ASIA/IRAQ - The Heads of Churches distance themselves from Rayan "the Chaldean", leader of the Babylon movement

Thursday, 4 July 2019 middle east   oriental churches   religious minorities   politics   islam   shi'ites   armed groups  

Hispan TV

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The expressions and modus operandi of Rayan al Kildani ("the Chaldean"), leader and general secretary of the "Babylon" political movement, seem disrespectful and dishonorable towards realities and symbols dear to ecclesial sensitivity, and they will always be deplored, now and in the future, by the ecclesiastical authorities called to guard the people of believers from those who try to sow confusion among themselves. The Heads of Churches in Iraq, who met on Tuesday, July 2 in Baghdad, in a convent of the Armenian Apostolic Church, wrote this to take a common position regarding the latest initiatives of the leader of the political movement born as a political evolution of the so-called "Babylonian Brigades".
To provoke the vehement stance of the Council of Christian Church-Leaders of Iraq, CCCL was a letter-appeal addressed by Ryan the Chaldean (in the photo) to Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, spiritual guide and politics of the Shiites in Iraq. In the letter, which is dated Wednesday, June 26, Ryan addresses the Shiite leader on behalf of all Iraqi Christians, calling him "the highest spiritual guide in Iraq", asking him to intervene on the voices of Shiite exponents who also recently have turned negative expressions towards the Christian Christmas holiday.
Evidently, the Heads of Christian Churches intend to emphasize that Ryan and the movement he led are not entitled to present themselves as "spokesmen" of all Christians, and to define the Ayatollah al Sistani as "the highest spiritual guide" of Iraq.
The "Babylonian Brigades" had appeared in the years when large parts of the Iraqi territory had been conquered by Islamic State jihadists (Daesh). The Babylonian Movement, born as a political evolution of the "brigades", obtained a discreet emergence at the Iraqi election of May 2018, obtaining two of the five parliamentary seats reserved for Christian minorities. After the elections, as reported by Agenzia Fides (see Fides, 17/5/2018), critical voices against the the Babylon Movement accused the political formation of having prevailed thanks to the votes received also by Shiite voters. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2019)

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