ASIA/IRAQ - Conference in Brussels on the future of Christians in the Nineveh Plain. But the Chaldean Patriarchate is not taking part

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 oriental churches   refugees   geopolitics   middle east

Brussels (Agenzia Fides) - The Chaldean Patriarchate is not taking part in the Conference convened today Wednesday 28 June in Brussels, at the European Parliament, and dedicated to the future of Christians in the Nineveh Plain and in the northern lands of Iraq, just liberated from the control of the jihadists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (Daesh). In a note, released last week, the Chaldean Patriarchate motivated its decision by recalling, inter alia, that "the future of Christians is linked to the future of the entire Iraqi people", of whom Iraqi Christians are an integral part. Therefore, it is appropriate to reflect on the fate of the Christian presence in Iraq, together with the authorities and other social components, rather than organizing such moments of deepening and mobilization with foreign institutions. If Western countries and institutions want to help Christians in Iraq – says the note - they can do so by supporting the struggle against terrorism and reconstruction of the Country, so as to favor even Christian refugees who want to return to their lands of origin. The Chaldean Patriarchate also calls upon many local Christian political and micro-formations to assume their responsibilities, avoiding to pursue imaginative and unrealistic political hypotheses. Already in early May, as documented by Agenzia Fides (see Fides 6/5/2017), Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako had released a letter suggesting Christians to be calm and not to be dazzled by unrealistic and untimely proposals. On that occasion, the Patriarch seemed to refer in particular to the hypotheses - recently relaunched by Iraqi Christian politicians - to establish protected areas reserved for ethnic-religious minorities - including Christian ones - in northern Iraq, providing them with administrative autonomy or even submitting them to guarantees and systems of international protection.
Representatives of various Iraqi political parties and organizations animated by Christian militants are attending the conference in Brussels on the future of Christians in Iraq, organized mainly thanks to the commitment of European MP, Lars Adaktusson, an exponent of the Swedish Democratic Christian Party. At the same time, other Christian political formations, such as the Assyrian Democratic Movement, in recent days have officially confirmed their decision to boycott the meeting, whose approach, in their view, seemed intended to support a more incisive prevalence on the Nineveh Plain by the Kurdish leadership. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 28/7/2017)