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Iraq’s Christian cultural heritage belongs to all, let us save it!

ICC Note

Christians are leaving Iraq in large numbers due to increased persecution from extremist Islamic groups. But they are leaving behind rich culture and heritage. The international community should protect the Christians heritage in Iraq .

By Louis Sako

06/06/2008 Iraq (AsiaNews) – The exodus that is emptying Iraq of its two-thousand-year-old Christian community could wipe out its rich cultural heritage which has survived for centuries in this land. If emigration continues at the present rate in just a few years not only will the country be deprived of one the oldest components of its population but the world will lose a great legacy.

What will happen to very ancient churches and monasteries like the Church of Koche on the outskirts of Baghdad, Tahira, Mar Isaiyia, Miskenta, St Thomas, Marhudeini, the Monastery of St Michael in Mosul and Kirkuk’s Red Church (all dating back to between the 5th and the 7th centuries AD)? What will happen to ancient manuscripts and a language—Aramaic—unknown to the rest of the world, if those who have always guaranteed its life and conservation disappear?

For this reason I propose the creation of a Christian museum that could bring together under one roof all that has been accumulated in this land over time.

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