Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The Iraqi government does not discriminate its citizens based on their religious affiliation, it also considers Christians as a "genuine part" of national identity, and will do everything possible to prevent their emigration. With these considerations, the Iraqi Prime minister, Shiite Haydar al Abadi, wanted to reassure a delegation of American Bishops of various Christian Churches - also including Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington - who visited him in Baghdad on Thursday, February 18.
On 10 February, during his visit to Rome, the Iraqi Premier was received in audience by Pope Francis, and also met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Mgr. Paul Gallagher.
During the talks reference was made to the life of the Church in the Country and the situation of Christians and ethnic and religious minorities living in Iraq, with particular reference to the importance of their presence and the need to protect their rights. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 20/02/2016)