ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarch to other Churches: let us not proceed in a random order. Let us be united as "Christian member"

Saturday, 17 December 2016 oriental churches   area crisis   sectaniarism   politics   religious minorities

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The emergency situation that the entire Iraqi nation is facing also calls Christians not to proceed in a random order, emphasizing in an exasperated manner the identity factors of each ecclesial community. One should instead express a unified position on the political and social processes taking place in Iraq, presenting oneself as a "Christian member": This is the proposal that Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis Sako I addressed to all Christians in Iraq, in an appeal calling on them "not to remain spectators with regards to the Iraqi scene" and "find a common vision and a common 'roadmap' also to protect together the" right to be treated like others". The use of the expression "Christian member" to express the unified position of Iraqi Christians in relation to political and social events and national institutions according to the Primate of the Chaldean Church "does not contrast with the protection of millenary identity", and allows "not to waste time arguing "around this identity. "The Chaldean Church" refers the patriarchal statement, sent to Agenzia Fides "wants to be at the service of all Christians and all Iraqis in order to contribute to the reconciliation process", which is essential in order to return to a situation of peaceful coexistence.
Already at the beginning of his patriarchal ministry (see Fides 06/02/2013), the current Primate of the Chaldean Church had denounced the danger that Christians were infected with the Middle East in the current dominant sectarianism context: "Now, unfortunately," said the Patriarch to Agenzia Fides "one hears people say: I am more Armenian than Christian, more Assyrian than Christian, more Chaldean than Christian. There persists here and there a tribal mentality, so every village aims to have 'his' Bishop or 'his' Patriarch. In this way Christianity fades away. We, as Bishops, must be vigilant against these ill forms of living one's identity". (GV) Agenzia Fides 17/12/2016)