ASIA/IRAQ - Iraqi religious leaders: a law is needed to punish fanaticism that instigates hatred

Friday, 2 March 2018 middle east   oriental churches   dialogue   sectaniarism

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Heads of religious communities in Iraq will ask the Iraqi parliament to pass a law to punish forms of religious propaganda that instigate hatred and violence. This is what was reported by the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans, spreading the report of a singular meeting among Iraqi religious leaders, gathered at the invitation of the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako at the church of St. Joseph, in the district of Karrada, on Thursday 1 March. The meeting was attended by about thirty religious representatives – Shi’a and Sunni Muslims, Christians, Sabeans and Yazidis - and by the heads of political offices in charge of the various religious communities, together with Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martín, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq. During the meeting - according to official sources of the Chaldean Patriarchate, consulted by Agenzia Fides - the proposal to organize similar meetings in other cities of the country was also taken, such as Najaf, and to establish a permanent council that would periodically meet scholars and senior representatives of the different religious communities. What was highlighted and discussed was the proposal to monitor religious preaching in places of worship and to examine with greater care the courses given in religious education centers, always with the aim of contrasting the seed of fanaticism,. "On the Judgment Day", among other things, said Patriarch Louis Raphael, in his opening speech, "we will not be asked, whether we are Shi'a Muslim or a Sunni? Christian Catholic or Orthodox, Mandae, or Yazidi? But rather the question of God would be, what did you do for your brother? and what have you offered to your people?". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 2/3/2018)