ASIA/IRAQ: Chaldean patriarch to Christian politicians: it is a difficult time for us, let's meet to face our fears and our future together

Thursday, 18 June 2020 middle east   oriental churches   politics   emigration   religious minorities

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - An "extraordinary" meeting of the Chaldean Patriarch with the Parties and civil organizations in which Iraqi Christians militate, to face together in a global way all the difficulties and social, economic and political emergencies that are putting at risk the "Christian component" in present-day Iraq. This is the singular proposal launched in the last few hours by Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, through the official channels of the Patriarchate.
The guidelines of the hypothesized meeting are indicated briefly in the same patriarchal message: we are talking about, among other things, discussing the upcoming elections, the rapidly changing demographic balance in the Nineveh Plain (area of traditional rooting of Christian indigenous communities). In the agenda of the meeting, according to the Patriarch, a comparison on national laws, on personal status should also be included, given that in Iraqi political and social dynamics, discrimination on a sectarian basis continues to be recorded. The Patriarch cites the case of school textbooks full of speeches that incite contempt and overpowering other faith communities, and also recalls the opaque operations with which, in the opinion of many analysts, the most influential Iraqi political parties have also placed their emissaries in the parliamentary seats reserved by the national institutional system for representatives belonging to the Christian component.
In the coming days, reactions that are not necessarily standardised with respect to the Patriarch's appeal may come from the various political and social organizations animated by Christians. In the past, controversy was raised by those who - including some Christian politicians - consider some initiatives of the Chaldean Patriarchate as expressions of excessive activism in the political sphere. For example, last November, some critics had stigmatized the Chaldean Patriarch's meetings with demonstrators who in those weeks expressed in street protests their discontent against the Iraqi government and political institutions (see photo). On that occasion, the Chaldean Patriarchate issued a communiqué to denounce the "misleading representations" circulated in the media and social networks in Iraq regarding the Patriarch's initiatives, claiming his freedom to support all factors that can contribute to the creation process of an authentic rule of law in Iraq. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 18/6/2020)