Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - A delegation of senior officials and volunteers of the Chaldean Church, led by Patriarch Raphael Louis Sako, visited areas of the Iraqi capital where the displaced have found refuge in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, bringing aid and basic necessities to be distributed among the people who have fled from their homes since last January, the two cities have fallen under the control of militias linked to the Qeida.
The initiative of solidarity took place on Saturday, March 9. Patriarch Sako, accompanied by some close collaborators -including his Auxiliary Bishop Sleiman Warduni - took part in the distribution of food, blankets and medicines, thereby expressing practical solidarity to refugees and hoping that the State may soon exercise its legitimate control over the entire national territory, so as to "protect citizens and take care of them". The gesture of solidarity - add Patriarch Sako - "truly reflects the national unity and the spirit of citizenship that binds us to each other. Our homes and our churches are open to all, now that we are in Lent. "Those who received assistance led by Patriarch Sako all belonged to groups of Muslim families.
Since the beginning of January 2014 anti-government armed groups - including jihadist formations of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - control Fallujah and some neighborhoods in Ramadi, cities that are 60 and 100 kilometers west of Baghdad. According to figures released by the Red Crescent, already in mid-January more than 13thousand families had abandoned the only city of Fallujah. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/03/2014)