Patriarch of Baghdad, Mosul Christians should be able to stay in Iraq, not forced into exile
Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The families
that have fled Mosul "must
be able to stay in our homeland, Iraq". Facilitating their exile through special visas is not the
real solution, rather a political effort is needed that will "allow us all to
remain in this nation that we love and to live in safety, equality and dignity with everyone",
says the Chaldean Patriarch of
Baghdad, Raphael Louis Sako, in a message sent
to AsiaNews, after
the flight of about 500 thousand Muslims
and Christians from Mosul, following
State's conquest of the city and its establishment of a Caliphate
there under strict sharia.
In recent days, France and Bahrain reportedly stated they are willing to offer asylum to Christians from Mosul, facilitating visas for them.
The Patriarch thanked Paris and Manama "for their generous proposal", "it honors us and honors the countries that make it", but he stresses that "if we leave our homeland we will destroy the memory of our ancient history". Rather than a temporary, humanitarian solution to the emergency, a "political solution" is what is needed: "all components of the Iraqi nation and the international assembly needs to think about finding a lasting solution that respects everyone and can save our country from this chaos and barbarity. "
The patriarch - who yesterday returned from a visit to the families who have sought refuge in Kurdistan - says that "today, these displaced families have nothing left, the jihadists robbed them of everything and they are in a situation of insecurity, pain and dire need".
While respecting the personal decisions of each of refugees, Mar Sako says that "if France and other countries really want to help, [they should do so] encouraging these families to stay by sending them emergency aid to ease their pain and help the construction of housing in the cities where they can live in security".
He points out that on the other hand, the proposal to accommodate these families abroad, without knowing their number "is no simple thing, and certainly we must also think about the huge uprooting this entails with regard to the difference in language , culture, mentality and customs".