Christians of northern Iraq, the Chaldean patriarch stressed the importance of the Christian presence, them to resist and not to flee.

    "Christians in Kurdistan are indigenous citizens," he explained. "They have deep roots that cannot be eradicated for they go back two thousand years. Several of them have sacrificed their lives along with their Muslim brothers for freedom, dignity, and coexistence."

    For Patriarch Sako, Christians are a key factor in preserving the cultural and religious pluralism that for centuries characterised Iraq, the cradle of the first civilisation and home of the first diocese.

    "I invite you to participate actively in all aspects of life: cultural, political, and social," the prelate said.

    However, it is with sorrow that he also spoke about the great exodus of the Christian population, reduced in almost a decade from one million to less than 400,000.

    "Do not sell your homes and your land. They are your fathers' legacy. You must keep your land forever instead of becoming migrants and foreigners in the diaspora."

    As an example, the patriarch mentioned the story of the village of Akra.

    "In my visit to Mosul," he said, "I met 35 families from Akra, who moved to Duhok where they bought a village called 'Romtha'. Here they built their homes, a church, a community hall and a school and started to farm the fields. "

    "Do not be afraid of difficulties," the patriarch said, "because they renew and elevate your presence."

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    02/05/2016 13:48:00 IRAQ
    Mar Sako appeals to politicians to stop divisions, focus on shared plans for Iraq’s rebirth

    The Chaldean Patriarch sends a tough rebuke against the country’s rulers, who have failed to promote reforms and reconciliation, calling for action against Iraq’s “institutional, economic and security deterioration”. As Green Zone protest ends, government’s wrath begins.

    28/04/2016 21:51:00 IRAQ
    Patriarch Sako: Amoris Laetitia, a source of mercy and learning for Christians and Muslims

    The Apostolic Exhortation contains essential elements for Christian families. It has also elicited “positive thoughts” among Muslims. For the Chaldean Patriarch, Islam too is waiting for something different on the family and spousal relations. Despite the war, few families have broken down, which is not the case for those who emigrated. Married priests could be a model for the whole Church.

    07/08/2015 IRAQ
    For Mar Sako, one year after the Mosul tragedy, only unity and reconciliation can save Iraq
    On the first anniversary of the great exodus from the Nineveh Plain, the Chaldean Patriarch addresses a letter to Iraq’s government and parliament. In it, he denounces the difficult conditions in which Christians and Yezidis still live, as well as the thousands of deaths among Muslims. Peace is the only response to the violence of extremist groups who "exploit religion".

    29/05/2015 IRAQ – IRAN
    Mar Sako: transcending war for a future of reconciliation and dialogue between Christians and Muslims
    The patriarch of Baghdad looks at the future of Christians in the Middle East, which will be "even better" when conflict ends. Through AsiaNews, he called for "patience and prayer,” highlighting the role Christians play as a "bridge" between faiths and cultures. During his pastoral visit to Iran, he met a strong community "that can grow. He also proposed a joint Christian-Islamic committee.

    06/02/2013 IRAQ - VATICAN
    Patriarch Sako : Pope appeals for Iraqi Church to be a "bridge" in encounter with Muslims
    Mar Louis Raphael I speaks to AsiaNews about the guidelines of the new mission, based on unity and dialogue beginning with a "common and reformed liturgy." Renewed cooperation among the bishops, an element of strength in discussions with political and religious leaders. The hope that the "message" of Islam will prevail and not "rules and systems."

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®