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    » 04/28/2014, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Sako: "In 10 years there will only be a few thousand Christians left in Iraq"



    The Christian community in Baghdad had 600 thousand faithful, now there are only 400 thousand in the whole country. The Chaldean Patriarch, Sako I: "Christians are those who suffer most from the upsurge in violence across Iraq".

    Baghdad (AsiaNew / Agencies) - The Iraqi Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Raphael Sako I, says he is seriously concerned over the continuing decline of Christian presence in the country: "If measures are not taken soon, in 10 years' time there will only be a few thousand Christians left in Iraq".

    The Iraqi Christian community had more than a million followers, 600 thousand in Baghdad alone, now they have less than 400 thousand in the whole country. The main causes of this massive migration are poor security, increased death threats against Christians from Islamists and the seizure of their property by armed groups.

    The Patriarch describes the scale of the phenomenon of migration as "frightening" and  says it is worsened by the encouragement of Western powers.

    After visiting communities throughout the country, Sako said: "Christians are those who suffer most from the upsurge in violence across Iraq. This is due to the fact that Christians do not maintain tribal affiliations, as do Arab Muslims. The only way they have to resolve disputes is through the Iraqi legal system, which is often criticized for its corruption, and which is subject to political manipulation".

     

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    See also

    15/12/2010 IRAQ
    "Walled" Churches and checkpoints. Christmas for Iraqi Christians
    After the escalation of anti-Christian violence, the government decides to erect concrete barriers three meters high around parishes. Bishop Warda: "Everyone is asking who will now be the next".

    24/03/2012 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: Christians celebrate reopening of parish of the Blessed Virgin
    The church was damaged by a bomb in 2006, during which a boy was killed. After a patient restoration work, the place of worship was opened with a Mass presided by Msgr. Sako. "The blood of the martyrs - the prelate says - is an invitation to persevere in faith."

    16/01/2009 IRAQ
    Msgr. Sako: Bagradis case, a kidnap with a tragic ending
    This is how the archbishop of Kirkuk explains the murder of the man shot to death yesterday in Mosul. The Christian community is the main target for abductions because “it does not respond to violence with revenge”. The prelate launches an appeal “for unity” even at a political level and anticipates the days for the next Synod of Iraqi Bishops: the 12th of May Erbil.

    01/12/2008 IRAQ
    Msgr. Sako: encouraging the exodus of Christians damages Iraq
    The European Union has announced a plan to welcome over 10 thousand Iraqi refugees, exiled in Syria and Jordan. The archbishop of Kirkuk is against a mass exodus of Christians from the land of their birth and denounces a political leadership that fails to promote unity. Leaving implies “betraying the meaning of the Christian message”.

    18/09/2013 IRAQ
    Patriarch Sako to Christian politicians : Be united for the good of the community and the country
    His Beatitude Mar Raphael Luis Sako , patriarch of Baghdad , sends some guidelines to the politicians involved in the elections in Kurdistan , scheduled for September 21 . The prelate sees defense of the rights of Christians and of the unity of the Iraqi people as the main requirements for stability. He also invites the rich of the community to invest in the country to create jobs and to prevent the exodus of Christians.



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