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ICC Note: With the ongoing violence and the cleansing of Iraq’s religious minorities, Christians in large numbers are contemplating leaving the country permanently. Already the number of Christians has shrunk significantly, and it would be a major blow to the country were the Christian influence to be further diminished.

11/17/2014 Iraq (Asia News) Appreciation for the role played by the Chaldean Patriarchate in the promotion of peace and coexistence; a strong condemnation of the violence against Christians in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, where about 500 thousand people have fled as a result of the advance of the Islamic State, which has founded a caliphate and imposed Sharia law.

This was the outcome of a meeting between Mar Louis Raphael I Sako and the Speaker of the Iraqi parliament Salim al-Jubouri (pictured). On the evening of November 15 a delegation of senior Baghdad officials, led by the Speaker of Parliament, visited the headquarters of the Chaldean Patriarchate to express solidarity and closeness to the Christian community. He also assured the support of the Assembly and the government for the religious minority, the victim of Islamist militia violence.

His Beatitude expressed gratitude for the initiative describing it as a concrete sign of the Baghdad government’s “solidarity” and “closeness” with Christians, “chased” from their homes and forced to survive in “tragic circumstances”. Mar Sako added that the high level visit shows that “the Parliament Speaker does not only represent Muslims” but “all citizens”.

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