Church leaders appeal to EU to safeguard 'very fragile' Christian presence in Iraq
July 11, 2014
Iraqi Christian leaders are seeking help from the European Union to avert a new civil war that would threaten the existence of the country’s “very fragile” minority groups.
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad headed a delegation of Iraqi Church leaders to Brussels, to confer with European officials who are scheduled to hold their own discussions on July 14 regarding policy toward Iraq. The Christian leaders stressed the positive role that the religious minority can play as a “disinterested mediator” in helping resolve conflicts between the countries two competing Islamic groups.
At the same time the Chaldean Patriarch said that a continued exodus threatens the existence of a Christian community in Iraq. “If they leave, their history is finished,” he said. He observed: “Under Saddam we had security but no religious freedom. Today we have religious freedom but no security.”