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Be united for the good of the community and the country: Patriarch Sako

Baghdad, 19 September 2013: "Christians should unite their efforts to preserve national cohesion and protect the right to religious freedom as a fundamental component of the Iraqi society", underlines his Beatitude Mar Rapahel Luis Sako, Chaldean Patriarch, in the run up to elections for the renewal of the Kurdistan parliament, scheduled for September 21. In his letter to Christian leaders, the bishop provides guidance on how to improve the country's situation, a victim of sectarian and ethnic hatred that has resulted in more than 5 thousand dead since the beginning of the year. Christians live in danger and they sell their homes and migrate abroad. "This, he said, is a great loss not only for the now halved Christian community, but for the whole country."

According to analysts, these will be the most important elections in the history of the region, which in January began the direct export of crude oil to world markets via Turkey, openly defying the central government, which claims "full control" of the oil in Iraq. The economic successes, however, have not stopped the disintegration of society.

Patriarch Sako in his letter to Christian politicians observed: The fragility of security and national identity, clashes and instability, threaten all citizens, and Christians in particular. So far there are no signs that give them the impression of greater safety or a better future. They have sold their houses, land inherited from their fathers and emigrated to find a better place for their children. This is a great challenge , but also a loss for those leaving and all of Iraq.

Can we improve the situation of our cities and our villages build houses, roads and create jobs so that Christians do not migrate ? Why not encourage the wealthy members of the community to invest in their own areas?

In that way we can introduce respect for religious freedom to Kurdistan and its government and give Christians the same rights as Muslims?

How can we participate actively in politics to serve the common good and not personal interests? Is it possible to combine all the Christian parties under a single name, such as "National Union of Iraqi Christians" ?

Today we need unity, solidarity and fraternity. Remaining united we could launch a national campaign, which could have as its slogan: "Peace and peaceful coexistence, respect for all religions and confessions, to spread a spirit of freedom and true democracy".

Why not constitute a "Christian political council" to be in charge of the affairs of the Christians and address the problems of the community.

We need to encourage the Christians of the Diaspora to join in Iraqi embassies and to have their own passport in order to maintain their right to vote, which is useful at election time. Christians must be encouraged to join into other parties, to run in other lists , not only in Christian ones , especially during the 2014 elections in order to increase the parliamentary members of our community .
Source: AsiaNews


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