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Christian leaders join in Patriach Delly’s Iraq appeal

ICC Note: Please continue to pray for the Christians in Iraq

5/10/07 Iraq For full story…..(AsiaNews) – Religious leaders have taken up the Chaldean Patriarch’s appeal to save persecuted Christians in Iraq , asking for protection from the authorities and respect for human rights. However, while condemning the untenable situation, they have not lost hope that the “flames in which all Iraqis are burning will be extinguished.” Yesterday, as reported on the website – Dinkha IV, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, which has its headquarters in Chicago , reiterated the words spoken by Emmanuel III Delly on 6 May in Erbil , reinforcing them with more appeals to Iraqi political and religious leaders. A “strong” reminder of the need to preserve the “social and religious mosaic” of Iraq also came from the Syrian-Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo , as reported by the website Baghdadhope. In his address, Mgr Gregotios Yohanna Ibrahim concentrated above all on the damage caused by the war in Iraq .

The Assyrian Patriarch of the East first drew attention to the tragedy facing the Christian community especially in “ Mosul and Baghdad , where terrorists at work in Dora district are asking Christian families to convert to Islam or to pay a protection tax or to leave their homes and all their belongings.”

Dinkha IV described as “inhuman” such acts perpetrated against Christians, “who have always respected the authorities”. For this reason, he continued, “we call on the government to extinguish the flames in which all Iraqis, without distinction, are burning.” And turning to the Iraqi premier, the Shiite Nouri Al Maliki: “Muslim parties and groups that are perpetrating violent acts against Christians are far from Islam; so we ask the prime minister and MPs to take the necessary steps to stop the violence that is affecting all the sons of Iraq .” There was also a call to the international community: “We ask the United Nations and human rights organizations to ensure respect for the rights of persecuted peoples and to help us stop this violence.”