Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Christians are "original members" of Iraq, as evidenced by the ancient monasteries scattered throughout the country. And jihadi groups, such as Daesh, have raged not only against them but also against Muslim populations, as evidenced by Muslim victims - even Sunni - and the Islamic Caliphate mosques destroyed in Mosul. This is how Iraqi President Fouad Masum, of ethnic Kurd, called the current plight of Christians in Iraq, threatened by sectarian rifts and engaged in conflict with the self-styled Islamic State that have settled in Mosul since June 2014.
The statements of the Iraqi President were expressed in Egypt, during the meeting between Masum and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II. The President of Iraq also claimed responsibility for the active role played by governmental institutions in the defense of Christians and other national components from violence by extremist groups, denying any kind of discrimination on a sectarian basis within public bodies.
In early February (see Fides 09/02/2016), Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I had launched an appeal to government authorities and political and religious leaders to denounce the continuing legal discrimination and sectarian bullying suffered by Christians . "We" wrote the Patriarch in the appeal, sent to Agenzia Fides, "met with government officials, and visited some of the Islamic religious authorities to talk about what we have in common, with regards to our faiths and life that we share in this land. During these meetings, we assured to be loyal to Iraq, which is our Country, and not to seek revenge but rather want to live in peace with all Iraqis. Unfortunately, none of their promises has become reality". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/03/2016)