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    » 09/30/2014, 00.00


    Patriarch of Baghdad to Muslims: Condemn extremism, rebuild Iraq with Christians

    Louis Raphael I Sako *

    On the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the Islamic festival of sacrifice, Mar Sako renews his call for "reconciliation" and "brave dialogue" for true peace. Tolerance, respect and justice to maintain "national identity" and "co-existence". The memory of Muslims who sacrificed themselves to save the Christians. He adds: "We love because Christ teaches us to love everyone."

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "I want to send my best wishes to our Muslim brothers," asking God "to protect and preserve our country from every form of evil." This is the wish that his Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako sends to the Muslim community in Iraq to mark Eid al-Adha, a holiday that commemorates the total submission of man to God. In the message, sent to AsiaNews, the Chaldean patriarch repeats his invitation to condemn "violent, sectarian extremism, because it distorts religion".

    Mar Sako traces a "road map for salvation" that starts from education and respect for "religious, cultural differences" while keeping "our national identity and unity." He also remembers the love of Christians for "everyone", even in difficulties and sufferings. He appeals to the national government and the authorities of Kurdistan, so that- together - the liberate Mosul and the Nineveh Plain from the oppressive yoke of the Islamic State.

    Below the letter of the Chaldean Patriarch to the Muslim community in Iraq and the world:

    I send to the Muslim Brothers my sincere congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, asking God to protect them and preserve our country from all evil.

    There is no freedom and no dignity without a real honest relationship recognizes and accepts the other as a brother and a partner in the land and home. Our citizens have suffered greatly from a variety of conflicts and wars, there must be genuine reconciliation, a brave dialogue, and an effective political approach to restore peace,  security and stability.

    By awareness and education that incubates the religious, cultural, and national diversity and spread the culture of peace, tolerance respect, justice and dialogue we will maintain our national identity and unity, and raise barriers and promote trust and co-existence and eliminate all extremist ideology and everyone who urges to hatred and violence. This is the road map for the salvation of the disturbing situation.

    We Iraqi Christians are a genuine and essential component in Iraq, we would like to stay with you as partners and work together as a team for the progress of our country and the good of our people. ISIS has displaced us of our towns and even in Baghdad the pressures are exerted on us, but we tell you that we love you because Jesus Christ commanded us to love everyone. We believe that all Muslims DO NOT approve the actions of ISIS and there are some of Muslims who are good and considered as a blessing like Dr. Mohammed Al-Asali, who was killed in defence of Christians in Mosul. We hope that you openly declare your reject and condemnation of violent religious extremism because it distorts the religion.

    On this occasion, we call on our national government to unite and cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government quickly to liberate Mosul and the towns of Nineveh Plain and other cities so that the million and half of million displaced people can go back to their homes as fast as could especially schools will open their doors after the Eid al-Adha holiday and winter is coming.

    We wish you happy Eid Adha , that returns the values ​​of sacrifice for the respect of human rights and dignity, not sacrificing people.

    *Patriarch of Baghdad and President of the Iraqi Bishops Conference


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    See also

    13/04/2015 IRAQ
    Chaldean Patriarch meets Prime Minister: We must work for reconciliation
    Prime Minister al-Abadi received Mar Sako in government buildings, expressing "appreciation" for the role of Christians and calling on the minority to remain despite "difficulties". The Patriarch urges the government to work to rebuild trust. He adds: "The Pope in Iraq, a source of renewed hope." A video of the destruction Nimrud by the Islamic State.

    10/03/2015 IRAQ
    Chaldean Patriarch: Iraq is a "humanitarian catastrophe", urgent action needed
    In an official note Mar Sako expresses "deep concern" for the innocent civilians in conflict-affected areas. The Islamic State burns everything, "human beings, stones and civilization." Need to act and to offer assistance to the defenseless population. New peshmerga offensive against the Islamic State in Kirkuk.

    02/02/2015 IRAQ
    As January death toll tops 1,300, concrete actions, not words, are needed, says Baghdad patriarch
    Speaking at a conference held as part of a government-sponsored 'Week of harmony between different religions', Mar Sako called for a stop to funding to terrorism and an end to the culture of violence. He also called for an end to the criminal use of religion. Meanwhile, in Mosul, the Islamic State set up a market for goods stolen from Christians. Last month, almost 800 civilians lost their life.

    05/04/2016 19:51:00 IRAQ
    Chaldean Patriarchate calls for Christian politicians in government

    At the end of a meeting in Erbil, Iraqi prelates call for a plural and pluralistic Iraq. Patriarch Sako and the Chaldean bishops praised the recent military victories against the Islamic State group, hopeful that this might be a prelude to Christians going back to their homes. A the same time, they called for urgent economic  action to create jobs and fight poverty. They also expressed concern over financial and political corruption.

    19/10/2016 09:37:00 IRAQ
    Chaldean Patriarch: May Iraq find peace and unity with the liberation of Mosul

    The Christians of Qaraqosh, on the Nineveh Plain, celebrate the liberation of their town with Masses of thanksgiving, dancing and singing. Now in its third day, the Iraqi army and Peshmerga continues the offensive towards Mosul. The Islamic State use civilians as human shields. Mar Sako urges Iraqis to work for the birth of a "genuine and civil democracy".


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