ASIA/IRAQ - Kurd leader Barzani writes to Christians in Kurdistan: in independent Kurdistan you will be safe at last

Monday, 7 August 2017 kurds   middle east   oriental churches   nationalisms   massacres

Erbil (Agenzia Fides) – Now that the nation of Kurdistan “is taking steps towards independence, the needs and the rights of our Christian brothers and sisters will be protected at all levels, and so brotherhood and social harmony in Kurdistan will be strengthened”. With these words Kurd leader Masud Barzani, now the now President of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, addressed all the members of the native Christian communities historically present areas of what is today northern Iraq. Clearly Barzani’s intention is to gain the support of the Christians in those territories for the proclamation of the independence of Kurdistan, a question on which the local government of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan has convoked unilaterally a referendum, to be held on 25 of September. The occasion used by Barzani to send his reassuring message to the local Christians is at the least evocative: these are the days for the commemoration of massacres perpetrated in 1933 by troops of what was then the Kingdom of Iraq against Christians, Chaldean, Armenian and in particular Syrian accused of nourishing separatist plans. In this message from Barzani, those massacres 84 years ago are somehow linked to the most recent violence inflicted on the peoples in that region by the jihadists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (DAESH): "The sole medicine for all our suffering and the only guarantee that these disaster do not happen again, is to walk towards independence", Barzani writes in the message to Christians made public on Sunday 6 August. “On the occasion of the 84th anniversary of those disasters, which coincides with the third anniversary of the brutal DAESH attack on brothers and sisters of Christian and communities in the Nineveh Plains” the Kurd leader wrote and added “I repeat that the Christian brothers and sisters together with those of other different communities in Kurdistan, in the past, the present and in the future have shared and share still today bad times and good times because they have the same destiny”. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 7/8/2017).