ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarch at the forum on post-conflict: let us copy the distinction between politics and religion from the West

Thursday, 9 March 2017 oriental churches   politics   democracy   religious minorities   secularism

Sulaymaniyah (Agenzia Fides) - When Mosul will be completely taken away from the jihadists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and the Iraqi people will be faced with the difficult task to reconstruct a torn political, social and religious fabric, the duty of all Iraqis – starting from the political leaders - will be to "build a State of law, a national, modern democracy, a Country founded on the principle of citizenship, and not on pre-defined power relations between majorities and minorities defined on ethnic religious basis". And to walk in this perspective, it will be necessary to "distinguish religion from politics, religious institutions from state institutions, learning from the West". This is how Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, Primate of the Chaldean Church, suggested the key criteria that according to him are necessary to follow to make sure that the end of military campaigns against the jihadists of Daesh open a phase of real reconciliation and national reconstruction, counteracting the disruptive forces that threaten the Country's unity: "We must separate politics from religion, as the West", insisted the Patriarch, "otherwise we will have no future".
Patriarch Louis Raphael spoke about his considerations yesterday, Wednesday, March 8, at the forum entitled "Beyond Daesh: ending the cycle of conflicts, toward durable solutions, organized in the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah by the American University of Iraq, private academic institution set according to the North American teaching standards. The Primate of the Chaldean Church specified that he is not a politician and offers his thoughts - including an invitation to distinguish between politics and religion - as an Iraqi citizen and Bishop. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also spoke during the forum: "The Prime Minister" noted the Chaldean Patriarch in his speech "explained his plans for a better future, but he cannot do wonders if there is no unity among Iraqi politicians and if we do not all work to give priority to the common interests rather than individual and biased ones".
Sulaymaniyah is a north-western Iraqi city, located near the border with Iran, crossed by the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/03/2017)