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Iraq : Pope calls for ‘constitutional reform’ to protect Christians

ICC Note

“At present, terrorist attacks, threats and violence continue, especially against the Christian community and the news which arrived yesterday confirms our concern,”

7 Jan. Iraq (AKI) – Pope Benedict XVI on Monday called for Iraq ‘s constitution to include provisions to protect minorities, including Christians. The pope’s comments came after weekend attacks against six churches and monasteries in Baghdad and Mosul .

In an address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican , the pontiff said reconciliation was urgently needed.

“At present, terrorist attacks, threats and violence continue, especially against the Christian community and the news which arrived yesterday confirms our concern,” he said referring to Sunday’s attacks on churches and monasteries as Iraqi Orthodox Christians celebrated the Orthodox Christmas.

Reports say that at least four people were injured in the attacks.

“It is clear that certain difficult political issues remain unresolved. In this context, an appropriate constitutional reform will need to safeguard the rights of minorities,” said Pope Benedict.

He also called for increased humanitarian aid to support Christians and other minorities.

“Important humanitarian aid is necessary for the peoples affected by the war, I am thinking especially of displaced persons within the country and refugees who have fled abroad, among whom there are many Christians,” he said.

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