Chaldean Church launches a day of fasting and prayer for Iraq

Patriarch Sako invites people of "good will", Christians and Muslims, to observe the day tomorrow and "wisely" for "peace and stability" and the construction of "a true democratic state". The Archdiocese of Baghdad distributes basic necessities and a sum of money to a thousand needy families. 


Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The Chaldean Patriarchate has called for a day of fasting and prayer for Iraq, a nation in search of a "new balance" and a future of "development and security" after the US invasion, subsequent violence and the jihadist madness of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Isis). The initiative scheduled for tomorrow, December 21, is being promoted by the primate himself, Card. Louis Raphael Sako, who addresses the Christian community and all people who care about the good of the nation, including Muslims. 

In the message, the Cardinal emphasizes that through prayer and the initiative of people of "good will" he seeks to "alleviate the crisis" left by the parliamentary elections and accelerate the "formation of a national government."

He adds that the aim is to work "wisely" to build a "true democratic state" and achieve "peace and stability." A twofold commitment, the patriarchal note concludes, in this period in which Christians "are about to celebrate the birth of Christ, messenger of peace and love." 

At the beginning of November, particular concern was aroused by the attack on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who was unharmed during a drone attack on his home. Analysts and experts had linked the operation to the recent electoral round, contested by a part of the political spectrum, in particular by pro-Iranian Shiite movements which were defeated in the polls. The growing tension had already caused more than one alarm bell to ring among the Chaldean bishops, who had repeatedly called for a strong government to curb the violent drift and a situation of chaos that would plunge the country into the abyss.

In launching the pre-Christmas day of fasting and prayer, the Chaldean Church and the Archdiocese of Baghdad promoted at the same time a distribution of aid for a thousand needy families in the capital. An initiative strongly desired by Patriarch Sako himself, in collaboration with the activists of Caritas Iraq. The Christian leaders distributed a food basket containing basic necessities and redistributed the proceeds of a fundraiser for needy families that raised 20 million Iraqi dinars (just over 12 thousand euros in total).