After Najaf: Christians and Muslims can live together

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – "Living together is possible and peace in Najaf can be a positive signal to the whole of Iraq," Emmanuel Delly, Patriarch of Baghdad's Chaldean Catholics, told AsiaNews. "We must pray that it happens not only here in Iraq but also throughout the Middle East including Palestine."

Recalling the attacks against churches on August 1, the Patriarch stressed how the Najaf accord is a sign that peace and Christian-Muslim coexistence are possible. Here is the full text of his interview:

Does Najaf represent a positive signal for peace in Iraq?

We have an unshakeable faith in the power of prayer. May God enlighten people and bring them back to right path.

Going back to normal in Najaf can have positive repercussions elsewhere in Iraq. More importantly, living together in a multiethnic Iraq can also be a signal for the entire world, for places like Palestine where fighting still goes on. It is certain that tensions and conflict are not limited to Iraq but are instead widespread.

Let us hope that what happened in Najaf will set the stage for the return to peace and coexistence.

How is the situation for Christians in Iraq a month after the church attacks in Baghdad and Mosul?

Things are calm no; nothing exceptional is happening. God be praised that the situation is improving and back to something akin to normal.

I want to stress that there are no differences between Christians and Muslims. Violence strikes indiscriminately and not along religious lines . . . What happens to Muslims happens also to Christians, and what happens to Christians also happens to Muslims. We are one Iraqi family. (DS)